How to Make Data Driven Decisions that Influence Revenue

Overview 

William Tyree discusses how to get into a data driven mindset in order to influence company revenue. He talks about how to make strategic data driven decisions and what metrics to focus on while doing so. Lastly, he emphasizes the importance of team collaboration and considering input from outside the marketing team for improvement ideas.  

Guest

William Tyree is the Chief Marketing Officer at Revenue.io. He started his marketing career as a Content Manager and worked his way up until he began working at Revenue.io. For Tyree, it’s all about constant learning and trying to make an impact.  

Reference

Intro

Billy Bateman 0:01   

All right, everybody. Welcome to the podcast today. As always, I am Billy Bateman your host and today I’m joined by the one and only William Tyree CMO at Revenue.io. How you doing? Man? 

William Tyree 0:14   

I am always better when I’m talking to you, Billy. So, it’s great to see you. 

Billy Bateman 0:20   

Yeah, good to see you, man Good to see you. I’m excited, we can do this, you guys just rebranded. And that’s exciting, and congratulations on that. So, give you a chance to talk about that. But before we talk about the rebrand, let’s talk about you. For those people that don’t know who you are, tell us a little bit about yourself and, and your career, how you got to where you are as CMO? 

William Tyree 0:45   

Sure, absolutely. I think like a lot of people in marketing, I didn’t go to school for that. I never dreamed I would be probably in technology. Actually, I just wanted to be a novelist. And I thought that the fastest path to do that would be to be university professor. I imagined I’d have like, all this time in the summers to write these great books.  

And I actually started down that path I taught at the university level for about six years, spent three of those years in Flagstaff, which is like, not that far from where you are geographically. Yeah. And, and, and I loved it, it was great. But then I got stuck on one of those university committees, where I was, everybody’s got to do it, where I was editing in linguistics journal, and I was just like, why am I here? What am I doing? am I wasting my life.  

And, and so just to make it interesting for myself, I decided to digitize it. So, it was like a digital transformation project for, all these linguistics fans around the world. Anyway, I just came home one day, and I had only been married for a year, I told my poor wife, I was like, I know, you thought you were marrying professor, but actually think I, I want to be in Marctect She’s like, what’s that?  

So, butt thankfully, she was understanding we’re still married all these years later. And in and, honestly, it was that one crazy, horrible university committee that threw me into digital transformation. I from there, I kind of, like, a lot of people in marketing, I started, as a, as a Content Manager, as a copywriter worked my way up at agencies, working client projects and things like that, just, gradually kind of, worked my way up into kind of management, deploying, marketing automation and building out workflows and stuff like that.  

Then, one day, I got lucky I hooked up with, the folks at Revenue.io formerly ring DNA. And, and, just, it was one of those kind of very hands on, two people, marketing departments was zero budget. The great thing about that is you really get to learn a lot. And, and, and, it just for me, it’s just about constant learning and trying to make an impact. 

Billy Bateman 3:08   

Awesome, man, I love it. I love it. We all have, I think we all have those moments for like, is this really what I want to do? Right my life early on in your career. For most people, I think early in their career, like you start doing something you’re like, actually, I don’t think this is really what I want to do.  

Like my wife, we got when we were dating, I was working in commercial real estate. I went back to school, and the plan was gone back in and just keep moving up the ranks there. And I realized, I don’t want to do that. So, we went down this whole tech and marketing path. And my wife was pretty cool. She was like, yeah, if you’re not happy, like, Let’s do something else. 

William Tyree 3:53   

That’s awesome. I do look at you now. I mean, you’ve you’re a marketing expert, you’ve got this awesome podcast, and you’re, you’re an ops expert, too. You probably would never would have picked that out in a million years. 

Billy Bateman 4:04   

No, no, not at all. Man. So, tell us about you used to be ring DNA now? revenue.io?  

William Tyree 4:13   

Yep. 

Billy Bateman 4:13   

Tell it for those that don’t know about what you guys do, like, give us the rundown? And what’s new at Revenue.io? 

