The B2B Revenue Executive Experience
The B2B Revenue Executive Experience

Episode · 9 months ago

A Guide To Scaling Revenue: Using Data To Plug Leaks w/ Jennifer Aplin

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

$2 million annually — That’s a rough estimate of how much money your company could leave on the table if there’s misalignment within the organization.

And it’s all due to revenue leaks.

If your sales team is busy making cold calls, they might miss out on opportunities stagnating in the pipeline. Like a ship crew rowing as fast as possible, but never taking a moment to look up and see the ship is sinking.

The beer you just ordered is placed on your table. While you’re busy talking with your friend, a small leak in the glass has robbed you of half of your drink. You only notice something’s wrong when the beer drips onto your pants.

The same thing has been happening to businesses with their revenue for a long time. But data is finally giving them the tools to notice the leak way before it drips off the table.

Our guest, Jennifer Aplin, CEO and Co-Founder at Digital Magenta Inc., discusses revenue leaks, the infinite importance of data to a business, and how to scale your business.

In this episode, we discuss:

  • Plugging leaks and uncovering data in businesses
  • The importance of data in a business
  • Jennifer’s background with Digital Magenta and what’s next

Now that you know how to use data to prevent revenue leaks in your business, are you ready to learn how to build trust and confidence with your content strategy or how to optimize your tech stack? Check out the full list of episodes: The B2B Revenue Executive Experience.

You're listening to the BB revenue executive experience, a podcast dedicated to helping executives train their sales and marketing teams to optimize growth. Whether you're looking for techniques and strategies or tools and resources, you've come to the right place. Let's accelerate your growth in three, two, one. Welcome everyone to the BB revenue decative experience. I'm your host, Chat Henderson. Today we're talking about how I can accelerate revenue and scale in an cleanly complex and competitive market. To help but with us, Jennifer Apple, and CEO for Digital Magenta. Jennifer, thank you so much for taking the time. Thanks so much for having me today. So we always let's start with a oddball question. So guess I know you a little bit better and I'm always curious to learn from people that spend a lot of time in the business side of life something that you're pad about that people that only know you through business might be a little bit surprised to learn. For sure. So I have a real soft spot for animals, and especially those that are disadvantaged, and I'm actually taking care of rescue cat currently. I volunteer through a local animal shelter and do some of that work. So that's something that I'm passionate about outside of business. That is amazing. And is it hard in your stirring like that to let them go? It really, you know, it really is. Is. I mean they the the concept of foster fail is real. Then you're going to foster and then they just that just continues. They never leave. Yeah, exactly. But you know, when the way to look at it is when you get one in a good home, then you have ruin your heart and your home to help another. So I love it. I love it all right, it's perfect. Thank you for sharing that with us. So let's talk about the topic of the day, and I'm curious to know. You know you're focusing on revenue leaks in organization. I'd have to know what spurred that focus, what made you so passionate about it? Yeah, for sure. So my partner, Alice, and I had both had quite a...

...long career working with sales and marketing teams in the tech world and we began to observe that companies were leaving tremendous amounts of money on the table. So I'll give you some examples here. You know, making growth investments without the ability to see the clear Roy investing in technology platforms but still managing their revenue generating processes manually, misalignment and miscommunication between teams and ultimately, decisions that being made on data. That's not really telling a correct story. So we went on to name these the big five revenue leaks, and I'll just give you a tangible example here of a company that we worked with that that was suffering. So they they were investing heavily in Lee generation activities, but they had a breakdown in communication between the marketing and sales team and we had covered about two million and qualified opportunities stignating in their pipeline. Who So right? So, at the same time, though, their sales team was unaware. So they were busy, you know, making cold calls right when they could have had a prioritize list of Hey, these opportunities look like they're ready for you to reach out. So this was really frustrating for the team. But also these are issues that happen below the line of visibility. So the CEO This company was not aware and was also very shocked to, you know, to learn, you know, what was happening in in this breakdown. So you know, when we work with clients, are approaches to plug the leak's and uncover the data that are the true drivers of revenue so they can focus on what works and become very efficient in that process. And just to give it a little analogy here, no one wants to put gas in their leaky fuel tank. So why would they want to invest right in in a leaky revenue generation system? Right, right, and so, okay, so you know...

...those big five leaks will hit different comes in diffages, in different ways at different times. And so when a companies in that rapid growth mode, what it that you see be like the most contribute in factor to the DART of those revenue leaks? Yeah, for sure. So, you know, what we observe is that it as companies go through their initial phase of rapid growth, a lot of layers are added internally. Right. So, you know, the team starts off small and communication flows easily, but then the team start to grow their potentially spinning up a new locations. You know, we now have the the added complexity of virtual work. You know, they're right. At the same time they're you know, as they're growing, they're looking at they're adding new tech platforms, right. So they're looking at crm and and, you know, marketing systems. And you know, what we really see is functions being optimized individually and and really these these systems are also starting to produce an enormous amount of data. So, as a result, we really see a few things happen that, you know, these these inefficient operational and revenue generating processes emerge data that, you know, data is really becoming trapped in the Org. It's not producing the insights required for leaders to make informed growth decisions. They can't get at it, and that's really where we see, you know, the the revenue leaks showing up and in those five ways I mentioned earlier. And so let's talk about the data for a second, how it flows through the organization. I mean, everybody, everybody's probably heard it, understands data is important, but I often see companies struggle with knowing where to get how to how to access it, knowing how to analyze it and apply it. And especially if an organizations in rapid both mode, amount of data being produced probably a little overwhelming as well. And so if I were, you know, if I were CEO of a rapid owing company, are there specific types of data or areas that I should be looking at...

