Revenue Attribution and B2B Sales with Steffen Hedebrandt – Data Beats Opinion

Vanessa Copley

Today, we welcomed Steffen Hedebrandt, Chief Marketing Officer at Dreamdata, a Revenue Attribution Platform to the Data Beats Opinion Podcast.  Steffen is a subject matter expert in connecting marketing activities with revenue. He has an exceptional growth mindset, is data-driven by heart and loves all parts of scaling the commercial side of a business.  A notorious growth hacker with a successful track record of scaling businesses and building teams at Upwork and Airtame, Steffen knows firsthand the pain points of rapidly scaling marketing and growth.

One of the most amazing things I learned during this interview is that it takes an average of 32 touches from first touch to a deal being won in the B2B space.  That’s a lot of wiggle room for attribution error, and why it is more critical than ever to be able to see accurate data through the customer journey.

In this interview with Steffen Hedebrandt, you will learn:

  • How the nature of b2b marketing differs from traditional marketing strategies
  • The differences between typical CRM attribution models and deeper analytics
  • Potential blind spots in your marketing that you may not even know exist
  • The shockingly low number of b2b companies that use a genuine data-driven model
  • Steffen’s new Go-To-Market Benchmark Report for 2022
  • And so much more!

You can connect with Steffen at:


Keith Perhac: Hello. This is Keith Perhac again at Data Beats Opinion. I am here today with Steffen Hildebrandt, the co-founder and CMO at Dreamdata, and we’re going to talk about digital marketing, we’re going to talk about revenue attribution, and everything in between. Steffen, thank you so much for joining us.

Steffen Hedebrandt: Thank you, Keith. I’m really looking forward to it, to our conversation.

Keith Perhac: Yeah. Me too. So, this is something we were talking a little bit about before the show, that really is a difficult problem, which is not only … When people think of attribution, they’re thinking about attributing a single person through a flow, right? They’re thinking of the B2C, someone clicks on an ad and then buys something, or they’re thinking about a SaaS, someone comes in, signs up, and then starts using it.

Keith Perhac: But what you do and what you talk about a lot is not necessarily going to the single individual, it is also going to the account level at a whole because there are multiple people that then make up that account. Is that correct? Am I-

Steffen Hedebrandt: Yes, exactly. Yeah, yeah. Exactly. I can just describe my own background, as well? And the-

Keith Perhac: Yeah. Definitely. Let’s go in.

Steffen Hedebrandt: Before Dreamdata, I was working in a B2B company that was selling hardware into schools, into businesses. And in those processes, there would always be, for the school, a teacher … We were selling a wireless streaming device. So, there’d be teachers searching for, “How can I move around the classroom?” Et cetera. But that’s only for a quarter of the sales. Then, that teacher had an IT manager, and then, that IT manager had an IT director, and then, maybe the school’s CFO or CO would have to sign off as well.

Steffen Hedebrandt: And I come from a mindset about marketing that you want to … Marketing should be done to produce revenue, but in this scenario where you know that there’s going to be three or four people involved, it’s going to take three, six, 12 months before you close that deal. Then, the conclusions you risk making if you’re just looking at that with traditional tools like Google Analytics, Facebook ads, LinkedIn ads, et cetera, it’s just going to completely misguide you because it doesn’t represent the nature of how B2B acquires stuff.

Steffen Hedebrandt: B2B, they buy as a team, and all the tools that we’re using, they’re understanding the world as a single person, and even worse, some places just as unconnected devices that are just operating out there.

Keith Perhac: Right. Yeah. And you have a number of problems in that situation. You have the problem of, first of all, you have multiple people under the same umbrella, under that same account. And then, you have the other problem of, “Okay. Google and Facebook attribution is seven days.” And nothing in B2B enterprise-style sales, nothing’s getting decided in seven days, right?

Keith Perhac: You might even not get a demo in seven days.

Steffen Hedebrandt: No. Even just for ourselves, I know, obviously, we do multi-touch tracking all itself, and just for a demo call to be booked on our website, normally, it takes five sessions. And that typical pattern will be the true referral source initially, which could be an ad or something else, then it could be an organic visit, and then maybe you see three direct visits afterward. And if you want to look at the original source fields in your CM system, it’ll tell you, “Oh, this is one converted from a direct visit.”