William Tyree 4:21   

Yeah, sure. Um, I mean, short story is, we optimize high performing teams with, real time guidance. I think that, what, sales teams, CX teams, marketing teams, they, they use our platform for customer engagement. And then what we do is, we capture all the engagement data, we analyze it, and then we serve as a recommend what works best in key moments.  

So, like examples of that are, let’s say that you’re a sales rep and, you’re an SDR hardest job in America, I think, right. And you’re pounding the phones, and you get somebody on and they ask you a really tough question about a competitor, the, the Revenue.io will actually, recommend what to say, it’ll pop some battle cards, talking points, in real time, same thing for, any kind of sales objection. So, in that kind of that kind of advice can be tailored toward, conversations along the opportunity pipeline, it’s all different for every path, every business.  

But then I also think just, other example is said, you are a sales manager, you’re trying to figure out how to coach your team, it’s, it’s next best actions just throughout your day, in terms of, hey, you might want to pay attention to this or to that, or, here’s somebody who’s really crushing, like a benchmark that they put in front of them, pay attention to this. So just really, what we’re trying to do is, is eliminate guesswork. And, and, just reveal what works. 

Billy Bateman 6:06   

I love it, man. I love it. Y’all. Str agree, it is extremely tough job even being an A not an easy job at all, like, when other people are like, Man, why do they even have such this big upside on earning? It’s like, well, you go do that job. And you can, you can make it. So, I love it, man. What we wanted to talk about today, we, we had a few different ideas, but the one we really liked was how do you make data driven decisions that influence revenue as the marketing team like?  

Like, we all know, hey, if you don’t produce the leads, sales are not going to be happy, they’ll be the first ones to let the leads are no good, or there’s not enough. But how do you use data to really, really make the decisions that are going to influence revenue, not just the leads, because we can get really short sighted, I think, in just Oh, we got to produce x number of leads. But are they the good leads? So, I’m going to just leave it to you for a minute. And, this is your, your philosophy on what we can do. And what do you think? Or where do we start with that? 

How to Make Strategic Data Driven Decisions

William Tyree 7:17   

Yeah, I think that my, my answer to that it by the way, it’s an awesome question. And I think my answer that question would probably be slightly different. Almost like every couple of years, you would have asked me over the last decade? Yeah. and I think one of the really significant things is that, that, that anybody entering marketing now, doesn’t have to deal with is like a war between sales and marketing in a b2b environment. 

If you kind of look at, I mean, we’re really in what I’m what most people are calling a rev ops era, right now, where people are, like, hey, how can I make it so that marketing, sales and success, really kind of focus as one entity, essentially, that’s just all going through the same goal, because it’s its life is better for everybody, when you’re operating that way, if you’re all looking at the same data, it’s better. And, and, it just makes all the sense in the world for efficiency. And, the data pretty much proves out that even if you’re organized like that, from a from a company standpoint, with a common target, common goals that you tend to do better.  

So, so I think that’s great. But I mean, let’s talk about a couple specific examples I in and I really think it’s all about those kinds of insights and sharing those. I run a super transparent program. So, every two weeks, the, the marketing team, most people in the marketing team, they’ll present a couple slides, and it’s an open meeting where anybody from the company can show up. And, and, I think that a lot of people that that might sound like a nightmare. But it’s actually kind of amazing, because what we do is I make sure like our head of Reb Ops is there. 

Our, the SDR director is there.  our VP of sales is there. And they’re all there. And it’s cool, because, yes, we’re presenting what we’re working on, but the good news is we’re presenting, common goals, right? Hey, here’s a campaign. We’re all working on it.  here’s some operational steps that we’re all working on. Sometimes it gets really wonky, really like, it’s like, hey, the MQL definition, we worked together to redefine it. So, our lead quality would be higher. 

And like to today, actually, it was one of those things where in that meeting, I said, hey, look at this, it looks actually like the ratio of marketing qualified leads to, meetings. It has actually like, improved by double digits since we made a couple changes, and those people are in that meeting, so that we can all then like say, well, why do we think, what do we think is making that impact, we can kind of look at data. So, I think part of its transparency, and part of it is just is actually having, like the data that you all share. So, you have a common view of what’s going on. 

