Arriving in a Digitized World Order?

Hey All,

There was a recent IDC study (Advanced Workplace Strategies in Germany 2016) talking about the quality of workplaces, the generation Y – our millennials – and home offices. The outcome is sort of surprising for Germany: more than each 2nd company wants to create cloud-based workplaces. Why is that surprising? Well only 31% of German companies have a strategy for the “Digital Transformation”, following to Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. So, either there is now a shift happening in German industry’s mindset or…… no, there must be a shift…hopefully!

So what’s on the IT agendas in 2017/2018:

  • IT Security (no wonder, right?!)
  • Modernization of workplaces
  • Lowering IT cost
  • Improved support of business (LOB) processes
  • Faster reaction to LOB requests

This all really plays into the same direction when you look behind it:
IT Security needs to be in place if I want to move to (more) contractors or home offices (or “everywhere-offices” which is the most important requirement to make millennials stay), and this goes hand in hand with modernizing workplaces (making them available remotely via public/private clouds). This then will significantly lower IT cost, and will drive instant, everywhere/day-round LOB support. Also, we see a strong trend of in-application support by context-sensitive (self-paced; so-called employee led) learning…well, if all users get guidance inside an application, whenever or wherever they work…then this will definitely boost performance and at the same time bring down operational IT costs……..I just wonder if all generations are ready for such a new business-world order yet…


Sebastian Grodzietzki



Here we go with week 4 of our growth discussion.

Today we want to discuss:
4. Develop a dashboard populated with a set of KPIs that are used to monitor, improve and report on business, growth and marketing performance.

Well, to do so, we should not only look at the marketing funnel but have the sales funnel and related KPIs on our monitoring as well. By the way, I would also recommend to have regular field meetings to update sales/country managers and sales reps on latest marketing campaigns, assets, upcoming events, etc., so everyone is aware and can make use of that to reach out to customers, partners and prospects.

To the point on KPIs for the business growth performance, we should look at the following figures, which are not a complete list though – please also refer to question no. 1 above:

  • From a strategic/tactical point of view:
    • Current revenues and projected revenues for month/quarter/year end
    • Correlation of marketing budget to revenues and margin
    • Correlation of increase/decrease of marketing budget to revenues
    • Customer, partner and employee retention rates
    • Net Promoter Score
  • From an operational point of view:
    • Social media reach, subscribers, lurkers, contributors, etc.
    • Upcoming events, actions with planned targets on leads, and conversion
    • Current amount of opportunities/leads (per stage) in pipeline per region and sales channel
    • Current amount of customers/partners, with revenue averages – also per industry; what are our top customers/partners (opportunity management)?
    • Amount of success stories, and reference customers
    • Sales cycles and stages lengths
    • Win/loss ratios, how many deals closed from leads (with and without competition)
    • Competitive statistics – competitive and market intelligence
    • Average opportunity/lead sizes per region and sales channel
    • Pipeline vs. target-revenue-delta ratio per region, and expected end of quarter/year revenues
    • Top documents/assets downloaded or accessed (internally and externally)
    • Website access statistics, inbound links, page rank, etc.Those performance facts and indicators should be regularly discussed within a group of stakeholders – at least quarterly -, and a RAG (red, amber ,green) analysis against defined thresholds/targets should be made -> all red and amber accountable owners need to provide clear planned measures to solve the issue within the next 6-8 weeks.

Sebastian Grodzietzki



Welcome to week 1 of my top growth measures blog series:

  1. Build an innovative, scalable and low-cost demand generation model – one that is eventually recognized in the industry for delivering 2x performance of its nearest competitor.

In general: to put an integrated growth strategy into place, and to aim for overachieving on given objectives, we need to uncover the status quo first – the weak and the best-run company products/markets – on global and regional level, and across all sales channels (direct, partner, inside, eChannel). We need to look into current KPIs throughout the marketing and sales funnels, and define new key KPIs where needed.

So, a route to success could be:
1. Get insights into the status quo: what is done today and how, what works and what doesn’t?
a. What is the typical customer profile, and how is the pipeline being created?
b. Use very detailed pipeline reports (please find more details below) to identify the high and the low performing products/markets.
c. What events/actions are used to generate demand and business today?
d. Look into current collaterals, like whitepapers and the customer presentation, and check the website (SEM/SEO/SEA) incl. traffic statistics.
e. Where are target/customer communities? (Social and affiliate marketing)
f. Are latest assets and messaging used or old materials?
g. What value prop and design is used?
h. What about returns from self-service/inbound-marketing?
i. Etc.

