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The three types of dashboards every B2B SaaS startup needs

These three dashboard types will help you drive results and get accurate insights into your team's progress and performance.


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Sales and marketing need to work in sync for a B2B SaaS startup to scale. Brand message needs to be developed and content created and delivered on the appropriate cadence and through the appropriate channels. Sales need to establish a process for nurturing marketing qualified leads and closing deals.

Without these aligned processes, marketing can provide the wrong kind of leads for sales, and won’t receive insight into the pains of prospects that sales can provide.

The best way to align sales and marketing is to ensure that you are prepared with insights to kick off and ask the right questions. In this article, we‘ll focus on managing the rhythm of your business from a sales perspective. That’s where dashboards and team meetings come into play.

Using dashboards and data efficiently

Within a B2B SaaS business, there is a running stream of information that requires immediate action. How can you help a substantial lead become unstuck in your funnel? Should you take advantage of a discount media deal? Should you take the opportunity to fill an unexpected trade show opening?

Beyond this, you must plan every facet of your business: the quarterly budget, potential future hiring, your current employees, scaling clients… The list goes on and on. 

The key to success is to know what information is important right now and what information will be important later. This brings us to your three most important dashboards to will help track your brand’s progress are: 

Status

This area zeroes in on the status of sales and marketing now, this week. Status should cover everything that’s driving the business.

For example - 

  • What’s the state of your sales funnel? 
  • Where are people getting stuck in your funnel, and what can you do about it? 
  • Where should you cut bait on an opportunity that’s not a good fit or that’s draining your resources?
  • What are you forgetting? 
  • Are there current activities you need to monitor? 
  • What about that lead that came in two days ago in an RFP? 
  • When is your proposal due? 
  • Who’s taking the lead on that?

Finally, there’s this question: who needs help? Not that you want to call out anyone in front of the team, but what’s hot that may need extra support? Should a salesperson need guidance, handle that in a one-on-one meeting.

Status is all about fixing the clogs in your funnel that is happening at this moment in time.

Strategy

If the status is the state of items as they are now, strategy is the future state. Typically, these items don’t change weekly and may include channel benchmarks, forecast input, resource and territory planning, campaign strategy, etc.

Questions you should address are: 

  • When you think of funnel performance, how are items tracked from specific channels?
  • How are leads from other events and campaigns performing compared to those coming organically to your website?
  • Which channels or campaigns are performing compared to previous quarters? Where is this change coming from?
  • What key data points will you cite at your next board meeting?
  • How do you think the progress will affect financial forecasts?
  • What action needs to be taken to meet growth goals?

How do you use new information to deploy your resources, your territory planning, etc.? Which account manager should be responsible for what part of the market? What campaigns should you be running based on the data you have? What have you learned in the last week or the last few months? 

Check in on these types of issues on a monthly or quarterly cadence when you have high-quality data and can invest the time to have well-informed conversations about strategy.

Scrutiny

As mentioned previously, status is how you keep things moving, and strategy is how you plan. Scrutiny is how you hold people accountable for assignments, deadlines missed, and the like. An excellent example of this would be the number of calls your salespeople are tasked to make every day.

Think of this type of dashboard as “inspecting what you expect.” It’s not always easy to measure results when you hire people for performance, especially outsourced teams, and your team should know what you expect from them upfront. First, note the metrics by which you will be evaluating performance such as outbound leads, discovery calls, and demos scheduled, and then set weekly, monthly, and quarterly goals associated with them.

Just as your team should know what you expect, you should know how they’ve performed. Instead of calling attention to someone’s poor performance in a team meeting, bring your concern to the team member in a supportive way. Where are the sticking points that are holding back your operations? What can you do to help them out?

Leveling up with dashboards

You can create these dashboards using your software services for tracking, for example, HubSpot or filter and organize them on a spreadsheet. Dashboards are a great way to get insights into your progress and also identify actionability. To get started, check out our blog on how to set up your first marketing dashboard. Additionally, these are 5 principles of KPI’s you must track on your dashboards.

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