The Importance of Data-Driven Processes In Scaling Your Business - Striven

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The Importance of Data-Driven Processes In Scaling Your Business

John Marquez
November 22, 2023
11 min read

In the professional world, data-driven processes are vital to successful scaling efforts. While many companies collect data, its real value lies in extracting insights that lead to growth-oriented decisions.

Whether you’re a start-up founder in the early stages of building your business or an executive responsible for decision-making in multiple departments of an expanding company, having data play a more prominent role in your processes makes sense.

Stay tuned to learn more about data and why it’s a powerful yet often overlooked asset in many businesses today. We’ll also share seven innovative approaches to implementation so you can start scaling your business with data-driven processes today.

What is Data, and Why Does It Matter?

In a business context, data refers to the raw facts and statistics collected through customer information, sales figures, market trends, and operational metrics. In simple terms, bits of data are like pieces of a puzzle that help businesses see the bigger picture within their unique industry.

In the early stages of business development, data collection may seem trivial. But as companies experience market expansion and daily operations become more complex, using data to make informed decisions becomes essential for sustainable growth.

Don’t just take our word for it. The proof is in the digital pudding. Statistics show that data-driven organizations are 23 times more likely to acquire customers. Businesses that use big data increase their profit by 8 percent, and insight-driven companies are growing at an average of 30% each year.

Data provides tangible evidence to support decision-making. Businesses can mitigate risks and better spot opportunities by reducing reliance on intuition and guesswork and focusing on data instead.

Implementing data-driven processes throughout multiple operations and departments takes time to happen. Instead, most companies find it to be a journey of continuous improvement, finding inspiration to embrace data further as they gain ground on the competition and boost revenue.

7 Data-Driven Processes to Implement for Business Scaling

Scaling requires a strategic approach that includes data-driven processes. Here are seven ways to help you make data a central and transformative force in your business.

1. Invoice Processing for Efficient Financial Operations

Manual invoice management can be very time-consuming. Over half of businesses spend over 10 hours manually processing invoices and supplier payments weekly. As a business grows, keeping up with manual invoicing becomes more challenging. 

More invoices increase the chances of data-entry errors or missed payments. Processing may also be delayed, negatively impacting cash flow with consequences that trickle down throughout multiple departments.

A data-driven invoice processing approach involves leveraging data analytics and automating tasks. Such a process may involve:

  • Using Optical Character Recognition (OCR) and AI-powered tools to extract data from paper invoices, reducing manual data entry automatically.
  • Utilizing invoice matching algorithms to match invoices with purchase orders and receipts to ensure accuracy. 
  • Using historical data to predict invoice approval times.
  • Automating workflows for approval based on predefined rules and thresholds.

Automating invoice processing improves efficiency, reduces errors, and makes invoice communications more accessible. There’s also massive potential for savings in time and money. Businesses that spend less time on manual invoicing can focus on enhancing supplier relationships and core operations, both of which positively impact business growth.

2. Protecting Email Reputation for Effective Communication

More than 20% of commercial emails never reach the recipient’s inbox. Email reputation, or sender reputation, plays a large role in whether your cold outreach emails reach their intended destination. 

Think of your company domain’s email reputation as a credit score. In both cases:

  • Trustworthiness matters. Just as lenders look for borrowers with good financial habits, email service providers look for email senders who follow best practices and send legitimate emails.
  • Scores impact access. Higher credit scores open doors to better financial opportunities. Similarly, positive email reputations allow for better email deliverability rates.
  • Maintenance is key. Credit scores can continuously fluctuate, and so can email reputation. Sending relevant and engaging emails can help keep your email reputation from dropping.

Also, similar to a credit score, having a poor email reputation can have serious negative consequences. Your company’s emails may go directly to a spam folder, and a poor email reputation can damage your brand’s credibility and trustworthiness.

However, there are ways to improve your email reputation with data. Try using the data to segment your email list based on metrics like engagement and recipient behavior and sending targeted and relevant content to each segment to boost your email reputation. 

Simultaneously, clean up and verify your email list using data validation and list hygiene tools. By removing invalid or outdated addresses, you’ll ensure your messaging reaches active and engaged readers.

3. Automating Sales for Increased Profits

Without effective sales, even the most successful businesses can quickly crumble. While traditional sales tactics were once more than enough to keep businesses thriving, today’s business landscape requires sales to be faster and more agile. Enter automation for sales or the use of technology and software tools to streamline and optimize various aspects of the sales process.

At its core, sales automation is fueled by data. 

Some examples of sales automation include:

  • Email automation. Streamlining email marketing using email templates, drip campaigns, and automated follow-ups can boost sales while keeping leads fully engaged.
  • Task and activity management. By automatically scheduling tasks, appointments, and follow-ups, sales reps can focus on making sales rather than schedules.
  • Proposal and quote generation. Using customization options, certain systems can help businesses automatically create quotes, bids, and contracts that still feel personalized and offer an accurate summary of services and appropriate fees.

