Jun 05, 2024 Digital BIAS

How to Use Metrics for Storytelling with Data for Startups

Storytelling with Data for Startups

Startups should use data to tell stories about what is happening in the business to enhance decision-making, build credibility, and drive growth. Data storytelling translates complex analysis into compelling narratives that inform decision-making and drive action. This approach is particularly beneficial for startups, which often operate with limited resources and must make informed decisions quickly.

Our ARISE™ GTM methodology includes meaningful metrics and reporting dashboards that tell the story of where you are today, in line with how we see buyers buying in the market. This goes beyond data hygiene dashboards and underneath the hood so business leaders can make smarter decisions in real time.

Why data storytelling matters for startups

  1. Enhanced Decision-Making: By leveraging data storytelling, startups can transform raw data into meaningful insights easily understood by all stakeholders. This helps them make informed decisions backed by data rather than intuition alone. For instance, understanding customer behaviour through data can help them tailor marketing strategies to better meet customer needs.
  2. Building Credibility and Trust: Presenting data in a narrative format builds trust and credibility internally and externally. Internally, it aligns team members by clearly understanding the business's current state and future direction. Externally, it helps communicate the business's value proposition to investors and other stakeholders, making it easier to secure funding and support.
  3. Driving Growth and Efficiency: Data storytelling can uncover hidden opportunities and potential issues early on. For example, by analysing sales and customer feedback data, a startup can identify which products are performing well and which are not, allowing them to focus resources on high-performing areas and address any issues promptly.

How to Implement Data Storytelling

  1. Identify Relevant Data: Collect data most relevant to your business goals. This could include sales data, customer feedback, operational metrics, and financial figures. The key is to focus on data that can provide actionable insights.
  2. Analyse and Find Insights: Collect data to uncover patterns, correlations, and trends. This step involves both statistical analysis and qualitative and contextual analysis to understand the broader implications of the data.
  3. Craft the Narrative: Use the insights gained from the data analysis to craft a narrative. This narrative should include key elements such as characters (stakeholders), setting (business context), conflict (challenges or opportunities), and resolution (proposed actions or strategies).
  4. Use Visualisations: Enhance your narrative with data visualisations. Charts, graphs, and dashboards can make complex data more accessible and engaging, helping to convey the story more effectively.
  5. Tailor to the Audience: When presenting the data story, consider the background and preferences of your audience. Different stakeholders may require different levels of detail and types of visual aids. For example, executives prefer high-level insights, while technical teams might need more detailed data.

By focusing on data storytelling, startups can improve their decision-making processes and foster a culture of data-driven insights that will drive long-term success.

Making informed decisions and communicating with the board

For business leaders, using data-driven storytelling to communicate the health of marketing, sales, and customer success activities is invaluable. It allows them to present complex data clearly and compellingly, making it easier for board members and stakeholders to understand the impact of various initiatives. 

This approach fosters transparency and builds trust, as concrete data and well-crafted narratives back decisions.

Moreover, data storytelling enables leaders to identify trends, uncover insights, and make informed decisions that drive business growth. By regularly sharing these stories with the board, leaders can ensure that everyone is aligned with the company's strategic objectives and that resources are allocated effectively to support key initiatives. 

This enhances the overall decision-making process and helps set realistic expectations and achieve long-term business success.

How do you tell stories operationally?

In today's data-driven business environment, it is crucial for business leaders to effectively communicate the health of marketing, sales, and customer success activities through storytelling.

By leveraging key metrics, companies can craft compelling narratives that provide insights into performance, guide strategic decision-making, and facilitate meaningful conversations with boards and stakeholders.

Storytelling in Marketing

Marketing metrics such as Cost Per Lead (CPL), Customer Lifetime Value (CLV), and Conversion Rate are essential for understanding the effectiveness of marketing campaigns. However, raw data alone can be overwhelming and difficult to interpret. 

By transforming these metrics into a cohesive story, marketers can highlight the impact of their efforts in a more engaging and understandable way. For instance, a narrative that shows how a specific campaign led to a significant increase in CLV can illustrate the long-term value of marketing investments. 

This approach helps validate marketing strategies and justify budget allocations to the board, ensuring that marketing efforts are aligned with business goals.

