Data-driven decision-making may be the answer to a challenge that leaders experience in today’s ever-evolving landscape. B2B tech companies face an unprecedented challenge: making critical decisions that can shape their success in an increasingly competitive market. Leaders must navigate uncharted territory, relying on solid evidence and insights rather than gut feelings or outdated practices. That’s where the power of data-driven decision-making comes into play.
In a recent episode of the Predictable B2B Success podcast, host Vinay Koshy interviews renowned guest Mark Stouse, a pioneer in bridging the gap between marketing, data science, and executive leadership. Throughout the episode, Stouse shares key insights on the importance of analytics and collaboration, shedding light on the pitfalls of relying solely on extrapolation and sales-driven culture in the B2B industry. Together, they explore a future where technology and data converge to drive decision-making that will shape the trajectory of B2B tech companies.
Embark on a journey as we delve into the realms of data-driven decision-making, dissect real-world challenges, and uncover the path to predictable success in the fast-paced world of B2B tech.
Watch the episode
About Mark Stouse
Mark Stouse is the CEO of Proof Analytics, a marketing analytics platform that aims to solve the problem of attributing ROI to marketing and sales endeavors. With his leadership and peer-headed development, Proof Analytics provides cause and effect analytics, bridging the gap between CMOS and CFOs by demonstrating the true business impact and financial worth of marketing and sales efforts.
Mark has developed a unique tool called Proof Business GPS, which guides organizations through the mapping lifecycle and offers a comprehensive view of their marketing efforts. With experience as an award-winning CMO and CCO in companies like Honeywell Aerospace, Mark’s journey to building Proof Analytics was triggered by a desire to address the challenges of data attribution in marketing and sales.
Leveraging Data Analytics for Effective B2B Decision-Making
Data analytics has become vital for making informed decisions in a rapidly evolving business landscape. In a recent episode of the “Predictable B2B Success” podcast, host Vinay Koshy and guest Mark Stouse, an expert in marketing, data science, and collaboration, discussed the power of data analytics in B2B decision-making. They explored various aspects, including the role of data science teams, the challenges faced by B2B companies, and the potential for leveraging analytics to drive success.
The Importance of Data Science and Collaboration:
Mark Stouse emphasizes that data science teams are crucial for providing business insights and analytics. However, he highlights the current frustration Chief Data Officers (CDOs) face as data science teams are being subordinated to finance teams, particularly the Financial Planning and Analysis (FP&A) teams. Stouse believes it may take five to ten years for data science teams to regain their independence, much like the past experience of Chief Information Officers (CIOs).
Stouse’s company, Proof, offers a platform that provides analytics and regression modeling, catering to companies of all sizes. For small companies, the main risk lies in making a poor choice that can waste their limited budget. On the other hand, large companies risk wasting time and missing out on valuable opportunities due to the time lag in observing the positive impact of their decisions. The Proof platform acts as a GPS, utilizing mathematical models to track and optimize choices based on forecasts and real-time data. By integrating relevant data sets and allowing for rapid collaboration between analysts and business users, Proof provides a minimum viable model that can be put into production and automatically updated with new data.
Challenges in B2B Data-Driven Decision-Making:
B2B decision-making has its challenges. Stouse points out that many B2B companies still rely on extrapolation, which fails to consider external factors. This approach has led to significant losses for companies over the past quarters. B2B companies often lack discipline, scientific approaches, and sufficient analytics knowledge. There is a prevalent emphasis on sales and product-driven culture, often based on assumptions around linearity and funnels, which are factually incorrect.
However, Stouse believes B2B companies can overcome these challenges by incorporating analytics-driven decision-making into their strategies. He is researching and writing a book on the major upheavals in B2B markets, emphasizing the need for a more scientific and data-driven approach.
The Role of Collaboration and Perspectives:
Stouse, who sits at the intersection of marketing, CMO/CEO, and data science/CDO circles, emphasizes the importance of collaboration between these areas. Collaboration is a weak point in all three circles, and Stouse positions himself as a cross-pollinator between them. Through collaboration, businesses can ensure that decisions are based on accurate data and the relevant perspectives from each functional area.
Stouse also teaches a course on collaborating with data scientists, understanding their output, and effectively utilizing analytics in daily work and life. He highlights the importance of aligning customer beliefs with the evidence provided by analytics. Businesses can enhance their decision-making processes by identifying belief-driven decision-making as a key characteristic of their ideal customer profile.
Leveraging Data Analytics:
Data analytics plays a pivotal role in decision-making. Stouse discusses the significance of having sufficient observations in a data set, typically ranging from 100 to 150. It’s essential to be aware that measuring monthly differs from measuring daily. Additionally, he explains that big data is not just about having a large amount of data; it must also meet certain criteria, such as having five or seven characteristic features.
Big data is less prevalent in pharmaceuticals, aerospace, and medical industries than in sectors like SaaS and technology. Machine learning techniques are often used to find patterns in large and complex data sets, with applications like IBM Watson and Chat GBT.
Stouse stresses the importance of clean and accurate data, particularly when dealing with smaller data sets, which he refers to as lean data. Language Learning Models (LLMs) are unsuited for lean data applications. Considering this, businesses must prioritize customer success and reduce churn by focusing on clean and accurate data.
