Recently, Steve LeVine wrote that Americans won’t hop on board with electric vehicles until they can have “the gas station experience,” arguing that the U.S. needs to set about building “a dense, highly visible, and convenient network of [fast] charging stations.”
It’s no secret that electric vehicles are the path forward—and bringing that path to light will require an overhaul of current infrastructure in traditionally fossil fuel-forward countries.
That’s a future Virta has been working toward in Europe for some time now. Founded in 2013, Virta offers electric vehicle charging points and an EV charging platform designed to help their customers support electric vehicles and renewable energy.
We sat down with Samuli Ahola, Director of Digital Sales for Virta, to learn more about why they invested in a solution like Databox. Samuli shared some of the solutions they’ve put in place, along with how that investment has changed the way they do business and the results they produce.
As a company, Virta operates with lean resources—meaning they need to be able to make every euro and every minute they invest count.
Before implementing Databox, the company didn’t have a centralized way to use data to ensure their efforts and budget were creating the returns they needed. They didn’t know which sales marketing efforts would drive the most revenue. They couldn’t tie marketing campaigns to the contacts or SQLs or opportunities they brought in.
Samuli knew that needed to change.
Here are the challenges Virta Global faced before Databox:
- Connecting marketing and sales data: There was a clear disconnect between marketing campaigns and sales results, making it hard for Virta’s teams to collaborate and make decisions together.
“You rarely see people able to tie down the processes between marketing and sales in a way that you can actually measure euros,” Samuli mused.
- Tying marketing activities to revenue: Virta had no way to tie marketing campaigns and spend back to the commercial metrics their efforts produced. Without that data-backed connection, they couldn’t adequately measure marketing success.
Samuli told us, “If we didn’t have the capability to report these things, our reporting processes would be from the stone ages. No one would be asking for specific data if they hadn’t seen it in Databox. How much are you paying to acquire a new customer? How much should you be paying?”
- Prioritizing resources: Prior to using Databox, Virta’s resource allocation was based more on assumptions than data. To make the most of their lean resources, they needed a way to prioritize budgets, campaigns, and time on the most effective activities.
“At the end of the day, it comes down to prioritization. We have limited resources—where should we put our money and effort in order to get the most results?” Samuli said.
Samuli knew exactly how to rectify those challenges. An avid user of Databox in a prior role, Samuli introduced the tool to Virta’s current Sales Director (then Head of Marketing and Sales) and played a heavy role in getting the team set up.
The team quickly integrated much of their sales and marketing tools, pulling their data into Databox as a central source of truth.
They connected Twitter, LinkedIn Company Pages, Facebook Pages, Bing Ads, Google Ads, LinkedIn Ads, Google Sheets, HubSpot CRM, Google Analytics, Facebook Ads, Google Search Console, and HubSpot Marketing.
Virta’s Top Integrations
Here’s how Databox solved Virta Global’s challenges:
- Connecting marketing and sales data: Using Databox enabled Samuli and team to bring together all of their sales and marketing data and calculate the connections between the two.
“You can pull out data from Facebook Ads,” Samuli told us, “see how much you have spent in a campaign, then look at the number of actual contacts and leads and SQLs and opportunities in our CRM. You do the calculation and you can easily see what you’re paying for.”
- Tying marketing activities to revenue: By mapping marketing activities to sales results, they could effectively measure marketing results in terms of revenue.
“In marketing,” Samuli explained, “we decided that everyone is going to report numbers from their specific area of work, and, not surprisingly, Databox has been the answer for every single person. Our social media guy builds his own dashboard where he measures the effectiveness of paid social channels.”
- Prioritizing resources: With the right data in place to judge marketing and sales activities by the revenue they produce, Virta began to take a more data-driven approach to allocating their limited resources.
“It’s a more systematic approach,” Samuli said, “where we can see what’s working and what isn’t, improve on the things that are not working, or just drop things we shouldn’t be doing anyway.”
According to Samuli, the effect of implementing Databox across the sales and marketing teams has completely changed the culture at Virta. They’re now a data-driven, data-first company that makes key decisions based on hard numbers, not gut instinct.
“It helps to drive the culture in the company to be more data-driven. Decisions can always be backed up with data, and that’s been the biggest change,” Samuli said. “We can always look at the data and see what’s working and what isn’t.”
Another result? Samuli is such a Databox advocate, that he was awarded the title of Mr. Databox at his former company.
Here are Virta Global’s Databox results:
- Connecting marketing and sales data:
“It has helped to develop sales and marketing overall because it makes it really easy to measure what works and what doesn’t.”
- Tying marketing activities to revenue: The marketing department now is much more data-focused than ever before. Each team member owns the numbers for their specific area and builds out the dashboards and reports they need to keep track of those numbers, report them, and make data-backed decisions.
- Prioritizing resources: With easy access to more complete data, Virta is able to bring data into everyday decisions and prioritization. According to Samuli, there’s no more arguing because the data makes their decisions clear.
“It really helps me in my own work,” Samuli said, “because if there’s something I want to change or there’s a need to approve purchases and such, I can always back it up by data. And I always do. Then, it’s no longer an argument—it’s just ‘Hey, look at the numbers. We need to do this.’”