How to Manage & Improve the Performance of Companies with Peter Caputa IV @pc4media #vcbuzz

How to Manage & Improve the Performance of Companies with Peter Caputa IV @pc4media #vcbuzz

Managing a business performance is one of the most difficult tasks any business owner faces.

How to effectively measure your company’s performance and evaluate its growth? How to identify if anything needs fixing or improving?

Let’s discuss!

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About Peter

Peter Caputa IV @pc4media is CEO of Databox @DataboxHQ, he is former VP of Sales at @Hubspot.

He is also founder and advisor to startups within Collaborative Growth Network helping companies like @insycle @partnerstack @drift @pandadoc @getpantheon with strategic direction.

Peter helps companies grow by implementing sales and marketing excellence.

Questions we discussed

Q1 How did you become a digital marketer? Please share your career story!

I wouldn’t say that I chose to become a digital marketer, as it wasn’t something that existed when I was in school. But, since high school, I remember being fascinated by the media business model.

One of the first “business” books I remember reading was Ben Bagdikian’s (RIP) Media Monopoly. The book was about how media companies consolidated and controlled too much of society.

So, when the internet started to become popular (for the most part, while I was in college), I became intrigued about how it flattened opportunity for everyone individual voices and businesses.

I studied engineering in college and took a job at a manufacturing company. It was a big, slow-moving company and I was bored out of mind. So, I started brainstorming internet businesses I could start with a few friends.

We ended up building a SaaS business to help event planners (of public events) promote their event and handle registration. We had built a network of event promoters who would help promote these events by email and myspace. 🙂

But, that event promotion/registration business proved difficult to scale. So, we started selling email marketing services and website development services. That’s how I got into digital marketing. That was early 2000s.

In 2006ish, I hired a sales coach to help me sell. I was able to sell a lot more of our services, but really struggled to balance sales with delivery of services.

So, in 2007, my sales coach introduced me to Mark Roberge, his son. the VP Sales at HubSpot They had just raised the Series A. Mark offered me a job on the sales team. And after some himming & hawing, I decided to take the job and shut down our startup.

I spent 9 years at HubSpot. I started the agency partner program there, partly to help agencies struggle with the same things I struggled with before I had joined HubSpot. I eventually ran a few hundred person team before moving on to @databoxhq.

Q2 From all the experience with multiple startups, what is #1 advice you tend to give companies to manage their performance?

My number one advice for managing performance in a startup is to write out your strategy, including a financial model. That’s hard when you’re still figuring things out and gets easier as you grow. So, it should be an iterative process that you do quarterly.

In early days of a startup, you might just be a few people. But, you need to write out what you plan to do & how that will impact the business. In early days of Databox, 1 of our 1st projects was launching dashboard templates so that people could get setup quicker.

Another early project was to blog consistently. That grew traffic considerably. We then made templates free & listed them on all our website. We’d write content on our blog that was related to the templates & embed the templates. That helped us grow signup volume.

More recently, we redid keyword research and launched the template gallery with category and subcategory pages, in order to rank for more short-tail keywords. That grew our traffic and conversion rate for us.

Each one of these “quarterly initiatives” helped us improve a key metric. Our quarterly cadence of planning out initiatives and estimating impact is what caused the team to think of the improvement opportunities each time.

In case anyone wants to see what I’m talking about, here’s a link to the template gallery: (We get thousands of signups every month from this at this point.) Here’s a blog post where we feature a template

Q3 How can one improve business performance? What are the most common roadblocks?

Key to improving a company’s performance is to be systematic about it. It’s about having a balance of projects that are big bets & ones that are incremental improvements. We try to have 1-3 bigger bets annually & 50+ smaller bets that we decide on each quarter.

Another big key to improving company performance (that I think many entrepreneurs overlook) is: doing more of what works. For example, if blogging helps increase your domain authority, keep going. If chat on your site helps you engage more prospects, respond faster.

Agreed. In early days of a startup, 90 days makes sense. In later stages, annual planning and modeling becomes really important. Hard to grow a team w/out an annual model that includes revenue estimates and budgets.

The biggest mistake I see young companies make when it comes to managing company performance is not sticking with something long enough. I see lots of companies give up on content marketing/blogging because it doesn’t work right away.

Most marketing/sales channels, product launches, etc require iteration. For example, we’ve been doing chat for years. We didn’t know what response rate was possible until recently when we got it down to minutes by staffing a bigger team & covering more time zones.

Also, some things take a long time to prove out. I know from my experience at HubSpot, the quality of the sales process is a big factor in customer retention. It took us several years to prove that out at Databox, though.

Q4 How do companies manage and improve employee performance?

Managing performance of customer-facing teams (prospecting, sales, customer onboarding, account management) is relatively straightforward. 1) Everyone has targets to hit 2) The targets are generally the same for the people in the same role, allowing for comparison.

For customer-facing teams, goals should be set for the company, then each team, then each person. There should be a spreadsheet model. You need to factor in how much work someone can do first and how much work there is.

Setting goals for marketing is much harder than customer-facing teams. I think that starts with an understanding of how much demand there is for your product. Marketers can create demand, but they can’t pull it out of thin air.

Assuming the market is big enough, the first step for setting goals for marketers it to understand the demand that already exists by channel. Paid is easy to forecast based on spend. Organic can be roughly forecasted, but not perfectly, of course.

Q5 How can @DataboxHQ help in managing and improving a company’s performance?

I honestly don’t know how executives (owners, managers) run their business or department without something like @databoxhq that pulls all key performance metrics into one spot. Marketers, especially, have data in so many tools on so many screens.

We’ve built a free course for companies that want to max performance. It starts w/ defining metrics to track, setting goals, building dashboards to monitor performance. Then, iterating on the model & goals each year/quarter.

At Databox, we try to make it as easy as possible to connect all your tools (takes seconds), pick metrics that you want to track and build dashboards with multiple metrics. We provide a free version and a free trial of our paid version.

At Databox, we also offer an immense amount of setup help for free. We have 30+ people in customer support around the world who are available via chat (during most of the day) and we will build custom dashboards for you with no commitment required from you.

What I’m most excited about, though, is what we’re working on next. We’ll have at least 2 big product launches this year. The first one is report automation: Build custom dashboards and pdf reports in one tool and in one work flow.

The 2nd thing we’re working on is benchmarks: We have 10s of thousands of companies who are using us & 70+ tight integrations w/ popular software tools. We’ve invited our users to opt-in to this feature

Our previous business growth chats:


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