Replicate, align, and further improve the successful demand generation measures across other regions. Make sure everyone uses the latest, official   messaging and assets, messaging needs to be value driven and compelling instead of feature-heavy lists.
2. Define KPIs and other measures in an open demand generation/go-to-market plan initially once a year, and monitor the execution and success biweekly or monthly, to update the plan when and where required, i.e.:
a. Number of total opportunities per region, incl. detailed insights across direct sales, OEMs, VARs, SIs, eChannel, etc. / what’s the share across different sales channels and where should it be?
b. Ticket sizes segmentation per unit from above for better pipeline guidance:
i. Small, medium, large deals
ii. Industries/segments
iii. Personas/customer target profiles
iv. Partner segmentation

In which segments will we aim for volume, and what are strategic/key segments with special attention and measures?
c. Amount of events/actions per region / later: align on topics globally to avoid all regions create from scratch, which customers to speak?, how many leads to expect?, …
d. Etc.

  1. Understand deal closing rates vs. pipeline to allow quarterly/annual projection of expected revenues and required business development and demand generation needs – ratio of closing from pipeline should be better than 2,5x (= need €250m in pipeline to make €100m revenues)
  2. Identify (new) target regions/market units and nominate local business development/demand generation owners – single points of contact. Assign/cascade KPIs to them to drive success.
  3. Set up a schedule of market communication and define a social media strategy (# of newsletter per quarter, # of twitter messages, # of cold calling-action days, # of onsite and online events, # affiliate activities, etc. incl. required conversion rates).
  4. Check, update and align regularly on global and regional level with biweekly or monthly calls across different stakeholders.
  5. Get input for demand generation activities from several stakeholders, i.e.:
    a. Product owners should define key value statements for the product (like new release, new success story, etc.) per month, which could be used for website, blogging, twittering, events, webinars, press releases, etc.
    b. Global and regional demand gen/business dev teams align on corporate messaging input.
    c. Do regular meetings with analysts and strategic partners to get input and make use of their network for pipeline acceleration.
    d. 1:1 Email templates could be provided on regular basis to all sales teams which they can easily send out to prospects and customers/partners to stay in touch.
    e. Etc.
  6. Involve sales teams and other stakeholders to get new reference customers, testimonial videos, get customers to speak on events, etc.
  7. Drive viral marketing campaigns with engaging content, incl. special offers and promotion; ideal for cloud-based products and the eChannel

10.Reach out to schools/universities and drive (early) awareness initiatives across students for the company’s famous products (provide free-of-charge software and/or knowledge transfer)

11.In general, we need detailed data to allow demand gen and closing rates to be steadily growing (also refer to no. 2 above): we need a detailed regional pipeline report across all regions and all sales channels, with
a. amount of opportunities,
b. average opportunity sizes,
c. amount of opportunities per stage across marketing/sales funnels (5-7 stages from “new” to “booked”)
d. stage and sales cycle duration,
e. win/loss ratios,
f. current revenues,
g. executed events and success (leads, conversion, etc.),
h. top running industries
i. best performing sales reps (drive lessons learned)
j. best performing presales reps (drive lessons learned)
k. etc.

Let us know what you think.



Hi Folks,

Over the next 5 weeks we want to discuss the following top measures to accelerate business growth:

  1. Build an innovative, scalable and low-cost demand generation model – one that is eventually recognized in the industry for delivering 2x performance of its nearest competitor.
  2. Dramatically enhance the customer acquisition process, with a concentration on improving close rates through higher quality leads.
  3. Stimulate growth within new and existing customer segments through higher brand awareness, reduced churn of existing customers, and dramatically higher levels of customer satisfaction, delight and advocacy.
  4. Develop a dashboard populated with a set of KPIs that are used to monitor, improve and report on business, growth and marketing performance.
  5. Build a world class inbound marketing team that is viewed as a value-added partner by colleagues in the Sales and Product organizations.

Looking forward to a lively discussion.

Sebastian Grodzietzki