While incorporating automation into the sales process may be gradual and challenging, it’s also rewarding. Research shows that sales automation boosts productivity within the department by 14.5% while bringing down marketing costs by 12.2%.

4. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) for Enhanced Customer Interactions

CRM, or Customer Relationship Management, is a data-driven technology that manages and analyzes interactions with current and potential customers. You can integrate these tools with other types of software and store a variety of data, including:

  • Contact information
  • Interaction history
  • Purchase history
  • Leads and opportunities
  • Communication records
  • Notes and comments
  • Task and activity logs
  • Custom fields  

Nearly half of companies who use CRM saw their sales revenue increase. The average ROI for CRM spending is $8.71 for every dollar spent. By implementing CRM powered by data into your business, you can quickly improve cash flow, which can help you expand your services, products, or reach.

5. Supply Chain Optimization for Streamlined Operations

Manual supply chain processes can be problematic due to their reliance on human intervention. For example, manual processes are often slower and less efficient than automated ones. Manual data entry and processing are also prone to errors, resulting in incorrect orders, shipments, and inventory records.

When companies have difficulty with inventory management due to the limitations of manual operations, overstocking or stockouts may occur, impacting cash flow and customer satisfaction.

Data can be crucial in optimizing your company’s supply chain, helping you streamline operations and improve efficiency

Here are several ways to consider implementing data for optimized supply chain management:

  • Use historical sales data and projected market trends to forecast future demand accurately.
  • Use data-driven insights to negotiate better terms with suppliers by analyzing performance data and presenting specific metrics during negotiations for better pricing or payment terms.
  • Implement real-time monitoring and alerts to respond quickly to supply chain disruptions.
  • Analyze customer data to better understand preferences, buying behavior, and trends.
  • Use machine learning and AI to identify patterns and automate decision-making.

Inventory management is an ideal place to start if you’re looking for a low-risk route to implementing data-driven solutions in your business. Nearly 95% of companies using IoT in inventory management have seen a positive return on their investment. 

6. Employee Performance Analytics for Talent Management

Talent management can be challenging for several reasons. From fierce competition to changing workforce dynamics and high-performing employees being lured away by better opportunities, HR departments across nearly every industry face a losing battle.

By analyzing employee performance via data, several benefits may unfold. HR can make informed decisions based on more than first impressions. This approach makes it easier to align talent strategies with business objectives.

Additionally, companies can zero in on identifying and supporting their top-performing employees while simultaneously revealing skill gaps and areas where other employees may benefit from training. Tailoring training programs can improve overall performance, individually and as a company.

Finally, performance data can uncover team conflict or productivity bottlenecks. Addressing these issues promptly and professionally improves workplace satisfaction and helps retain great employees.

Research shows the companies most skilled at talent management have 2.2 times the revenue growth and 2.1 times the profit rate than companies struggling to manage top talent.

Are you still trying to figure out where to start? Collect relevant performance data consistently and accurately to build a database, including individual and team sales figures, to identify top performers. 

It’s also ideal to track customer feedback and satisfaction scores to see where improvements are needed. Employee turnover data can also help to identify reasons for employee departures and take steps to improve retention strategies.

7. Data-Driven Product Development and Innovation for Fast Market Entry

Suppose you rely on intuition-driven product development and base decisions about your next product’s features, design, and development on your gut. In that case, you may not be experiencing the results you hoped for.

There are several problems with this approach. First, is that personal biases and past experiences influence intuition. You may be making product-based decisions that favor your personal preferences rather than the needs of your target market.

You may also fall victim to inefficient resource allocation with intuition-driven product development. By allocating resources to ideas or features that don’t have the data to back them up, you find yourself short on cash, talent, or time for products with more potential.

You have a few options when it comes to data-driven product development and innovation:

  • A lean startup methodology involves quickly building a minimally viable product or MVP. It is then tested in the market and adjusted based on user feedback.
  • Predictive analytics uses historical data like user behavior and market dynamics to forecast the next big product.
  • A/B testing is one of the most popular product development methodologies. The process involves comparing two versions of a product or feature to determine which option users prefer and why.

By using data-driven product development, your company can respond faster to market demands and enter the market rapidly with a better product.

Take the Data-Driven Path for Sustained Business Growth

Data-driven processes are the catalyst to unlocking the full potential of your business. Set the foundation for sustainable growth by scaling with insight over intuition.

The strategies explored in this blog are just the beginning. 

Continue to explore other opportunities to implement data-driven processes into your business.

john marquez striven guest author

John Marquez

John is a digital marketing specialist for global brands like Datanyze. He spends most of his time A/B testing and different strategies and in his spare time, argues his findings with his dog. Zeus. You can follow him @J_PMarquez.