Storytelling in Sales

Sales metrics such as Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC), Lead-to-Customer Conversion Rate, and Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR) provide a clear picture of sales performance. By weaving these metrics into a story, sales leaders can demonstrate the effectiveness of their strategies and highlight areas for improvement. 

For example, a story that tracks a lead's journey from initial contact to conversion, supported by data on conversion rates and CAC, can provide valuable insights into the sales process. 

This narrative can help business leaders make informed decisions about resource allocation, sales training, and process optimisation, ultimately driving better sales outcomes.

Storytelling in Customer Success

Customer success metrics such as Net Promoter Score (NPS), Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT), and Churn Rate are critical for understanding customer health and retention. By creating stories around these metrics, customer success teams can illustrate the impact of their efforts on customer satisfaction and loyalty. 

For instance, a narrative showing how proactive customer support reduced churn and increased NPS can highlight the value of customer success initiatives. 

This storytelling approach helps demonstrate the ROI of customer success activities and secure board buy-in for continued investment in customer success programs.

Data storytelling examples for SaaS and Fintech companies in marketing, sales, and customer success


Spotify Wrapped:

Example: Spotify's annual "Wrapped" campaign provides users with personalised insights into their listening habits over the past year. This data-driven storytelling engages users by making them feel special and encourages them to share their unique data stories on social media, thereby increasing brand visibility and user engagement.

Google Trends - The Rhythm of Food:

Example: Google News Lab and Truth & Beauty created "The Rhythm of Food," which uses Google search data to explore food trends over the years. This interactive data story allows users to see how search interest in various foods changes seasonally, providing valuable insights for marketers in the food industry.

Robinhood Recap:

Example: Robinhood's "Robinhood Recap" offers users a personalised review of their investing journey, highlighting their biggest trades, key investing moments, and other market milestones. This data-driven customer experience reinforces moments of explicit value and encourages deeper engagement with the platform.


Sales Performance Dashboards:

Example: Tech companies often use sales performance dashboards that visualise key metrics such as Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC), Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR), and Lead Conversion Rates. These dashboards help sales teams track their performance against targets and adjust real-time strategies to improve outcomes.

QuickBooks Data Stories:

Example: QuickBooks uses data from small business revenue to create compelling narratives highlighting financial trends and insights. These stories help sales teams position their solutions effectively by showcasing real-world benefits and outcomes.

Zoom's Onboarding Funnel Optimisation:

Example: Zoom optimized every step of its onboarding funnel to remove friction and quickly get customers to experience value. This data-driven approach helped Zoom grow exponentially by ensuring new users quickly understood and appreciated the platform's value.

Customer Success

Customer Journey Maps:

Example: Customer success teams use journey maps that visualise the entire customer experience, from onboarding to renewal. These maps highlight key touchpoints and pain points, allowing teams to tailor their support and engagement strategies to improve customer satisfaction and retention.

Net Promoter Score (NPS) Visualizations:

Example: Visualizing NPS data helps customer success teams understand customer loyalty and satisfaction. By segmenting NPS scores by customer demographics or product usage, teams can identify areas for improvement and develop targeted strategies to enhance the customer experience.

ShipBob's Data-Driven Case Studies:

Example: ShipBob uses data-driven storytelling in its case studies to highlight the impact of its fulfilment services. By showcasing quantitative and qualitative data, ShipBob demonstrates the tangible benefits its customers have experienced, making the stories more persuasive and credible.

These examples illustrate how SaaS and fintech companies can leverage data storytelling across marketing, sales, and customer success to engage audiences, drive decision-making, and enhance overall business performance.

In conclusion, using data and metrics to storytell about the health of marketing, sales, and customer success activities is a powerful tool for business leaders. It enables them to communicate effectively with the board, make informed decisions, and drive strategic initiatives contributing to the company's growth and success.

By mastering the art of data storytelling, leaders can transform raw data into actionable insights and compelling narratives that resonate with stakeholders and guide the organisation towards its goals.

For help in understanding your CRM, marketing and sales data, contact our team, who will be happy to discuss how better insights help you shape a better go-to-market strategy. Use the form in the footer below.

Published by Digital BIAS June 5, 2024