The Other Side of the Analytics Coin for Sales Leaders

September 17, 2021

Josh Payne

Courtesy of flickr user CIro

It's not just the numbers.

I spent a good portion of my career building products for better quantitative analysis of businesses. I built marketing analytics at HubSpot. Sales analytics software at InsightSquared. Financial analysis software at Quantopian.

The software I’ve built has helped thousands of companies better measure their go-to-market efforts. So when I was working at a fintech focused startup, it was a pleasant break to talk to my neighbor Rasmus about his SaaS business while we rode the train home each night. His story was one that I knew. A founder focused on growing his revenue (and team) against aggressive goals. We talked about his challenges with his sales team. He personally could sell the product with a high rate of success. And he had great analytics on the activity happening at each of his teams’ deals.

But did he understand what was actually happening at each of his team’s customers? Sure “a demo occurred.” But did his team member understand the customer well enough before that demo? Do we know their motivations? Their problems? These deals were going sideways and Rasmus and his leaders weren’t able to intervene fast enough. He was left saying “If I only knew earlier . . .” or “Why did we push this deal when we didn’t know that?” 

All the reports and analytics and spreadsheets in the world weren’t going to answer these questions for him and his team. There is a whole other side of the coin for sales leaders. Quantitative understanding of your pipeline is important.

But scaling your team means scaling your qualitative understanding of your customers too.

Rasmus couldn’t be in every call. And his pipeline meetings dragged on endlessly, with reps telling stories of how the deals had gone sideways. Our train conversations reminded me of the Jeff Bezos quote about data and stories disagreeing:

"The thing I have noticed is that when the anecdotes and the data disagree, the anecdotes are usually right."

The stories and the data are inextricably linked. You can’t understand the data without the stories. And vice versa.

That’s why we’re building Ressemble. With all the data in the world, Rasmus still needed the stories - the rich, qualitative understanding of his customers in order to truly influence his sales team.

We’ve set out to build the foundational software product Rasmus always wanted. We are changing the way sales teams communicate about their customers so they can change the way the leaders can influence and teach.

We’ve worked closely with paying customers over the last year to build this product with them. They use it every day. We are starting to invite more customers and we would love to have you try a better way to influence your pipeline.