From hiring too quickly to poor cash flow management, here are some of the biggest growth mistakes startups make (and how to avoid them).
Agencies | Jan 17
John Bonini on June 29, 2018 (last modified on August 8, 2018) • 7 minute read
Editor’s note: ‘Highlights’ is a new video series from Databox featuring interviews with founders, marketers, salespeople, and more as they talk through data-driven tactics for running a business.
In the first ever episode of Highlights, Databox’s Brian Moseley chats with Alex on how Leadfreak was handling client reporting prior to Databox, how they set (and hit) goals, and how Databox has allowed them to be more data-driven as an agency–all at no cost.
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I’m Alex Thackray, founder and managing director of Leadfreak, an agency in the UK.
We’re totally sales focused.
To me, there’s a huge disconnect between marketing and sales.
With the rise of all these different platforms that we can be on, I’m passionate about always looking at the sales [results from our work] on all these different platforms and in order to be able to do that we need the data and for me, that’s where Databox fits in.
How do you use Databox?
Databox is the perfect platform to pull in [data from] lots of other platforms and put it into one, really nice-looking platform that we can use internally.
We’re using it more and more and it’s such a quality product that you can send the link out to your clients for them to look at and you know they’re going to love it.
What did you do before Databox?
You can manually pull the data from all the numerous platforms but it’s time-consuming and ends up in a spreadsheet or a self-written presentation document which you’d have to forward out to clients using Google sheets or Google presentation software.
It’s always a really clunky, ugly looking thing and so time-consuming and you have to make the effort to gather all the data to then be able to analyze it so you just slowed the whole process down.
Having a platform that pulls in all these different platforms into one live dashboard which updates itself in perpetuity.
Has Databox helped your agency to be more data-driven?
We are more data-driven internally and with our clients.
For example, these past couple weeks in looking at the data from Google Analytics for our blog, I noticed that the majority of our traffic from our blog posts is going through to our service page.
So, we’ve drastically expanded that part of our site as a result, and now we track how long [visitor’s spend] on each of those service pages and can personalize our process even more.
How often do you monitor performance with Databox?
Our social media manager runs a monthly internal meeting to set strategies and to analyze the numbers, but she’s going in to Databox every day to track the numbers and see what’s happening on a daily basis.
How do you set goals for your agency and clients?
We’re now using the new Goals functionality with regards to the cumulative goal growth so we can actually plot the goals for the next three to twelve months.
Now, we don’t have to have those discussions.
We know that this month the goal is going to be X, and next month it’ll be Y.
Now, she can see that on the platform without navigating through any different screens. It’s just there and she doesn’t need to track anything in spreadsheets anymore.
How do you market your data-driven approach?
If you go to our service page, you can see Databox is front and center.
[Using Databox Databoards], we have strategy sessions with our clients before we start doing any work for them and on a monthly recurring basis.
At the end of that month we’ll sit them with them we’ll run through each of the sections of the Databoards so that they know what we’ve done, what we need to improve on, and really the opportunities of growth.
They love it, especially the style of the of the Databoards because we can tailor them to their branding and it’s a really professional look.
How easy/hard was it to get set up with Databox?
[I can tell] you have been working really hard on the user interface.
I wouldn’t be surprised if you have people [on your product team] solely responsible for [improving the] onboarding [experience for] agencies and their clients.
I found out what I needed to do on my own and the guides were adequate enough. There might have been a couple of questions [I had]. I certainly had an email interaction with someone on your team and it was a very quick response. [But, the rest] we were able to really quite easily figure out for ourselves.
How did you roll out automated reports to your clients?
We’re really going through a process of teaching our clients that [Databoards] are now available to them anytime.
We give them the link to the live Databoard as one way we’re being transparent with them–they can go and have look any day to can see how we’re ‘getting on’ and then at the end of the month, we’ll do a
Zoom and we’ll just share the screen and run through each of the sections [of the Databoard] because we’ve tailored our dashboards to only pull out the key metrics that they need to be looking at.
We’re all about sales. All about impact on revenue and impact on profit.
I can tell the client how many likes we’ve got on Facebook, how many website hits we’ve had on a certain day on a certain page. That’s all brilliant, but without being able to show the journey and showing that impact on revenue, sales, and profit–we’re really kind of kidding ourselves.
What metrics matter most to you?
Coming from an engineering background, I’ve always liked the data side of it.
I’ve always liked that logical progression [that happens in a sales funnel]. And as a business owner, it’s what I’d want to see, so that’s what we give.
One of the fantastic things that we’ve pulled up on Databox for our clients and for ourselves is the ability to plot pipelines from cold prospect through to sale and even lifetime value.
[At the top of the funnel], we’re obviously using all the social platforms by connecting them to Databox.
Then, we take people over to our website so we’re obviously checking that through Google Analytics. We use Active Campaign as a CRM, so when someone downloads one of our lead magnets, it pulls into Databox, too.
We have people attending webinars so we can pull that data in. [We also] use Drift, so we can pull Drift playbook conversions and calendar bookings into Databox. Using Databox, we can plot that whole journey [in one pipeline visualization].
We can even pull in [data from our] Xero accounting platform which is what we use to see actual revenue and profit growth.
When you can plot landed on page, downloads, attended a webinar, booked a call, made a sale–all in in one nice-looking pipeline on a really nice-looking, visual dashboard, our clients are always going to be impressed.
Being able to tie in all those different platforms–that is so powerful.
What metrics matter most to your clients?
Obviously, we can pull out thousands of pieces a day across that ecosystem but don’t want them to go blind with numbers.
If we need to go in and delve any further, we can do that internally as an agency and then look to capitalize on opportunities from there.
We’re the experts and we need to show our clients that we know what we’re doing, so yes we use [Databox to monitor] the raft of data behind the KPIs and [report] the key metrics.
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