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Metrics Require Context

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Scott Stouffer

Revenue Performance Measurement

Have you ever looked at all of the reports, dashboards, and data presented across your company and felt overwhelmed and under-informed? Today's data-driven world far too often results in a lot of data but not better decision-making or company performance. Scott Stouffer founded his first company in 1993 and has lived the reality of how Go-to-Market Strategy is not a one-time thing, but a series of iterations over time. Scott compares today's need to continuously evolve your GTM strategy much as Agile did for software development. Basically an "Agile Go-to-Market" model. The above reduces the amount of investment wasted on strategies and tactics that never provide the required return. By definition, the majority of companies will not nail the Go-to-Market motion on the first try. Examples include identifying the top Ideal Customer Profile, creating the perfect messaging and positioning strategy, or even the best sales motion to engage, interest and acquire new customers. One key to successfully using an "agile" GTM model is to limit the number of new variables you introduce at any given time. One example Scott provided was an experiment that uses "new messaging" as the only new variable and measures how that performs as measured by activity to conversation to meeting to opportunities. A key to identifying which GTM motion is working is to ensure you instrument and measure the performance metrics that provide real market feedback on the efficacy of your GTM tactic(s). This applies not only when you first enter a market with a new product, but when you enter a new market with an existing product that was successful in a different market.  The next topic we covered was the "DEFINING" moment in the podcast (11:40 in the podcast). Scott started with an analogy on how a cholesterol measurement of 50 is meaningless without context, but if you know the measurement was 45 six months ago AND the appropriate benchmark for the patient is 20-35 there is CONTEXT to the measurement (metric) and requires attention. Scott's point on "Go-To-Market Metrics Require Context" was defined by using one if not all of the following variables:  1. Time - how is the metric trending over time  2. Plan - how is the metric performing against the plan  3. Causality - what variable(s) impacts the metric  4. Significance - How does this impact our business  5. External Industry Benchmarks - how do I compare to the external market Another topic we discussed was WHEN and HOW to instrument your Go-To-Market systems to capture and then use the GTM metrics to inform decisions. Scott suggested that when a company moves beyond "Founder Led Growth" into Sales Led Growth is the time to instrument GTM metrics. One caveat was metrics become more instructive once Product Market Fit is established, and it is appropriate to scale Marketing and Sales investment. Growth efficiency, a trending topic in 2022 becomes more important once Product Market Fit is achieved and the investment in Marketing and Sales continues to increase..even in $1M - $5M ARR companies. If you are looking for ways to increase Go-to-Market efficiency and increase the value of metrics in decision-making, this conversation with Scott is amazingly informative for first-time founders and the most experienced GTM leaders.

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