...to collect that data be aware of so that I'm hopefully avoiding, or at least aware of, any leaks that spring? Yeah, for sure. So the first thing I'll say about this is no CEO or leader needs more data. We need less. Yeah, exactly exactly. They need less, but they need they need the right tight so we have developed a concept called growth data and essentially what this does is it identifies what a company is unique key conversion points are across their revenue generating and selling processes. So kind of think about ECOMMERCE CLARITY FOR BB organizations. So what this does is it identifies how qualified opportunities are generated and the exact activities a salesperson needs to action to get those deals closed in the fastest possible way with the least amount of efforts. So the company can get a clear view on on where they are going to see an Roi from the investments that they're they're making into growth and into their growth functions, whether that be programs, activities, people. And you know, through the process of doing this, a lot of manual steps are removed with with automation, so limiting the chances that opportunities will slip through the cracks and also helping to create clean data for that those teams and organizations to use. And you know, what we really find is when, when the right data emerges, it really can be used, as you know, the the focal point to align the teams. Yet people rallied around, you know, the common goal and create transparency right through that organization. Also creating repeatable processes. So essentially everyone on the team is playing with the same deck of cards.

You know, and and this data also tells us how to prioritize up opportunities. So you know, we all know that. You know the the BB buying cycle is complex with multiple steps. So you know, it's a great thing to this data to emerge so we can look at it and prioritize and say, okay, where do we focus right where we going to get the best bank for for our back and an example here is one of our clients use this type of data really to identify in close multimillion dollar deals after attending an event. So they're they're old processes, you know. They you know, they had no way to identify. Is this actually an opportunity? But when they got access to, you know, the the data that we uncovered help them on cover. It was clear that, oh my gosh, we need to reach out and they ended up closing millions and deals as a result of having this this level of clarity. And do you think? I mean a lot of companies are putting in place rolls specifically designed to track a lie poured on the data, but yet I still see some that are in rapid growth that haven't done that. Do you think it's crickle for organizations, if there can be successful today, to have a data mindset, let's say, have it built into the color, you know, day driven kind of decisionmaking and rolls to support or can they way with letting some you know, a third party and is a place or a side they get where they need to transition? Yeah, for sure. So I absolutely think it's crucial that companies start thinking about becoming data driven because it helps them build a competitive advantage right. It's an investment that they can make, that that that really doesn't walk out their door, right, that can't slip through the cracks. It's it's not easy to do this right and what we find is, you know, you can add an analytics arm internally, but does that analytics arm have...

...a deep understanding of the business function right? And that is a gap that that we are closing with with our framework, which really brings into account, you know, a deep understanding of, you know, the business side processes as well as you know how to, you know, uncover, store process and and utilize data. So, Jennifer, I'm curious to know what other factors contribute to revenuely structure, culture, what other things should people be paying attention to? Yeah, for sure, I'm really glad you asked this question. So we talked about revenue leaking, but talent also leaks, and what we find when we talk to top marketers and sellers is that they don't want to work in companies where they're not set up to win, and this is a really important factor, as we're seeing this great resignation occur right now. And data can be used not only as a competitive advantage but as a key recruitment strategy. In when it comes to shifting towards dat informed culture, you know, the change has to go top down and it really starts at the leadership to really set the expectation and support their people to embrace this change. So they're there. Really is a cultural and a structural factor when we're looking at the revenue leaks issue. Awesome. All right. So let's talk about digital gent a little bit. Help we understand how you arrive there, what the jurors like, what the inspiration was to to do what you're doing. Yeah, for sure. So you know, my partner, Alice and I we met almost ten years ago and we had both gone to a global tech company. You know, we had worked for quite a few during during our careers and we started there around the same time. I was in a leadership role and she was in an analytics roll and we really started seeing how bringing together, you know, the business side and the data side could really make an impact. So, after working together for a few years, we were...