Keith Perhac: Right, exactly.

Steffen Hedebrandt: But, what you’re not seeing is that you actually spend money on starting that journey, which means either you’re growing a lot slower than you could do, or you’re just wasting a lot of money because you can’t really connect your spend to the business outcome that you’re trying to achieve.

Keith Perhac: Right, exactly. And what I’ve seen in a lot of … Because I think CRMs are starting to … They want to have the bullet point of, “Oh, we track attribution,” right? When they have the bare minimum that they need to be able to say that. But even something like ads, where you’re looking at, now, branded search where … Essentially, the Google tax. You have to be spending all this money in order to be ranking high in Google, and the CRMs are attributing that as paid traffic, even though, really, it shouldn’t be paid traffic, because it’s not, right? It’s a tax.

Steffen Hedebrandt: Yeah.

Keith Perhac: So, that’s something where a system like yours, or what we do, becomes more important because you need to be able to drill into that more than just the top level, like, “Oh, it was an ad.”

Steffen Hedebrandt: Yeah. And I think that’s the … I think we’re going through a big shift where the people start to go, “Okay. It’s not a single touch, less click world that we live in,” but the transition is just super hard because they’re used to looking at certain things, and now, SegMetrics or Dreamdata and others are saying, “The world isn’t actually like that, and the numbers you’re looking at are wrong.”

Steffen Hedebrandt: That’s because he learned marketing 10 or 20 years ago where the data was much simpler. There were fewer devices..

Keith Perhac: Yeah. It was more of a straight line back then.

Steffen Hedebrandt: Yeah. But I think we can at least see, typically, when we look at, for example, the paid channel, there’s 3 to 5x difference in terms of you understanding the world as a last touch world, or the true first touch, which means if you can invest 5x the amount of money into your marketing, then you’re going to completely outgrow your competition.

Keith Perhac: Yeah. In the B2B side, do you see … I know it’s very much case-by-case, but what do you see as the larger indicator of success? Is it first-touch? Is it last-touch? Or is it the fact that there’s multiple touches and the number of touches is what influences it?

Steffen Hedebrandt: Obviously, you know, I’m doing marketing because I’m very much wired towards finding out what starts the journeys, and there’s definitely … Not all ads are equal. There’s a huge difference in how they perform depending on audiences, media, creatives, et cetera. But what I want, and as such … We can also come into this bit, but the predictability of … People come with B2B with a mindset of, “Oh, can’t we just get a data-driven model because then that just gives us the recipe of what we need to do.”

Steffen Hedebrandt: And then, “Well, it isn’t that simple,” but in fact, it’s maybe 1% of all B2Bs in the world that actually have been updated to do a true data-driven model. If you think about it, when a deal closes, sometimes five people. Other times, three. Other times, two or one, or then, suddenly, there was a deal with 10 people involved.

Steffen Hedebrandt: And then, these deals were three months, six months, 12 months, 24 months. Somebody clicked that ad, other one clicked that ad. And when you start to do the math on top of that, you just arrive at some kind of average where, “Okay. So, you started this Facebook ad that had made them click that one.” It’s not how B2B works.

Steffen Hedebrandt: And we just released some benchmarks from our own customers now, and we can see that, on average, there were 32 touches involved in an account from first touch to a deal being won, and you know, I really, honestly don’t think that one touch makes a difference except that, actually, I think if there were one touch, it would be the first touch that you are actually able to get in front of the person who started that journey with you.

Steffen Hedebrandt: Then, sometimes, it’s a sales call. Sometimes, it’s an email. Sometimes, it’s social selling on LinkedIn. Sometimes it’s a newsletter. But just to share a notion that you need to get 32 touches in there means that you need to be present a lot, or for moving a needle forward.

Keith Perhac: Right. This is something that, I think, a lot of people don’t really get, both on the attribution side, but also, on the sale side, which is that you have to tell someone seven times before they actually understand it, right? And sales is the exact same way.

Steffen Hedebrandt: That’s true.

Keith Perhac: There’s not a, “Oh, I showed them an ad, and then they purchased.” And even in e-com, which is probably the simplest funnel out there, it’s not even true.

