The Age Of The Hyper-Analytical B2B SaaS Board

With boards citing economic uncertainty and disruptive business models from competitors as the top two risks to business performance, what does the new age board care about? What are we hearing from our research? Dive into this blog, where we cover it all and some more.

Rajesh Bhattad
November 1, 2022
min read

Investopedia defines a board of directors (B of D) as the governing body of a company, elected by shareholders in the case of public companies, to set strategy and oversee management.

A board of directors is responsible for helping a corporation set broad goals, supporting senior management in pursuing those goals, and ensuring the company has adequate, well-managed resources.

Did you know the board of directors was first institutionalized in a 1694 charter of the Bank of England? Yep, the board for a corporation has existed for over three centuries.

According to CBInsights, there are over 1100 unicorn startups today. A unicorn company, or unicorn startup, is a private company with a valuation of over $1 billion. According to AngelList data, a venture-backed seed-stage startup has an estimated 1 in 40 shot—or 2.5% chance—of becoming a unicorn today.

What do those two pieces of data tell you?

  1. The number of startups that have mushroomed in the past decade is phenomenal. However, not everyone makes it to be a unicorn or list on IPO.
  2. While the chances of a startup becoming a unicorn have increased in the past four years, it still requires a lot of iterations, some changing the business model to get there.

The Board Is More Analytical Than Ever

And hence the job of the board has become more critical than ever. Several VCs hiring ex-founders, operators, and analysts are proof that the time of presenting the board the revenue goal and your achievement and how you will get there in high-level PPTs is over.

The board has evolved to dissect your funnel to the details of your MQL and SQL conversions. This is one reason that, in my own experience, I have seen my role as a RevOps professional evolve into analyzing funnel and forecast metrics with complex charts for every board meeting. Sure, I made those PPTs for the board five years ago, too, but the board was not as demanding of analytical data as it is now. I have known some boards requesting their own license on Salesforce for data access!

Increasingly boards want to know your full-funnel metrics.
Increasingly boards want to know your full-funnel metrics.

Having such an analytical board is a boon - they hold you accountable than a nod to your numbers on the PPT. For far too long, MQL was “marketing”’s headache, “pipeline” was the sales' headache, and “revenue” was CRO’s headache. The time has shifted already, and the entire funnel is the board’s headache, hence your headache as functional heads of a GTM department.

As much as the board is interested in what your current revenues are (gives them the confidence in your GTM motion) and what your pipeline is (tells them if you will end the year at what you promised) - more boards realize today that: MQL to SQL to SAL conversions are pertinent points to tinker upon.

Unfortunately, we have all seen a few companies misdirect their projections to the board; hence, boards now have their own analysts looking at your data and suggesting back points to consider for your action plan.

Suddenly “what’s your pipe coverage by each sales territory” is a board question now. Suddenly “why are your MQLs from the LinkedIn ad campaign you spent half a million dollars two Qtrs ago not converting into SQLs” is a board question.

The age of presenting charts on PPTs is over. Boards want to see live data.
The age of presenting charts on PPTs is over. Boards want to see live data.

Working With A Data-Driven Board

Working with a board that dives deeper into your numbers (almost every board and every good board), you will want to build the analysis yourself. The board has the power to ask you to justify every single claim you make. There are no pinky promises with the board.

According to the Gartner 2022 Board of Directors (BoDs) survey, 57% of respondents have increased or expect to increase their risk appetite heading into 2022.

Boards were being conservative with the uncertainty during the pandemic. BoDs cite economic uncertainty (38%), disruptive business models from competitors (35%), and cost inflation due to supply shortages (28%) as the top risks to business performance.

In this economy of uncertainties, boards have to become more data-driven and focus on the efficiency and effectiveness of inputs and not just wait for the outcomes. It’s not a choice for the board anymore.

The Top-of-the-Funnel is on the board’s agenda.

The boards increasingly ask for “revenue per employee” as they wade through business metrics. Now that is a statistic not frequently seen in board meetings. With a laser focus on revenue made and made how, the boards need to look at things like funnel health, pipeline health, GTM operations effectiveness, and capital efficiency to ensure the portfolio companies maximize their chances for success and survival.

So if you hear your board ask the Qs like the ones listed below, do not be surprised.

  1. Are we attracting the right kind of leads at the top of the funnel
  2. What is the conversion and velocity effectiveness of the overall GTM motion
  3. Where are the bottlenecks?
  4. Are we getting ROI from the outbound and inbound motions?

Welcome to a heavily analytical Board. So how do you prepare yourself for working with such a board? We got you covered.

Here’s your cheat sheet:

  • Know your business metrics. Have them defined and jotted down, and approved by all functional heads. You will be surprised how much opacity exists in the very understanding of business metrics.
  • Put a scalable solution to measure your funnel metrics and pipe readiness. Know that one question away from losing your data integrity on google sheets. Google Sheets was not built for complex funnel analysis like “how many MQLs from the pharma industry via LinkedIn Paid Campaign last Qtr converted into SQLs.” Invest in a solution that does it. We do it. Proudly and analytically accurate. Check us out!
  • Put up an “Internal board” for RevOps from functional heads to question every piece of your analysis. It helps you prepare your leaders with the board’s questions.

Your Analysis Is Only As Good As The Best Analyst On Your Team

Increasingly businesses are getting complicated. More competition, access to funding, and turbulent markets make a board’s life harder than ever, forcing them to be more analytical in their decisions than ever before. The easiest way to handle this is to have the board trust your decision-making process that is “data-driven.” Imagine walking into a board meeting with a chart like the one below. What does that tell the board about you?

RevSureAI's full-funnel metrics allow you to dissect the entire funnel by any cohort or variable.
RevSureAI's full-funnel metrics allow you to dissect the entire funnel by any cohort or variable.

It shows the board that:

  • You know your numbers
  • And you know them well enough to dissect them down to their lowest detail.

At the end of the day, the board exists to ensure your company’s success. And with increasing scrutiny of the GTM metrics, every company must start investing in an analytical solution that predicts your user behaviors, one that discovers patterns in your data that humans cannot. Arm your analysts with a solution that amplifies their strategic decision-making skills and leaves the heavy lifting of stitching the data in your systems to build a funnel for you.

Happy Hustling!

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