Time is Money

Time to revenue is a fundamental metric for any go-to-market team, yet most businesses lack the tracking capacity to pinpoint where an account’s original demand began. For Steffen Hedebrandt, CMO and co-founder of revenue-attribution platform Dreamdata, the way forward is actionable analysis of the complete B2B customer journey.

“The Dreamdata platform is basically set up to help you understand every single touch that takes place on every single account, from the first touch right through the sales funnel,” says Hedebrandt. “When you have this information, you are able to do more of what works and less of what doesn’t.”

Hedebrandt spoke enthusiastically about the importance of knowing the true time to revenue when he joined ITWC CMO Fawn Annan in November 2022 for an episode of CMO Talks, a podcast series designed by ITWC to showcase strategies for gaining a competitive edge through the intersection of marketing and technology. The lively session opened with advice for focusing marketing spend – a strategy that, in only three years, vaulted Dreamdata from a young Copenhagen startup to a leader in the customer journey analytics software category.

Identifying a Strategic North Star

“I would advise any company to identify the ideal customer profile for their product, and to make sure that it actually becomes a strategic north star throughout the organization,” Hedebrandt said. “This means that marketing tries to generate demand from these types of people, sales only tries to sell to these kinds of leads, and the product team only builds product for those identified as ideal customers.”

Moving on to a discussion of Dreamdata’s revenue model, Hedebrandt announced that the company is about to launch a free product that allows potential customers to start paying when they see the value. The overall idea, he said, is that users will buy a licence that can be used by everyone in the organization, rather than being held by only one person.

Challenging Misperceptions

In response to a query from Annan about the level of understanding companies have about where their deals begin, Hedebrandt referenced some of the B2B go-to-market benchmarks in a recent Dreamdata report. “The best way to put it is that people don’t know what they don’t know,” he said. “Salespeople get contracts signed and they work with accounts, but the truth is that it’s a much more complex journey that takes place and it’s a lot longer journey than people typically expect.”

According to Hedebrandt, most companies measure the customer journey from the moment the customer entered their system to the time the account is won. However, the benchmarks in Dreamdata’s report paint a very different picture by tracking the time customers spend in a research phase prior to entering a company’s orbit. “If you think your sales journey is ninety days when it’s actually one hundred and eighty days, that matters immensely in terms of how you construct a budget and reverse engineer sales targets,” he explained.

Additional Insights

A truer idea of time to revenue also sheds light on the touches required to close a deal, with benchmarks of about 32 for each new deal, not including events that are not tracked, such as chats on LinkedIn, casual phone conversations, or conversations at conferences.

The Dreamdata benchmarks also challenge traditional notions of the number of stakeholders involved in the customer journey. Although research pegs this number at two, Hedebrandt said that is only the tip of the iceberg. From his perspective, failing to understand the number of people involved and the roles they play in the company might well result in a lost deal.

Gauging the Greatest Impact

The episode concluded with a few last words from Hedebrandt on the importance of spending time on things known to generate revenue for the company. “Don’t build new product features if nobody is willing to pay for them. Don’t run ads that don’t offer any return, and don’t chase people who are not going to buy,” he cautioned.

The trick, of course, is knowing which products are not wanted, which ads won’t work, and who is unlikely to close a deal. And that’s where Dreamdata comes in by helping B2B growth leaders connect their spend to revenue.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Suzanne Robicheau
Suzanne Robicheau
Suzanne Robicheau is a communications specialist based in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, where working remotely continues to fuel her passion for new mobile technologies -- especially on snowy days.

CMO Talks is a bi-monthly podcast that is focused on conversations with marketing leaders from around the world. 

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