Steffen Hedebrandt: Yep.

Keith Perhac: Very few people see an ad and are like, “Oh, yeah! I want that.” That’s … yeah.

Steffen Hedebrandt: Yeah.

Keith Perhac: We had done … And I’m going to link to the go-to-market benchmark 2022 in the show notes because I found that incredibly interesting. Yeah. But I think that people don’t realize how much effort and how much repetition there is in closing one of those deals.

Steffen Hedebrandt: Forget about that funnel and just focus on getting quality touches in front of people every week. Do high-quality content, do high-quality calls, and do high-quality meetings. Just pegging those high-quality touches along the way. It would be nice if there were such a thing as a data recipe for what to do, but I fear you would end up in a too-average place to say something smart.

Keith Perhac: Well, this is one of the things that I always keep harping on, which is that a lot of marketing dashboards and a lot of marketing analytics deals with averages. And it’s like, “Oh, what is our cost per acquisition,” or, “What’s our return on ad spend,” or, “What’s our lead value, across an entire swathe, across the entire funnel,” or, god forbid, the entire company, right?

Steffen Hedebrandt: We would even say that if you’re talking about a B2B company, all the numbers are completely wrong.

Keith Perhac: Yep. But then-

Steffen Hedebrandt: Yeah. There’s nothing as dangerous as a pretty graph.

Keith Perhac: Yeah, exactly. And that’s one of the things I always talk about, which is, that those are good numbers to know how the business is going and improving or declining but to actually know anything, you have to drill down into the outliers. You have to find out, “This is what is weird about this group, this is under-performing, this is over-performing,” and be able to attribute to that level.

Steffen Hedebrandt: Yeah. And a CFO might ask, rationally, “What’s our best ad channel?” Well, we start the journey on Google Ads, and then we re-target them on LinkedIn and Facebook, and then we get some display in front of them, and then they come back to Google Search to do the branded search, and that, of course, is actually the best ad campaign.

Keith Perhac: Right.

Steffen Hedebrandt: So, the world is not that simple. It’s like, each account might have had five or 10 clicks on an ad before they bought.

Keith Perhac: Yeah, yeah. All of our ad reporting that we do internally removes all those branded search ads because it’s worthless.

Steffen Hedebrandt: Yeah.

Keith Perhac: I mean, it’s good to know, like, “Okay. They came in through this eventually,” but I want to know where did it come from right before that, right?

Steffen Hedebrandt: I think most of us are guilty in having hidden a few bad months campaigns with blending it in some branded search.

Keith Perhac: Yep. Yeah.

Steffen Hedebrandt: But if you’re being honest, that’s not the right path.

Keith Perhac: I think that’s always the challenging part about analytics, especially in the agency world, because there’s always 800 ways to slice the data. And whether consciously or not, you tend to go towards the one that makes you look better.

Steffen Hedebrandt: Yeah. I think this is also … I don’t know if you’ve talked with your customers about it, but there’s a fundamental challenge of being an agency where the client is looking at short-term performance, but they might be aware that this looks like an average sale cycle of six months or something like that, and you want us to push more emails through within this month. Are you sure that’s the right balance in what we’re trying to achieve?

Keith Perhac: Right. Exactly, because … And I think at the end of the day, both of them want that long-term growth and success, but there’s definitely, on the client’s side, a push for, “I’m paying 10,000, 20, 30, 50,000 dollars a month right now to work with this agency. Results, come on. What are you doing?”

Steffen Hedebrandt: You need to see those leaps coming in.

Keith Perhac: Exactly, exactly. Yeah. It is a challenge. And that’s why I think that looking at long-term return on ad spend and long-term return on investment is the better play, and being able to say, “Okay. We know we’re not going to get it back in X months,” and we set that expectation upfront. And you need a tool like what you do and what we do to understand the longer sales cycle, to be able to say, “Look, this is not coming in on day one. This is coming on day 14, or month six, or month 12, or month 20,” right?

Steffen Hedebrandt: Mm-hmm. I admittedly ended up in my last company … I had judged the ad spend the same month as I made the ad spend.

