For people who have worked with me before, it’s no secret that I place immense value on data-driven decision-making. As Peter Drucker once said, “You can´t manage what you can´t measure”.
While I acknowledge that business is not solely defined by numbers, I couldn’t help but wonder if our Presales efforts were truly yielding results. After all, our primary goal is to drive revenue and ensure profitable growth. So, I asked a simple question: “How can we sell more with the same number of Presales?”
The more I talked about this, I realized quickly that the opinions on this matter were diverse. Certain individuals maintained that Presales solely impacted the Technical Win, whereas others contended that revenue evaluation failed to accurately measure the multifaceted contributions of Presales, particularly in light of the function’s increasing involvement in the upward trajectory of the sales funnel. Yet, I firmly believe in keeping things simple and aligning our efforts with the ultimate business objective: earning profits. If we start from scratch, why not adopt the most fundamental perspective? Are we actively contributing to the company’s revenue goals? And can we achieve more with the same investments?
Recognizing that our most significant investment is in people, it seemed logical to measure revenue or bookings per Presales member. However, I prefer not to reduce this to an individual level, as I firmly believe in the effectiveness of teamwork and collaboration, which often lead to success through collective effort. I have witnessed numerous instances where people work together and support each other, not for personal gain but for the sake of achieving a common goal.
The idea of Revenue per Presales or Bookings per Presales as key performance indicators (KPIs) surfaced, promising insights into our efficiency and the effectiveness of our initiatives. These KPIs would help determine whether we could grow revenue or bookings while maintaining the same headcount. In my opinion, these KPIs would be a litmus test for the impact of our efforts.
Now came the challenging part—ensuring we had reliable data to calculate these KPIs. This is where IFS Cloud proved to be a game-changer. With all the essential data in one centralized platform, IFS Cloud became our one-stop-shop for all the information needed. The platform provided us with up-to-date data on bookings, revenue, and corresponding headcount, allowing us to calculate our KPIs effortlessly. With the use of IFS Cloud´s embedded analytics, we have been enabled to create intuitive dashboards, presenting our progress and evolution over time in a visually appealing manner.
The real power of this approach became apparent as we began monitoring our investment’s success and assessing performance throughout the year. By comparing each month or quarter with the one from previous years, we gained valuable insights into the success of our initiatives. Our regional leadership also benefited from this data-driven approach, as they could benchmark their performance against other regions or dive into country-specific details.
Reflecting on the journey, lately, I’m often reminded of a famous quote by John Wannamaker, a famous merchant from the late 1800s, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half.” The same sentiment can be applied to our Presales initiatives; despite a strong gut feeling about their efficiency, we have the opportunity to truly leverage the operational data to gain a deeper understanding of the impact on our KPIs. Identifying the initiatives with the most significant influence will ensure we are getting the most out of our investment.
Looking ahead, these questions will be for the future me to answer, and I welcome any suggestions to shed light on how to really determine the multifaceted impact of initiatives and the macroeconomic environment to our strategic KPIs. Embracing a data-driven approach has already proven to be transformative for our Presales efforts, and I’m excited about leveraging its full potential to drive us toward greater success. After all, the journey to data-driven decision-making is a continuous reinvention, and with each step, we gain new insights to achieve operational excellence.