By Jeff Brunings
Learn Why Your Strategic Plan is Gutless Without Data

Don’t kid yourself. If you’re going to build a really good strategy you need to have market data. We’re talking about the kind that originates at the sub-atomic level. And having a good position on your growth potential means knowing where your growth has occurred, what it looks like today, and where it’s going tomorrow.

So, where do you get that kind of data?

Start with your sales and marketing teams and be ready to start pulling data all the way down to individual accounts, individual products, or even micro geographic segments.

It’s just the kind of thing OnStrategy did for The Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitor’s Authority (RSCVA). Last week, RSCVA approved a new set of initiatives to steer the organization forward for the next five years. A board-approved plan opens up utilization of $9.1M in surcharge funds, which will be collected from the City’s hotels over the next few years and used towards attracting overnight visitors through tourism marketing, convention sales and facility operations.

Central to RSCVA’s plan and vital to its approval is hardcore data collection, analysis, and interpretation of RSCVA’s historical performance, current pipeline health, and account level performance projections. For RSCVA it meant the analysis of hundreds of individual accounts.

This kind of data collection is a balance between top down and bottom up forecasting. If your strategic plan is only top down there’s a very real risk of having growth supported without any basis.

So here are few things to consider:

  • Get your sales and marketing teams together. By account, by product, or by geography pull historical performance back from at least the last three years.
  • Analyze what’s currently in the pipeline. Hopefully you have a really good CRM system since you’re looking for total value of what’s in the pipeline for each account and probability of winning the business.
  • Forecast out five years. Use market data, competitive analysis, and sales projections. Projections are directional, but you’ll be able to pressure test your growth targets and where you expect the business to come from.

It’s not easy and it takes coordination and conviction. But if you’re serious about having a really good strategy, the kind that’s grounded in data and facts rather than simply opinion, take the time to get the data right. It’s often difference between plans that succeed and those that fail.

Want to learn more about RSCVA’s roadmap, mission, and vision? Go here.

Jeff Brunings

With over 20 years management experience in multi-industry environments, Jeff drives customer experience by advancing the effectiveness of OnStrategy’s cloud-based platform and services.