Keith Perhac: Mm-hmm.

Steffen Hedebrandt: Even though it’s completely ridiculous. That journey would ultimately be six months and three to five people involved. But still, “I spent almost 100,000 dollars this month. How much did we produce this month?” Even though the clicks you buy this month are just seeds you plant everywhere, and then, they actually need six months. And the one you’re harvesting now, you planted it six months ago.

Steffen Hedebrandt: So, I think that really describes well the need for actually being able to connect the dots over a longer time because the investment you will make today is not going to be seen next week. It’s three, six, or 12 months from now.

Keith Perhac: Exactly, exactly. This is one of the things that kind of drives me nuts about the Facebook Ads Manager is that they conflate conversions and ad spend. So, if you had an ad seven days ago that converted today, they’re still going to count that conversion today even though the ad spend was seven days ago. And it’s like …

Steffen Hedebrandt: Yeah.

Keith Perhac: So, what do you trust? What is the actual number coming in? Right? Like-

Steffen Hedebrandt: Yeah. I think, this is, in general, where the ad platforms are getting into more and more trouble because of this … What do you call it? ITP, Intelligent Tracking Prevention, that Safari launched where they’re really trying to … I don’t know if punish is the right word, but they’re trying to prohibit, at least, these ad providers that are doing not-so-pretty tracking of what the users are doing. That means that the ad platform, they’re standing on the outside, trying to judge what’s going on on the inside.

Steffen Hedebrandt: Whereas, like, a first-party data approach, like us or SegMetrics, we’re on the inside. We can look at, where does the traffic come from? But also, what does it become once it’s landed? And we have access to the systems that we need. For Facebook to do proper attribution, they needed at least in B2B to be connected to the CRM system of the business as well. But they’re not.

Keith Perhac: Right. And they kind of tried that with Facebook Analytics, the platform, but they kind of threw that all away. I think they just realized it was too much of a can of worms.

Steffen Hedebrandt: Yeah. I heard a lot of people actually liking it, but I can’t remember why it got sunset.

Keith Perhac: I mean, I don’t know the official reason. It got sunset pretty much at the same time when Apple said, “Hey, no more tracking.”

Keith Perhac: And so, I think they were just like, “Look, we don’t want to deal with this anymore.”

Steffen Hedebrandt: Yeah.

Keith Perhac: What I find frustrating about the Apple privacy side of things is not necessarily the Apple privacy thing, although … Whatever. That’s a whole different discussion.

Steffen Hedebrandt: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Keith Perhac: But the fact that, now, Facebook is kind of taking the scorched earth situation where they’ve removed tracking for us and other third-party tools and anything that … Because now they’re trying to sandbox it and say, “Oh, your tracking is not going to be worth anything,” because they’ve sandboxed it on their own, and they’re blaming Apple.” This is something they decided to do, but they’re like, “We want everyone to be angry at Apple, not us.”

Keith Perhac: So, they’ve walled themselves off and it’s become very difficult for the mobile browser on Facebook and stuff to actually get real attribution out of it anymore, which is super frustrating for long-term attribution because you see someone go into the Facebook Mobile, they click around, and then they leave, and that’s all sandbox. That’s gone. That data’s just not there anymore. Yeah.

Steffen Hedebrandt: The ads that you run on Facebook or, like, where you stay inside of the Facebook world.

Keith Perhac: Yeah. When you stay inside the Facebook app because that’s not shared with the outside browser at all.

Steffen Hedebrandt: Got it. Okay, yeah.

Keith Perhac: And so, then they go over to Safari, and they start clicking around, and suddenly, it could be a completely different device, essentially, right? Because the fingerprint is not the same. The IP address is different. Everything is different.

Steffen Hedebrandt: Yeah. Annoying. Good for private people. Annoying as a business.

Keith Perhac: Yeah. Exactly, exactly. So, I know we kind of jumped around there. I want to talk a little but more about the benchmark that you did. So, one of your big things that you had realized was that 32 touchpoints before a sale or before a conversion. What were some of the other interesting things that you saw with those benchmarks?

Steffen Hedebrandt: I think there’s a lot of things that are interesting, but one of them is an average journey from the first touch to a B2B deal being won is 192 days.

