The monthly board report is an important vehicle for the board-level investors to get a snapshot of how the business is performing and to help the CEO guide the business towards its annual goals.
The typical agenda suggested by Open View Partners (http://blog.openviewpartners.com/baseline-agenda-for-board-meetings/) for expansion stage technology companies is as follows:
1) Market review (Product Management Lead)
- What has changed from the last meeting?
- How is the competitive landscape evolving?
- Why did we win/lose deals?
- Is our market share growing?
- What is the market saying about us?
2) Product review (Product Development Lead)
- How has the product roadmap changed?
- What is our roadmap progress?
- How well is the dev team executing?
- Are we innovating?
3) Sales and marketing review (Sales and Marketing Leads)
- Do we have sufficient pipeline coverage?
- Are the customer acquisition and retention economics improving?
- What is the sales forecast for the quarter (not the CRM forecast)?
- Are we still staffed to hit the revenue targets?
4) Control book financial review (CFO)
- What insights do we derive from the financial metrics?
- How are we progressing against the top five strategic metrics?
- What are the insights from other metrics?
- How is our cash position evolving and are we cash secure?
5) State of the union (CEO)
- What are the CEO top priorities?
- How are we progressing against the strategic initiatives?
- What is the state of our employees and customers?
- What are key hires we need to make?
6) Operations deep dives (functional leaders)
- Deep dive into one or two non-recurring topics.
7) Board matters (CEO and CFO)
Item number three on this agenda covers: pipeline, Lifetime value (LTV), sales forecast and staffing.
When it comes to the pipeline element of this section many expansion stage technology companies report on the sales pipeline. Typically, this looks at the current deals that are being worked by the sales team with some kind of weighting based on confidence levels.
Increasingly, however, board members are looking for information on more than just the sales pipeline. If there has been work done on proper sales and marketing alignment, then the report can include the complete picture from first contact through to imminent sale.
Investors can get 3 key statistics that will help them understand the pipeline better and help them work out what needs to be done to improve:
Statistic 1: % increase in unique visitors
The first contact will increasingly come from online sources as buyers move their early stage behaviour into research mode. Those technology companies who have set up their websites, social medial channels, SEO/PPC, Blogs and campaigns to promote issues-based content will increasingly generate their first-contact online.
Statistic 2: % conversion of visitor to lead
Driving ever-increasing volumes of qualified traffic to online content is of no value if there are no conversion mechanisms that enable the company to exchange content for contact details. The ability to convert traffic to leads at a consistent rate is a fundamental building block of a solid pipeline. Between 2% and 4% is a good average visitor to lead conversion rate.
Statistic 3: % conversion of lead to marketing qualified lead (MQL)
Once the lead is in the system it is critical to have the capability to offer them content related to their area of interest that nurtures them down the pipeline. It is when companies map their content to the stages of buyers’ decision making process and then track its consumption that they can build up evidence of their leads’ readiness for a sales conversation. Developing a consistent rate of conversion of leads into the sales pipeline (MQL) is something that board members should be looking for. Around 10% is a good average lead to MQL conversion rate.
Example: of Marketing pipeline with the 3 main statistics
Marketing pipeline with the 3 main statistics
Inbound Marketing is all about a process that is transparent, predictable and, most importantly, if you are on a fast growth track, scalable
If you would like to listen to our recent Q&A webinar session with experts Johnny Mone of Brightfire and Jeetu Mahtani Managing Director at Hubspot International it’s totally free to access and you can explore further how to:
- Engage with your online audience and speak to their issues
- Create content for conversion
- Convert your audience to leads and sales
- Build your audience and extend your reach
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