Billy Bateman 10:17   

I agree with you on that, so we don’t do a dedicated marketing meeting, but every week marketing, sales, customer success, we all share our metrics, and anyone can ask questions, and sometimes the questions and like, wow, I would have, I would have never thought to ask that question and just get a new set of eyes. And you got any one of the companies there. And they all had different questions.  the engineers, sometimes they’ll ask the best questions, and they’re not even marketers. 

William Tyree 10:48   

Completely. 

Billy Bateman 10:49   

So, let me ask you this, which metrics? And what kinds of data do you like to look at that you found, at least like, 10 years ago is probably different than now. But in the last year or two, what have you found? Like, I need to look at these numbers, to really have a good idea of are we driving success? 

What Metrics and Data to Focus On for Success

William Tyree 11:08   

Yeah. I think that that one thing that’s super important for us is actually segmentation in terms of business size. So, for example, I know almost every b2b marketers, like looking at how much pipeline they’re driving, how many qualified opportunities they’re driving? for us, I think we figured out certain things with the business in terms of sweet spots of company sizes that we want to be selling to. 

Yeah, and so for us, it’s like, yeah, great. We drove pipeline, we drove some deals, but what, like, what size? Are those deals? Like,  is there a correlation between all the way down to the kind of the lead level, versus the meeting level? And the, and the opportunity, and then close revenue? Like, is there consistency throughout? And really kind of looking at those, the, the size of business, we’re driving the size of the opportunities?  

So that’s a really big one that is not important to every business. But I think it’s, I think it’s, it’s a really good thing to pay attention to.  it’s kind of like the ultimate extension of where you start marketing, which is looking at personas. Yeah, what’s our ideal customer, but then be able to kind of track that with metrics all the way through, it’s really powerful. 

Billy Bateman 12:29   

Yeah, I think a lot of us, we have these personas, like, this is our ideal customer. But when you get down to the data, like who actually turns into your customers, so like, you actually have it, right. It’s something I always I like, even with our own data, I’m looking at it I’m like, okay, I think we I think we have it right. But I see some outliers, they don’t they don’t check the boxes we were talking about.  

William Tyree 12:57   

You’re totally right in in look, sometimes those outliers can be really illuminating. I think, like, I’ve been in a couple situations where you see outliers, and sometimes it’s fool’s gold. Because sometimes people get excited, they’re like, oh, my God, like we just close all these deals in manufacturing, or whatever it is, right?  

let’s marshal resources toward that, because it’s an underserved market. And sometimes that’s really a great thing to discover. It’s ultimately kind of a team decision. On the other hand, sometimes you’re right, the, the outliers can, can, kind of sit can kind of preview your strategy right or wrong either way, once you kind of look at its long term. 

Billy Bateman 13:40   

So, it sounds like company size. When you guys’ segment, you arrived at that as a huge indicator, probably maybe one of your top indicators. How did you get to that where you realized, it’s not necessarily industry, or age, or the company or location, it’s really company size that we got to, we got to dig into and tailor things to? 

William Tyree 14:04   

I think that there’s a, again, every business is different. But I think that for us, there’s a huge part of, of, of being able to sell into companies with a, at least a reasonably mature operations team. Right? And that’s because I think it’s value. It’s about value.  

I mean, like when one of the things that people really like about revenue.io Is that like, if your goal is to give your entire company, a common view of the customer, and be able to say like, hey, we had engagement with a support rep, I’m here with that customer. I need to make sure that marketing on this is on the same page, to be able to create sort of predictable, predictive insights on those kinds of things. And I think for operations people are really going to kind of appreciate it.  

So, I think I think for us, it’s just about kind of looking at who do we make impact for beyond just like the obvious? Yeah, who’s who in for me, like, that’s amazing because operations, people, like in most b2b organizations, those are the real heroes, that are really kind of like making everything possible making everything happen in this kind of data, first world. So, for us, it’s really like, hey, what, what’s a reasonably mature company look like, in certain industries, where the people who actually like are owning your product, can really kind of appreciate it. So, for us, that was that was a really big, decision point. 