Keith Perhac: Oof.

Steffen Hedebrandt: That means if you want more pipeline by Christmas, you need to start those ads pretty soon. It’s pretty *** up to think about it that way, but it’s at least … This is not scientifically-correct data yet. There hasn’t been … It’s just below 500 people I count that participated, but it’s real data.

Keith Perhac: Right.

Steffen Hedebrandt: So, I think it, somewhat, will represent what is actually true. I think what surprises most people is, normally, when they get asked about, “How long is your journey?” They talk about from when the need was identified to when the account was won, but what they’re actually telling you there is the sale cycle. They’re not telling you how long time the data account’s been researching anonymously on your website until they let themself know, and then started that traditional funnel.

Keith Perhac: Right.

Steffen Hedebrandt: And those two parts actually turned out to be equally long. So, if you have a saying in your sales team that your journey is three months long, it’s actually more like it’s six months long, but the people working on your website, checking out different stuff, going to a review website, et cetera.

Steffen Hedebrandt: And that means incredibly much when you’re trying to understand, is my marketing working? Plus, it’s a good experiment. Should I stop this ad after one month of running it, or should it actually get two or three more months?

Keith Perhac: Right. Especially, like-

Steffen Hedebrandt: And if you didn’t also … Yeah. If I could just finish.

Steffen Hedebrandt: Then, the same thing if you have a marketing team committed to delivering a certain amount of pipeline for the sales people to close their budget, then you need to staff twice as much time up ahead than what you thought you needed to do. So, if the sales team has a target in December, you need to calculate way back and take data from opportunity to close, how long does that take? From MQL to an opportunity, how long does that take? And from first touch to MQL, how long does that take? In order for you to actually, with somewhat predictability, to deliver enough demand for your sales people to close to the business.

Keith Perhac: Yeah. Yeah, exactly. And I think that you’re exactly right because most people, most sales companies, do just start from, “Okay. We got a lead in August. How long did it take from getting that lead to converting?” I mean, I look at the software that I buy, and the companies that I work with, and like you said, it’s generally three months before I even decide, “Okay. I’m going to get on a demo,” or, “I’m going to start a trial,” or even put in my email address.

Steffen Hedebrandt: Yeah. You want to be like … At least for myself, I want to almost have made the decision before I talk to a sales person.

Keith Perhac: Mm-hmm. So, I’m actually curious, on the backend, are you doing any … So, before they raise their hand, before they give their email address or sign up for the demo or anything, are you collecting people together into those accounts? Because I know you do that once they join in, but for example, if I have three people in my company looking at your website, are we all grouped together by account through our LinkedIn something or other?

Steffen Hedebrandt: So, we sort users when we can. If you guys are sitting at the same IP address, then we can say, “Now there’s three anonymous devices from this IP address looking at your website.” But we only get the identity of you once you submit a form, like a demo call, newsletter, e-book, et cetera. At this point, we get permission to glue together the known identity with the unknown identity.

Steffen Hedebrandt: So, we give our customers a script, and this script, you can put on your website, and if Keith is on website five times before he converts, then the first four times, he will just be an anonymous log of that device that he was doing something. You know? So, you’re completely privacy-compliant because you only glue together anonymous behavior with known behavior once you actually the permission for it.

Steffen Hedebrandt: And then, when you have the permission, then we do a string of things to sort you to the right account. We look in the CRM system. Can we restore this email together with an account? Yes, no? If not there, we go to the marketing automation platform and the customer success platform. We look at the email, and if nothing works out, you don’t get sorted until we’re able to do it.

Keith Perhac: Right.

Steffen Hedebrandt: But given that, as you have 32 sessions on average, the likelihood of you getting sorted at some point is quite high.

Keith Perhac: Exactly. Especially as you collect all that data directly from Salesforce and HubSpot and all that because, as they get on those sales calls, you’re able to say, “Oh, this person is actually Bob who’s been going for three times, and he’s now connected to the account,” and pull in all that data.

Steffen Hedebrandt: Yes. And maybe we could just touch quickly on the cross-device thing which a lot of people always talk about as well.

Keith Perhac: Yeah. I’d love to.

