It’s that time of year again when we all turn to goal setting. We set SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely), often lofty goals. We ponder the fastest way to achieve sales goals. Then get stuck without the critical business metrics for our revenue generating system to measure if we’re on the right path to achieve them.
Set the Critical Metrics Now
But why only in January? It’s not just because it’s the beginning of the year and people are setting New Year’s resolutions to exercise more, eat more healthily, and spend more time with family. In our business lives, the start of a new fiscal year causes us to look ahead to what we want to accomplish in the new year.
I’m not one to set New Year’s resolutions. It won’t surprise you to learn that I don’t believe you have to wait until January 1st to set resolutions that will change your personal or professional path. I also don’t believe that you have to wait until January 1st to begin what you know needs to be done.
“Do it now!” is my motto.
What if you didn’t get around to setting your business goals and the related business metrics in January? We have one client who starts goal setting in October every year, but their final goals and the budget that accompanies them is never finalized until mid-February. Year in, year out, it happens.
Does that mean they should skip the year and try again next year? Of course not. Do it now!
Set Goals and Establish the Metrics Now
Most recently I set goals in October, announcing to my team that the next 12 months will be a year of numbers. The salesperson in me would love to be spontaneous and make decisions based on my gut instincts. But the business owner in me knows that your gut can only take you so far before you must confirm and adjust your direction based on the data.
And it’s never been easier to track numbers whether you’re a business owner, salesperson, or marketer. It seems that marketing automation, CRM, accounting, and operations applications all track just about everything you can imagine. Use those business metrics to your critical advantage as part of your revenue generating system.
The Top 4 Metric Categories to Guide Your Business
While you can track just about anything these days, there is such a thing as too much data. Step back and critically assess which data will help you know if your business is on the path to success or headed for a skid.
This year my goal is to use the data available in four critical categories to us to guide our business. Here are the top four metric categories that I’ll be monitoring. These are the same four metric categories we coach our sales coaching clients to measure, and that we use with our managed digital marketing clients.
Are you catching the pattern here? These four metric categories are important elements of your revenue generating system.
1. Profitability and monthly revenue
Of course. Every business owner has to monitor these. I also have my team leads monitoring them because frankly, why should I shoulder all the risk? You want your team sharing in your risk, too. Let them know what the targets are and how you’re doing against them. If you’re scared, they should be, too. If you’re proud, they should be, too.
2. Lead generation campaign metrics
From traffic, clicks, views, and downloads to conversions and closes. People tell us they love our content. The metrics confirm specifically what they love and help me determine our content and solution offerings direction. Campaign metrics show what your target market is interested in. These same topics are what your salespeople should be talking about and to which your solutions should better align.
3. Sales and prospecting metrics
Sales metrics to monitor include activities, opportunities and some marketing metrics. Prospecting metrics include appointments set, length of the sales process and closes. As authorities in prospecting, I constantly research what’s working and what’s not. But we’re a business, too, and every business needs a consistent influx of new clients to keep their pipeline full. Hold your salespeople accountable for new business development by measuring their sales and prospecting activities, not just net new clients added to your business.
4. Social conversion
Social helps SEO, new business development, and sales. Measure growth, engagement, and conversion. Social networking is a necessarily piece of business today and consumes resources to do it right. I want to be sure it’s not just “right” but also driving website traffic and conversions and generating revenue.
Do Your Goals Measure Up?
Even if numbers don’t seem as fun as gut instincts, they are a critical element of your revenue generating system. They provide insights that will allow you to quickly shift your business without waiting for the next New Year. Do your goals have measurable targets? Are you monitoring them?
If you aren’t sure what critical metrics you should be monitoring based on your business goals, or how to improve your sales and marketing results, contact us to talk with an expert. Let’s discuss your vision and where we can assist you.