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Revenue Strategy

Developing a Single Source of Revenue Truth in Complex Data Environments

Heather Holst-Knudsen
August 8, 2023

There is often confusion about being data-driven. Simply using tools like CRM or BI does not automatically make you data-driven. True data-driven organizations have the ability to effortlessly generate accurate, real-time data insights with a push of a button.

Recently, H2K Labs hosted the first Revenue Room™ Bootcamp focused on developing a single source of revenue truth in complex data environments. I invited Chad Rose, the CEO of Treehouse Technology Group (the developers of Insightify by H2K Labs, to join me and add more depth to technology and data-related discussion points.

The Revenue Room™  Bootcamp covered:

  • The fundamentals of developing a single source of truth in your revenue organization
  • Data-Driven Value Creation
  • Steps to Develop a Single Source of Revenue Truth
  • Potential landmines
  • Tech and Tools

The Problem

Many companies think of themselves as data-driven. Many have invested in business intelligence technology and have hired data science teams. Despite these investments, many are still manually creating reports, do not have a single source of truth, and have not operationalized data across the organization. Revenue is being left on the table, and unnecessary money is being spent.

In industries like marketing services, encompassing media, events, digital information, and marketing intelligence, it becomes evident that the problem runs deeper.

  1. NOT INVITED: The revenue organization was not invited to the data table. Many organizations we work with invested heavily in marketing and first party data, but for some reason, the side of the house in charge of selling was left high and dry.
  2. FEAR OF CHANGE: Sales processes are often entrenched in outdated principles, held back by a pervasive fear of change. There seems to be an unwarranted belief that by modernizing revenue operations, we are threatening stability, inevitably affecting sales outcomes. Moreover, there's an apprehension about being exposed or held responsible for the results. However, let's confront the reality. When we have real-time insights into revenue, pipeline, customers, and product performance, it brings forth a heightened sense of accountability.
  3. DATA-AWARE vs. DATA-DRIVEN: There is often a lot of confusion surrounding being data-driven. Simply using tools like Salesforce, Salesforce Revenue Intelligence Cloud, Domo, Tableau, or PowerBI does not automatically make you data-driven. True data-driven organizations have the ability to effortlessly generate accurate, predictive, and prescriptive forecasts, empowering their revenue-critical teams to sell better, sell faster, and ultimately, increase wallet share. Merely being data-aware is not enough; true data-driven success requires more.

A recent Harvard Business Review study revealed how over 360 executives use AI and analytics to power decision-making  and thrive in crises.

Today, if you're going to compete and thrive, becoming truly data-driven is a critical and vital part of your strategy. Data is the driving force behind all business decisions made today. Many organizations acknowledge that they need data. However, they don't structure their processes around using data effectively. Many companies silo their data, with each department operating with separate data and without communication. This results in massive inefficiencies and losses in revenue.

The answer to this problem is a data transformation strategy. And that has to start with developing a single source of truth.

What is a single source of truth?

A single source of truth (SSOT) is when all company data can be found on a centralized platform. At H2K Labs, we emphasize a subset of SSOT called a single source of revenue truth or SSORT. An SSORT strategy keeps all data connected to customers and revenue on a central platform.

The more complex your data asset is, the more key information can be lost due to a lack of communication and inefficiency. To acquire, retain, and grow revenues in a scalable and profitable fashion, revenue organizations must have an SSORT strategy at the center of their data strategy. 

In industries with high data liquidity and complexity levels, as exemplified by media, events, and , developing a single source of revenue truth requires unifying, cleansing, connecting, and blending data from inside and outside the CRM. It's no small effort. However, the benefits include:

  • Macro view of customer engagement, revenue traction and predictive insights to help prepare for economic downturns or fluctuations
  • Single view of the customer across divisions, brands, channels, and regions
  • Real-time predictive analytics, especially around customer retention and expansion or the reverse, churn
  • Identification of product, program, and contract performance risks in time to pivot and improve
  • Data empowered sales teams to improve customer value proposition, deal activation, deal acceleration, and win rates

An SSORT strategy enables real-time value creation, data-driven decision-making, and waste reduction, enabling smoother operations and more efficient resource allocation.

Single Source of Revenue Truth - SSORT

Landmines to Avoid

Maximizing the effectiveness of an SSORT strategy requires balance. Organizations with large and complex data sets must be intentional with the data they utilize. Executing an SSORT strategy isn't a one-time solution. It requires continuous improvement and evaluation to ensure the right data is not only collected and normalized but blended and curated to drive the insights required to achieve results. 

A few landmines discussed during the Bootcamp included:

  • IT owning the data strategy
  • Boiling the ocean and not using a Quick Win approach
  • Wrong data in/wrong data out
  • Taking a once-and-done approach
  • Not gaining consensus/resistance to change
  • Not identifying the “saboteurs” or blockers in the room

And there are more.

The group also discussed the importance of data democratization. Empowering all functional team members to use data to make decisions as part of daily workflow not only improves business outcomes but organically develops data literacy and skills. 

Studies, like the HBR 2023 Study for Google Cloud, show:

  • 91 percent of organizations agree that democratizing access to data and analytics is vital for their success.
  • 76 percent of organizations agree that democratizing access to AI tools is crucial.

Tech & Tools

The ultimate purpose of an SSORT strategy is to increase efficiency and maximize value creation. 

To achieve a successful SSORT strategy, the following platforms and tools are required:

  • Data Warehouse
  • ELT/RELT/Data Sanitizing
  • Data Access & Data Management
  • Display & Analysis(BI)
  • Predictive(ML/AI)

These tools will help organizations save time, simplify the complexity of calculations, and provide support to staff.

In environments with significant data complexity, your goal should be to uncomplicate the data stack and find end-to-end solutions that offer Tesla-level capabilities and are built for business users like Insightify . 

Single Source of Truth - SSOT

Understanding the value of data

The strategy of winners is to capitalize on the data surrounding revenue, customer segments, product formats, brands, divisions, and distribution channels. An SSORT strategy will enable continuous value creation, increased profitability, and operational efficiency.

 Is your business ready to transform revenue growth and improve profitability through data-driven strategies? 

Please join us in The Revenue Room™ for our next Bootcamp, Using Predictive Analytics to Manage Risk and Capture Opportunity, on September 21, 2023, from 12-1 pm EST. We will discuss how predictive analytics is a valuable tool for revenue generation. 

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