Steffen Hedebrandt: So, the way we’ve solved it is that, in our data model, a user can have multiple devices and multiple emails. It takes some time before all of it gets glued together, but over time, it gets glued together.

Steffen Hedebrandt: So, I can give you an example. Let’s say you browsed on your phone, went into our website, signed up for our newsletter. Then, we would have identified the phone and that email. I should start with sending mails. You maybe, one day, from your computer, click the link in the mail. Now, we know that this device and this device is owned by Keith. And so, it kind of continues.

Keith Perhac: Yeah. And especially when you have those longer sale cycles, by the time that someone has gotten on that sales call or who has raised their hand, you’re going to have a very complete vision of them because it’s not like something like a Shopify store where, really, you don’t have those extra chances to connect in a short time unless you’re doing a lot of backend funnel work.

Steffen Hedebrandt: Yeah. I could imagine if you’re buying a pair of running shoes, you maybe go to three, four, five different web shops during a span of one or two days, but that’s all you get.

Keith Perhac: Right. Exactly.

Steffen Hedebrandt: And those websites might just each see just one visit, and if the person declines cookies, then you don’t get any tracking, et cetera.

Keith Perhac: Yep. So, we were talking a little bit about funnels. What do you feel like … I’m trying to think of how to phrase this. So, with a sales process, definitely, there is a sales process to the funnel. How do you feel that, especially in B2B sales, automated funnels and automated marketing within that nurture sequence are effective in that communication and in turning a MQL into a customer?

Steffen Hedebrandt: It’s a really good question. I don’t really believe that much in funnels, or at least, B2B … I don’t know what you’d call it, mid-market sales and upwards.

Keith Perhac: Right, sure.

Steffen Hedebrandt: Where you’re kind of selling, let’s say, plus five-digit contracts. For the way we do it, we use marketing nurtures to, if you sign up to our newsletter or to our e-book, if you sign up with the product for free, then you get a few emails helping you get set up. But from that point on, we actually leave it to the sales people to make sure that the nurture happens.

Steffen Hedebrandt: So, reach out, try to get them into meeting, invite stakeholders, et cetera. Then, what we do to try to keep them getting those soft touches in there as well is to produce a ton of quality content that we can send on the newsletter, but also, just shared on LinkedIn, do re-targeting ads with it, et cetera.

Steffen Hedebrandt: And we actually … I think we’re three or four people from doing that next with a MQL. So, if you accept all our invites on LinkedIn, then you’re really going to get funneled into a lot of the brand impressions because we also … Each of us post two to five times a week on LinkedIn as well. And if you add on top of that that we like each other’s posts and comment on each other’s posts then there’s a high chance that you’re multiple times, every day, see our brand impression.

Steffen Hedebrandt: And I think it’s the only kind of way to do it. There are too many dimensions in trying to orchestrate an automation here and a chain. The chance of you doing a good automation is much lower than you doing it where the sales people just do the reach-out and stuff.

Keith Perhac: Right. Because it’s one of the challenges, I think, that a lot of people have as they go from low dollar sale cycles to high dollar sale cycles, which is, at the low dollar sale cycle, it’s not feasible for a sales person to constantly be reaching out, or multiple sales people. And it’s a whole mental shift on how to change that process.

Steffen Hedebrandt: Yeah. I think that’s a really good one as well, just in general, for how we run your, I guess, go-to-market, to understand what’s your average contract value and what does that mean for how you go to market? Like, if your average deal is 10 dollars a month, then you cannot have a super-smart enterprise sales guy calling these people because the metric is never going to work, so you need to find [inaudible 00:28:23] as your [inaudible 00:28:24], et cetera.

Keith Perhac: Yeah.

Steffen Hedebrandt: And so, the reason why it works for us is our average deal size is 20,000 euros or something like that. So, if a salesperson closes a couple of those per month, then that salesperson is okay.

Keith Perhac: Yeah. Exactly. Do you remember … I think it was Process Street, I think, was the name of it. It was a SaaS software. It was pretty low dollar value. It was probably 5000 dollars or something like that, but they had the most intense sale cycle I’d ever had. I had live people calling me every single day for, like, six weeks, just to try and get me to come on.