Billy Bateman 15:46   

I like it, man, I like it. So, what advice do you have for anybody that’s like, maybe new to a role marketing team? And they’re like, okay, like, I have some data, who knows how good it is, but I have some, what am I going to? How am I going to use this to make decisions on? Do we focus on content through, paid search, or just some classic email on demand? Gen. What advice do you have for anybody trying to get more in this data driven mindset if they’re not already there? 

How to Get In a Data Driven Mindset

William Tyree 16:15   

I think the first thing is really basic, which is to divorce yourself from the idea that you’re going to use the data to tell a story internally. So, for example, I think that that’s one of the common mistakes I see from maybe, early career marketers, is they’re looking for it’s almost like they’re in high school or college, and they’re writing an essay. And they’re looking for, like, evidence that the story’s adding up, right? 

And I think I think that that’s, that’s what those things where it’s really hard to get away from that. But it what it gives us is it gives us optimism bias. And I think it’s more like, let’s go into it more like an anthropologist or more like a scientist, and say, and say, hey, let’s go in with without any preconceived notions. And say, like, what is really working? what is not working? And what’s not? What are we not sure about? And by the way, it’s okay to not be sure about 80% of things at the beginning, those lead to follow up questions like, okay, what do we need to measure so I can be surer about those things? 

Billy Bateman 17:24   

Yeah. I love it, man. Yeah, I think, I think you’re 100% Right. A lot of us, we are like, okay, here’s the story, we’re going to tell what’s find the data. And we may adjust the story a little bit, depending on what the data tells us. So how would you and I think it’s human nature? Like, we want to tell stories, that’s, that’s what people do? Write? Um, how do you get in that mindset of like, an anthropologist, when you’ve got this data? 

William Tyree 17:50   

Yeah, I think there’s a kind of a basic questions list essentially. Is like saying, okay, like, what does this appear to show? what, what, what might it show? and what can we what can we learn from this, Ya know, and, and then I think there’s also a consult consultation with other people. And this is what we talked about earlier about having some really good partners, across other departments, hopefully, ops team or, analysts around the company, or sometimes even finance can be an unlikely seeming partner.  

If you’ve got to control your trust, or VP of Finance, you trust and say, hey, I just love you to take a look at this and see what conclusions they draw. Because you were saying before that sometimes, like developers, with their mindset, they typically have a more scientific mindset. Sometimes they have some of the greatest questions, or greatest recommendations, I think it’s really kind of saying, Look, we’re the creative, often we’re the kind of the creative folks that kind of like, then got into science, trying to look at, like, consult some of those more numbers first people and see what conclusions they draw.  

I think that’s a great way and then gradually, we kind of get trained as marketers, to be a little bit more like them. And then hopefully, you’re you get kind of this ambidextrous brain going, where you’ve got the creative and the analytical, kind of going back and forth all the time. 

Billy Bateman 19:25   

Yeah. I love the idea of bringing somebody in who’s not even in marketing or sales and just saying, okay, here’s the data I’ve got, what do your think’s working or not working? Or, or what are we find out of this? I love that idea. Oh, man, that’s a good one. So, before I let you go, William, is there any question that I should have asked you, but I didn’t about this? 

William Tyree 19:50   

Gosh, I don’t know. I’m more curious to ask you a question, which is okay yeah, that’s me. I mean, I mean, you’ve had a long-term career like what are some things Your favorite kind of insights that you try to draw from data that try to make, things go better in a b2b organization? 

Looking Outside of the Marketing Team for Ideas to Improve

Billy Bateman 20:09   

Yeah, that is a good question. I think some of the thing I like what you’re talking about, like bringing in people that are not really close to the situation, and not necessarily a stakeholder, when you’re unsure what to do, is, is really good. Like, you got to trust him.  

