A guide to data-driven decision making

Data is integral in founders’ decisions, from marketing to sales and beyond. B2B SaaS companies now have more access to data than ever before and use it to leverage their sales. But how can data-driven decision-making boost your sales and lead to smart processes designed to win?  

What is data-driven decision-making?

Data can help businesses make choices based on tangible evidence.  Even if you don’t have a lot of data in the early days, establishing the difference between what is known and what is assumed can significantly shape your growing business.

Data-driven decision making involves grouping historical information together to analyse trends and make future decisions based on past success. So it’s the opposite of making decisions based on gut feelings, opinions or personal experiences. 

 How has it evolved? 

We’re far away from the days of manual data collection. Now, there are tools to gather, process and manage data seamlessly. Therefore allowing for measurable business objectives and KPIs. Although the new risk is too much data, and not getting overwhelmed. 

Every step is goal-oriented, with data insights influencing decision-making based on verified information. Hard numbers give companies an understanding of their setups and the behaviour of target markets.  

The opportunity to make data-driven decisions shouldn’t be ignored. Whether it’s collecting data on who is using your website and how, measuring conversion rates and collecting key data points through the process, or collecting client satisfaction information, all of these can be used to inform and shape the strategy for how you develop your business.

Why is data-driven decision-making important?

Data gives you real insights and predictions. Use these to optimise performance, test the success of different strategies and make smarter business decisions that lead to sustainable growth. You will see what’s working in your business, what’s not and they can also indicate to you why not.

Benefits of data-driven decision-making include:

  • Sustained growth – companies can hone in on key insights based on different functions, operations and activities
  • Knowledge and innovation – reports show that companies using data benefited from 4% higher productivity and 6% higher profits
  • New partnerships – businesses’ decisions based on data often lead to new opportunities and partnerships
  • Improved communication – a data-driven mindset typically leads to better communication, especially when it’s fed from the top down
  • More flexibility – having access to data points allows your startup to pivot if necessary. You can be more agile and ready to embrace change. 

How to become data-driven

So what steps do you need to take to become a data-driven decision-making company?

  • Invest in the tools 
  • Set an objective 
  • Benchmark and look for patterns

Essentially, data analysis is finding patterns that give you more insights. But these patterns can be found anywhere. You should take a more analytical approach to every aspect of your business. When it comes to sales, pour over every detail. How long it takes to move a client through the funnel? What different outreach methods are most effective?

Ensuring every decision relates to data

Avoid relying on gut instinct or past behaviour when making decisions. Apply an analytical mindset and identify how data can inform your next move. If there’s no data available, think of a way to collect it so processes can be more refined and based on facts. 

Visualise data

Being analytical doesn’t mean forgoing creativity. Taking meaning from a bunch of numbers and tables can be tricky, so you should use data visualisation techniques to bring the numbers on a page to life. From creating graphs to picturing how results might look in real life, being able to visualise data can be a difference-maker in your decisions.

Always improve

How we collect data continues to change, and so take an educational approach so that you’re constantly evolving. This is especially true for sales, where slight tweaks in techniques can be the difference between converting a lead and missing out altogether. 

It’s all in the data

Making decisions based on data breeds more confidence and is sustainable in the long term. Looking at your sales through the prism of data, you can create a strategy filled with deep insights, fact-led approaches and more precision, leading to new clients and better revenue results.

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