Most technology and data companies understand the importance of monitoring key performance indicators (KPIs) on a regular basis. However, the process of calculating KPIs tends to be manual, siloed, or relegated to the finance team to centralize on an irregular cadence. The ability to automatically calculate KPIs, and therefore proactively manage the business, is a differentiator for companies looking to secure a greater valuation during their next round of funding.
In this article, we explore three of the reasons why automated KPIs are critical for companies to drive up their valuation:
Proactive, Data-Driven Management
When KPIs are calculated manually, they are often calculated for board reporting purposes or investor conversations. When these metrics are finally calculated, they are not thorough enough to provide:
- The rationale behind why the business is yielding certain results
- Insight into which direction each KPI is trending
- Enough time to address shortfalls
By automatically calculating KPIs, companies gain real-time access to business insights, metric trends, and the reasons behind each KPI result. Accordingly, the business can utilize data to proactively address the cause of change, many levels down. Doing so will not only help the business make better decisions faster, improving overall performance, but it gives the board and prospective investors greater confidence knowing that the company takes a hands-on approach to management.
For many companies who manually calculate KPIs, metric ownership belongs to each respective function. For example, marketing KPIs such as CPL are owned by marketing while retention KPIs such as churn belong to customer success. When KPIs are calculated and monitored in siloes, the data may not be consistent, and the overall potential for cross-functional collaboration is limited.
When KPIs are automatically calculated and revealed in a “nested” single source of truth, teams can work together to improve performance across the business as a whole, rather than in a vacuum. For example, marketing, product and customer success can work together on a customer engagement campaign through in-product tutorials and messages. The impact of such a campaign can reduce churn, improve customer retention, and drive product usage metrics, ultimately improving ARR and growth. With all teams working towards a common goal, businesses tend to see better holistic performance.
Manually calculating KPIs in spreadsheets can be a surprisingly painful exercise. Because reference data lives in function-specific systems, and many individual metrics require data from multiple SaaS platforms (CRM, MAS, ERP, and HR), it can be a time-consuming exercise to collect, cleanse and aggregate the data in a single document. For example, if marketing wants to calculate CPL, they may require finance’s help to collect spend data from the accounting system, in addition to collecting lead data from their marketing automation system.
Automatic calculation of KPIs leverages direct interactions with the source systems, making it as simple as a quick login to access business-wide KPIs. Worried about a painful implementation? New technology like Discern is disrupting antiquated, painful implementation experiences, getting customers up and running in weeks, not months or years.
Improved performance across KPIs is fundamental during a fundraising round. Prospective investors are keen to understand the top level KPIs such as growth and efficiency, as well as the KPIs across Sales, Marketing and Customer Operations. Because companies automating KPI calculations can improve and optimize business management, they will see higher performance across all business areas. Accordingly, these companies will be the ones to secure more favorable valuations during their next fundraise.
Discern helps companies holistically improve performance and increase valuations through powerful KPI calculations, industry benchmarks and revenue analytics. Click here to book time with Discern’s CEO, Helen Lin, and discuss how Discern can help your company prepare for your next fundraise.