It’s the most wonderful – and most quantifiable – time of the year.
You know what we’re talking about. It’s time to buckle up and comb through those year-end reports.
Thankfully, the days of manual reporting are long gone. Most sales and marketing automation tools allow fingertip access to a broad range of data sets. Even so, you can’t expect those numbers to speak for themselves.
Just like your PPC strategy, your company’s data reporting needs to inspire bold decisions for next year. How do you do that? Tell a story.
Here’s how to craft a killer story that results in better decisions and better profit margins.
Pick your players…
Every story starts with a set of characters – in data stories, those characters are your company’s most vital metrics. This can include net profit, lead conversion rate, marketing ROI and even customer reviews.
Many CRMs and marketing automation tools have a “data dashboard” where you can view key metrics at a glance. Remember, those aren’t the only metrics that matter. Snapshot data is not enough for actionable insights. Start with the dashboard, but don’t finish there.
The plot thickens…
Next, you’ll need to develop a strong plot. Think of your most challenging and successful points of your business year and mark them on your reporting. Notice anything interesting? If so, it’s time to paint a picture.
Well, not an actual picture. The key to telling an awesome story is visualization; you have to see it to believe it. Find the best way to reveal your insights. Here are a few ideas for contractors:
- Bubble maps for territory comparison
- Gantt charts for leads generated and sales closed
- Stacked bar graphs for budget distribution
You’re likely already using your CRM and marketing automation tools to generate reports on a monthly and quarterly basis. Combine those insights with visualization and you will see your data in a new way.
Tie it all together…
Data stories should end with questions that ignite good decisions. It will show you, and everyone else in the room, connections you may not have noticed before. The data doesn’t write the ending – your team does.
Put another way, a data story does not end with the question, “What are the numbers telling us?” It ends with the question, “How are these numbers driving value to our people and processes?”
The insights may surprise you – some metrics may not be as important as you thought. Weave that into your story.
It’s not an ending, it’s an opportunity…
Data reporting tools are advancing at a breakneck pace, and it’s only going to continue. Home improvement companies are wise to use this flood of technology. Unprecedented growth is, after all, unprecedented opportunity.
By creating your company’s data story now, you can accurately forecast your growth in 2020 and make the most out of new metrics as they emerge.
Who knows, maybe your company’s data story will become a bestseller for your CEO!