...actually on a business trip and she asked me, Hey, do you want to start something of our own? And it had always been an idea that was appealing to me. So I said Yes, absolutely, we should one hundred percent do that. And she said, well, what should we do? And I said I think we should do what we're doing right now. I think we should we should further cultivate this, you know, this this concept to help companies. You know, cut through the complexity so they can to use their data effectively across you know, their their growth function, and so I have to know. Where did the name come from? Yeah, for sure. I'm really glad you asked this question. So we were looking at it and you know, you know digital was was obvious to us right and you know we had gone through a quite a series of different names. But you know that. You know you you need to go digital to get access to data. So that you know that that was clear. And the the more interesting part of it is where did Magenta come from? Well, we we really liked this, this color. For some we were both very drawn to it and one day I came across a definition of Magenta that said what it represented was, you know, passionate, unique business, and I looked at that and said that's exactly what this is. So we, you know, went to go daddy and said what types of combinations can you know, can we get? And it spit out digital Magenta and we said let's go with it, love it. It's always fascinating to me to find out where that we're company names come from. That's a great story. So when we look out into the future, not that anybody's trying to predict the future anymore, since we all learned everything can change on a dime in the last two years. But when you look out and think about trends or even technology that's on the horizon that's going to impact the way you interact with customers, your client or how it may even impact your clients, what are you the most excited about you see coming around the bend? Yeah, this is a...

...great question. So I am actually very, very excited about this right now. So I am glad you asked so you know, we've been we've been chatting with Gardner recently and they're predicting that by two thousand and twenty five, seventy five percent of the you know, highest growth companies will shift towards a revenue operations model right and and and that's so that's a great step forward in terms of effective revenue production and and what they're saying makes revenue operations work is the connected data across the Revenue Life Cycle, which essentially is really what our initial vision was for for our concept and for our company. And you know, like I mentioned before, companies can really get ahead by being able to, you know, to do this and we're right here with an offer to help them. So I'm starting to hear a lot of leaders realizing that they need to prioritize data and analytics initiatives. You know, we you know. I'm hearing leaders say things like this is how we're going to scale. It's going to be through, you know, through becoming data driven. So with all these shifts happening, you know, I'm just so excited that we've brought this particular solution to market because I feel like it's at a time where where all these stars are aligning. I love it. I love it all right. So let's change the direction here a little bit. We ask kind of all of our guests to standard questions the end of each interview. The first is simply, as a see that makes you a back for a lot of people out there's a lot of people that want to get on your calendars. Times of one asset we can't get back. So curious to know, when somebody doesn't have a referral into you from a trusted source, what works the best for you? What he's trying to capture your attention and earn the right to time on your calendar? For sure, I love this question. It's such a great question. So I'll start off by saying that I absolutely have bought products and services that started with a cold reach out. So it's it can it can be done. You know, one thing that that I see...

...a lot right now is is people reaching out and asking to discuss partnership opportunities. And, you know, I see I don't see a lot of competitors for what we do. So I see, you know, that a lot of potential synergies with other businesses and that kind of trips me up when someone's positioning a partnership opportunity which is actually really a sales pitch. So one thing that I would say is it's okay to, you know, to say you partner with your clients and and and we do that too, but be really straightforward when you're reaching out right be clear on you know, you've identified a problem that that we have, you think you have a really great solution and and why? And and then I'm all. I'm all ears. So that that's what I would really say about that. I think I love that. All right. So last question. We call it our exception insight. There was one piece of advice, one piece of advice you could give to that's a company owners one piece that you think would make them more successful or hit their targets. What would it be? M Why? Yeah, for sure. So I have a few thoughts on this and I will definitely share those. So hitting targets is a team sport. So you know nowhere where you can make the biggest impact right on on that team. Make sure you're working for a company that has a clear strategy, serves a market need and has articulated, you know, very clear messaging and story around it. Look at your processes and be really honest about where things are going right and where things are going wrong. And you know you can spot trends. You know, our deals falling off at a certain stage in your selling process. You know, like we've seen companies, you know their deals are accelerating through and but they're dropping off at, let's just say the proposal stage. Well, is there a messaging issue right in that proposal template that the sales team is using? You know. So eventually you can capture those trends in a model and be able to share that information across your team, and this is the work that we do with clients. So if you need help with that, definitely...

...feel free to reach out. And you know, the last thing I'll say about this is don't be a bit afraid to bring new ideas to your leadership team to drive innovation in in your organization. You know I've alluded to this, but you know, as a growth leader, you can never go wrong investing in analytics initiatives. You know, once you've established it, it builds value for for you, for your team and for your organization month over month and and you're over year. Love it all right. So, Jennifer, I things interested in talking more about these topics. Are Getting in touch with you. Where would you prefer we send them? Definitely, so if anybody thinks that this is something that that can help them or something they'd like to discuss further, please send me an email. I can be reached at Jennifer Digital Magentacom. Connect me with me on Linkedin. We we can schedule a strategy call if if you think this is something that your you and your leadership team want to talk about further. There is a link in the show notes on how to do that and there's also a link to our most recent ebooks, so you can read a little bit more about this approach perfect like a diver. I can't thank you enough for taking time. It's been a blast having you on the show. Yeah, thanks so much chat. I really enjoyed it all right, everybody that does of this episode, you know the drill. Hit the website, share with friends, family co workers. If you like what you here, leave us a review on itunes. Until next time. We have value selling associates with nothing but the greatest success. You've been listening to the BB revenue executive experience. To ensure that you never miss an episode, subscribe to the show and Itunes or your favorite podcast player. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time.

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