Keith Perhac: I’m like, “They must have had a lot of funding or something,” because the amount of value that you could possibly get from these sales calls does not match, but it’s exactly what you’re saying, if you don’t know what that lifetime value is and you’re not able to correctly see what the possible value for a cohort is, right?

Keith Perhac: You might spend 20 hours, 30 hours of a high-level sales guy talking to me when I’m only going to spend maybe 2k, tops. Right? And that’s not going to work out for you. So, being able to attribute that early on is important.

Steffen Hedebrandt: Yes. I think this is more general businesses [inaudible 00:29:47]. A lot is the importance of actually having to find an ideal customer profile for you, which means right down … How does the company look? How does the person or people look that you’re trying to attract? Because that simplifies everything else in your whole business because whether we go to do marketing to get these people, if you have people who convert on your website, your salespeople can only talk to the people that actually fit this ideal customer profile.

Steffen Hedebrandt: When you build a product, you build a product for this ideal customer profile and not that other noisy person in your pipeline. So, by having a really clear definition of which companies I’m selling to, who are the people that we’re selling to, then all the other choices become a lot easier and you’re much more effective with that time you have available.

Keith Perhac: Yeah. Definitely. And I think it’s that attribution that helps with that. There’s a lot that you can do from a top-level, “This is what we’re deciding,” but I think that there’s also the attribution that something like Dreamdata provides is really important in being able to understand, “We thought that this was our best customer segment. We thought that this was our most valuable customer segment, but it’s not.” And being able to understand that from a data level.

Steffen Hedebrandt: Yeah. And you know, also, to some degree, some product data as well, are these people going to end up being happy customers or are they going to turn at some point, and then your investors are going to kill you because your turn numbers are too high.

Keith Perhac: Right.

Steffen Hedebrandt: So, it’s also about knowing when to say no. Even though you could almost scrap that deal across the finish line, maybe you shouldn’t do it because they’re not going to be happy because the product isn’t really built for that type of business.

Keith Perhac: Mm-hmm. Exactly.

Steffen Hedebrandt: We’ve learned that the hard way.

Keith Perhac: I think all businesses have at some point. It’s like, “This is definitely our best customer segment,” and then realizing that they’re just horrible like they’re just not who you want to focus on.

Steffen Hedebrandt: In the beginning, especially if you want to be bootstrap, then you’d kind of have to sell to who you can sell to right now.

Keith Perhac: Yeah. Because we are completely bootstrapped, and that was one of the big things that we learned in the beginning as well, which is, at the beginning, it’s like, okay, anyone who comes in the door, sign up. And then, as we grew and as we found our niche, we were like, “Okay. These are the types of customers that we want to focus on. Anyone else, we just don’t care.”

Steffen Hedebrandt: Yeah, yeah. Exactly.

Keith Perhac: Awesome. Well, Steffen, any advice or anything you’d like to give to the companies and the agencies and the people listening to us?

Steffen Hedebrandt: I would say, if you want to go down that data-driven path, then the best time to plant the tree was 20 years ago, and the second-best is today. So, look through how you go to market today, and if it’s not digitalized in that sense, it’s not building the traces you need when you want to go back and try to understand what’s actually going on.

Keith Perhac: Yeah. Exactly. Steffen, thank you so much. Where can people find you online?

Steffen Hedebrandt: Primarily LinkedIn. That’s the place where I’m active, and people can just reach out with any kind of question that they might have.

Keith Perhac: Excellent. Well, we will link your LinkedIn. We will link to the go-to-market benchmarks for 2022, and of course, to Dreamdata as well.

Steffen Hedebrandt: Fantastic.

Keith Perhac: And Steffen, I just want to say, thank you so much for coming on and talking to all of us.

Steffen Hedebrandt: Thank you, Keith. It was a true pleasure.

Keith Perhac: Definitely. Talk soon. 

Vanessa Copley


Vanessa Copley is a business automation specialist and the founder of Custom Client Journey. She specializes in client journey management and bringing the human touch to your automated experience. In her free time, she enjoys reading fantasy and horror novels, practicing Tang Soo Do and spending time with her amazing children, the love of her life, and their 15 birds and 2 dogs.

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