But I have a similar thing, whether it’s marketing, or just like, hey, what should we do on our customer success or something like that, bringing in somebody from the outside to just say, here’s what’s going on, maybe you have data, maybe you don’t, maybe you just do, like, this is what we’re seeing, we don’t have any hard numbers, but this is going on, and getting a perspective of somebody who’s just pressed to it. That helps a lot whenever you’re trying to solve problems and like, business is just constantly solving problems and challenges.  

So that’s one of my favorite things to do. Another thing is, just be open, like you were saying, to not necessarily know the answer and work backwards to it, but to say, okay, like, there’s obviously a problem at this point, or this process, whether that’s like, we send the email, like from marketing, we’ve got a list, these look like our ideal buyer, or making them a great offer, we put them in our drip campaign, or whatever it is, and they’re coming to the website, but nobody’s doing anything, like, or, like, the conversion rate is just so low that it doesn’t like, are we wasting our time?  

Going in and just being open to like, okay, does the landing page suck? Or does he match up with the email, like, these are the basic things as marketers, like, we kind of know, to ask these questions, but you got to constantly go back and look at what you’re doing. And, and say, like, okay, we’ve been doing something, maybe even for years. And it’s worked great at certain points and kind of worked. But is there something better we could be doing?  

Like, don’t I hate when we get into the, we’ve always done it this way. And even that could be a year or two years or for longer? Lives? Organization? 10 years, like we’ve been doing this and it works. Like, but should we be doing it? Like I think every so often, you’ve got to come in? And you’ve got to ask those questions. And like, sometimes the answer is yes. Like, we should keep doing this. And oftentimes, it’s yes, but we need to adjust here and here.  

Sometimes you just need to be open to like, even if it’s like a founder who came up with this thing. And it worked at one point, saying, it doesn’t work anymore, like people are not responding to this, like, for whatever reason, like things have changed. Like, it doesn’t work, and being okay saying, okay, like, let’s stop doing this, and let’s do something else and, and put our resources to better use. But you’ve got to always just be open to, to change and figuring out what is what is actually working and what’s not working, but has potential to work and what just doesn’t have potential anymore. 

William Tyree 23:27   

It could not agree more. Absolutely love that. And I mean, when you said, well, we’ve always done it this way. That’s got to be one of my biggest pet peeves. Yeah, I think that’s one of the things that there’s definitely something to be said for consistency. If something is working, and it’s still working, optimize it.  

But yeah, by all means, keep going. But you’re completely right. And I think, I think sometimes, that’s why, like a new person in a marketing organization can be so effective. Yes. Because they’re, they’re not, they’re not really tied to or emotionally connected to what worked in the past. 

Billy Bateman 24:07   

Oh, yeah. I mean, they are great. Whether in like, if you’re in an organization that use it, like you sell a SaaS product, and you use your own product, whenever you have a new employee that you’re putting onto your product, you should be asking them a ton of questions about what they think, because you’ve got like this 90-to-120-day window, when they’re like brand new, and they’re just like, oh, well, I love this, but like, why doesn’t it work this way?  

Like, I think it should work this way. And that’s some of the best product research you can get, I think because you’re not like at your customer’s office, seeing how they use it. But if you put down your own people, whether you’ve got a marketing or sales product, or even an accounting product, just like sit down, see how your own people use your product and You can solve a ton of problems before they, they even get out to your users. Or maybe they’ve been out there and your users have just become kind of like, well, this is how it works, you know? And solve it and make their life a little easier. 

William Tyree 25:15   

Exactly. 

Billy Bateman 25:18   

Oh, hey, William, dude, this has been great. And I hope I hope you’re able to get out and do some fishing and then if people want to get in touch with you and continue the conversation, what is the best way for them to reach out? 

William Tyree 25:33   

They can reach out to me directly on LinkedIn. Yeah, I, I love getting, engaging conversations from people there so that’s great. Also in pavilion, if anyone’s a member of that, so 

Billy Bateman 25:48   

Awesome. All right, William. We’ll check out later man. 

William Tyree 25:52   

Thank you so much. Talk to you soon.