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This is a slide you can use in the beginning of the session.
Welcome everyone. I’m excited that you’re here this morning to discuss and share about growing your business. My name is…We’d like to start at a high-level, at strategy. How can you take your business to the next level? How can you position yourself for long-term growth? I’d like to invite USC professor Steven Mednick to the stage to discuss his talk, using entrepreneurial tools to realize long-term growth. Steven is [bio points on Steven].Steven?
Thank you Steven.As he showed, there are many ways to use your entrepreneurial roots to take your business to another level. I’d like to show you how we, and all of you, used data to grow our business. And I’ll do that by showing you how we drove sales using data.[introduce yourself]
Our story is actually very closely tied to who we are as a company. Our mission is to help people see and understand their data. We believe that there is a lot of insight and power to be gained by everyone using data more throughout their entire organization.
To that end, we’ve designed three products. The first is Tableau Desktop, which is a new way explore and visualize data. The technology came out of Stanford and was built on the idea that anyone should be able to analyze data without having to program. If you have a question, you should be able to find an answer. In some of my examples today, I’ll be using this product in particular.
We also built a product called Tableau Server, a platform for sharing dashboards and content through web browsers and mobile devices.
And the third, which we actually just released less than a month ago, is Tableau Online, which is Tableau Server running in the cloud.
Why have we built a business around data? Why do we believe that using data is critical to growing a company and driving it forward? The short of it is that data is a resource that you have, and asset that you didn’t have when you began as a company, and if you use it, it can be an incredible advantage as you strive to grow.One of Steven’s 10 rules is to tell what you know and not what you think. Data can be a powerful source of that knowledge. It’s concrete evidence you can use to inform your strategies and decisions, and wouldn’t you want to everyone to be making decisions based on knowledge and not just their thoughts?
What is visual analysis? We believe it is a cycle that involves exploring many unknowns. You may not even know the questions you want to ask. But you do have data—a tremendous resource that you did not have when you first started your company.
And you can use that data in all parts of your company. At the highest level, to understand your current market on a deep level and discover new opportunities. In a mid level, in creating actual plans and models. And at the deepest, most individual level—helping you execute your plans better and with more effectiveness.
I’ll walk through an example of how my sales team did all three. We found new markets by segmenting our current ones and understand what made them tick. Then, we used data to develop sales teams and distribute resources. Then, we used data to build a culture that enabled people to answer questions themselves, and make informed decisions without having to ask for help.And while my data is sales focused, remember that regardless of your industry, you all have data, and it is equally applicable to all parts of your organization.
Let’s start at the high-level, how you can use data to make high-level, strategic decisions.
One way to find new growth opportunities, is really dive into what you already. Understand your current market, and understand it deeply, because you might find things you didn’t know about. We sure did.After acquiring a very strong customer base, we anecdotally understood the various markets. We were constantly finding new opportunities, but that doesn’t mean we weren’t missing out on others, or not performing as effectively as possible. That’s where our data came in, and we knew we needed to deeply understand how our sales were doing across all different metrics, even ones we didn’t think of. You can slice data by product, geography, industry, company size, there’s so many different ways, and they lead to different patterns.Confirm findings with any anecdotal knowledge you have. That’s what makes working with data more powerful—it works in tandem with your qualitative reasoning.
Let me show you we did this to create a new team.SME example. Lots of overall growth. Lots of growth in between our two teams. Well great, keep things the way they are? Maybe not. Let’s keep slicing and dicing, we need to see how stuff looks in all areas if we want to find new ways to continue growth. Never be satisfied.Break down by company size. Well, for one, some large accounts are still sticking in commercial, and some small in enterprise. Not great idea, accounts aren’t getting routed properly. We can make our process even more efficient.Here’s another funny thing. It seems that are top commercial accounts aren’t growing as much. Enterprise saw this and actually suggested they take over. But then commercial pushed back—small enterprise accounts aren’t growing as much—they should take that.Well, turns out, maybe there’s a third option.
And that’s where we said, you know, we do need to shift accounts—and create a third team. An SME team. We can now focus on the needs of SMEs. By focusing, we realized they were different. They had different needs.For example, they really wanted to have some cloud products. We didn’t have that. They wanted a product that required less IT, because they had enterprise needs, but didn’t have the IT support for it—yet (and wouldn’t for several years). They had needs that some of our products didn’t quite hit. So we decided we needed a new one, one that hit the needs such as cloud, fast deployment, needs, little IT, allowed people to work anywhere. So we worked on Tableau Online. Digging through our data, in tandem with the knowledge we gained from focusing on the SME market allowed us to make key product roadmap decisions.It also allows our company departments to work with each other. Sales actively plays a role in determining what the product development looks like.
So that’s a high-level, strategic example. We decided to split our teams and create an SME team.
Well, we needed to build out that team and rearrange our territory management. Well at the time we were one of those SME’s that have enterprise-level needs, but super small business resources. And I needed to figure out how we were going to go after these new accounts with the resources we had.So I used data to build my model for who was going to go where. I knew that they could then focus and specialize in certain segments, whether geographically, or any other category. But this needed to be done right, because if I put too many people in a territory, we overuse it and everyone struggles with the opportunities there. If I put too few, we miss out on opportunities.Let me show you an example of how I used to do this.
Today, we’re starting to develop specialized teams to do even more rigorous versions of territory development. But even a year ago, we didn’t have the resources for that kind of team. But that didn’t mean we shouldn’t do data-based territory planning.Usingdata creates a sense of a just environment. It needs to be done fairly. I can use data to divide my teams, and then empower them to succeed. I use transparent, understandable terms for distributing my resources, which also means they clearly understand what is expected from them. I can spend my time arguing with a team about why they have fewer leads, but more accounts, or I can show them the facts by using data.And by the way, the little example I just showed you is real. For years, it was people like me, sales directors and managers—not dedicated analysts—who were distributing and redistributing territories based on data. It was often a painful, complex exercise. So we gave our development team some ideas that would make the product easier our own needs, and that’s where that feature where I could interactively group on the map came from. Like I said, the sales team helps drive the product. We are internal customers, and we identified ways our product could solve real business needs, and as a result it has helped many of our customers too.
Finally, once we set up our team, data can help people execute.
We did this by creating a culture where people are expected to use data day in and day out, to use it to help them make their own decisions and we provide the tools so that they can work with that data. It creates a culture of really strong reactors. More proactive. For example, our sales team needs to divide their time to figure out who to call. Can’t find time to sit for 1.5 hours to develop strategy, figure out who to call. So we push our reps to use data, for example, let’s take a look at this dashboard we call Who’s Hot.
We just figured out 3 great places to call today in a minute, instead of an hour. This is an example of bringing data into the deepest level of our business, the individual, and help them ask and answer questions by themselves. This helps all of us as a company focus on vision, not on process. It helps them succeed, and ultimately, keeps your entrepreneurial spirit alive. These tools help you extract meaning from your data, and empowering people to explore and find insights on their own.
You may have noticed that many times throughout, I mentioned that we were able to use data in tandem with other knowledge, with anecdotal stories and evidence. It’s part of the story, but it’s a critical part. It can help you get to the right answers, understand the right decisions. We believe in making data visual because it makes data understandable, and helps everyone, everyone, drive better, smarter decisions. And creating a culture around using data means we’re all making decisions that are transparent, are meaningful and accountable.And that, can help you grow your company and empower everyone to be entrepreneurial, no matter the size of your company. There is always room to grow.