Uncovering the Power of Analytics for Predictable B2B Business Growth
Let’s delve into the episode’s main theme and provide actionable takeaways that empower businesses to embrace analytics and drive tangible results.
The Power of Analytics in B2B:
One of the prominent discussions in the episode revolves around the significance of analytics in guiding B2B decision-making. Stouse highlights the current challenges faced by B2B companies regarding accurate forecasting, skeptical data science teams, and the subordination of analytics to finance teams. To address these challenges, businesses must understand the following actionable takeaways:
1. Embrace the Power of Forecasting:
B2B companies need to move beyond traditional extrapolation-based forecasting. The reliance on historical data alone fails to consider external factors and has led to significant losses. Prediction models, such as multivariable regression, can provide more accurate insights into cause-and-effect relationships, enabling businesses to make better decisions and drive success.
2. Foster Collaboration Across Functions:
Collaboration plays a pivotal role in leveraging analytics effectively. Stouse emphasizes the need for collaboration between business leaders, data scientists, and marketing professionals. By fostering cross-pollination between these circles, organizations can gain invaluable insights, challenge assumptions, and derive more meaningful conclusions from the data. Creating a culture of collaboration where individuals from different functions work hand in hand can drive better decision-making and ultimately lead to predictable B2B success.
3. Utilize Analytical Platforms:
To empower B2B organizations, Stouse introduces Proof, an analytics platform that offers regression modeling and integrates relevant data sets. Proof functions as a GPS, leveraging mathematical algorithms to optimize choices based on forecasts and real-time data. Embracing such agnostic platforms can help businesses make better, faster, and more cost-effective decisions. By automating and enhancing analytics output, organizations can unlock the power of data science while overcoming budget limitations and time constraints.
4. Emphasize Clean and Accurate Data:
Clean and accurate data is the foundation upon which effective analytics is built. Small and large businesses must invest in data accuracy and quality control to ensure reliable insights. While big data is valuable in certain industries, lean data sets can yield valuable results if managed precisely. Leveraging analytics, even with smaller data sets, can drive B2B success.
5. Focus on Customer Success:
While analytics can guide decision-making, the ultimate goal remains customer success and reducing churn. B2B organizations should prioritize understanding their ideal customer profile and aligning customer beliefs with analytics-backed evidence. Businesses can enhance customer experiences, improve satisfaction, and drive loyalty by making analytical insights actionable.
Unlock Your Business Potential With Data-Driven Decision-Making:
The episode featuring Mark Stouse on the “Predictable B2B Success” podcast uncovers the power of analytics, collaboration, and data-driven decision-making in the B2B space. Embracing these concepts enables businesses to tap into the true potential of analytics, fostering predictable success. By leveraging forecasting techniques, fostering collaboration across functions, utilizing analytical platforms, emphasizing clean data, and focusing on customer success, B2B organizations can harness the power of analytics to make better decisions and drive tangible results.
In the fast-paced and constantly evolving business landscape, integrating data science and analytics is not just a choice but a necessity for survival and growth. As Benjamin Franklin once said, “We shall all hang together, or we shall surely hang separately.” Collaboration and data-driven decision-making embedded in the fabric of B2B organizations can pave the way for a predictable and successful future.
So, are you ready to embark on the journey of transformative analytics and collaboration to unlock the full potential of your B2B organization? Start by embracing the actionable takeaways in this blog post and position your business at the forefront of predictive success in the B2B realm.
Some areas we explore in this episode include:
- The Historical Study of Innovation in 15th-century Italy and Germany
- Challenges faced by CDO communities in providing data insights and analytics
- Subordination of data science teams to finance teams
- The Proof platform and its capabilities in providing analytics and regression modeling
- The need for better predictions and decision-making in the current era of change and volatility
- The role of Proof as a GPS-like platform for tracking and optimizing choices based on forecasts and real-time data
- The importance of collaboration between analysts and business users in utilizing analytics
- The limitations of traditional marketing mix modeling and the solutions provided by Proof
- The shortcomings in forecasting accuracy in B2B companies and the lack of discipline in analytics knowledge
- The speaker’s experience in collaborating with data scientists and the importance of perspective in utilizing analytics.
- And much, much more.
Listen to the episode
Related links and resources
- Check out Proof Analytics
- Learn from Michael Laps – Data-Driven Decision Making Examples: How to Leverage Customer Insights to Drive Growth
- Learn more from Manasij Ganguli – How to Build a Data Driven Customer Success Program That Drives Growth
- Learn from Nabeil Alazzam – Sales Compensation: How to Craft Data Driven Plans That Drive Growth
- Discover more with Jarod Spiewak – How to Craft a Trust-Based Data Driven Marketing Strategy That Drives Growth
- Learn from Rich Edwards – How to Use Data And Personalization To Drive Growth in Financial Services
- Learn from Naira Perez – Building Community Online: How to Use a Powerful Data-Driven Approach to Drive Growth
- Check out the article – 7 Examples of Data-Driven Marketing That Inspires and Drives Growth
Connect with Mark Stouse
Subscribe to & Review the Predictable B2B Success Podcast
Thanks for tuning into this week’s Predictable B2B Podcast episode! If the information in our interviews has helped your business journey, please head over to Apple Podcasts, subscribe to the show, and leave us an honest review.
Your reviews and feedback will not only help me continue to deliver great, helpful content, but it will also help reach even more amazing founders and executives just like you!