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June 18, 2012

Do you KPI? 3 Steps for Enhancing your Marketing & Sales Measurement.

One of the great business truisms of all time… “You can’t manage what you don’t measure!”

If you haven’t defined the most important marketing & sales KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) for your firm and monitored them consistently, here are 3 simple steps for getting started.

Step 1 is to identify the Top 4-6 elements you want to keep an eye on related to your marketing efforts.  The same goes for your sales initiatives.

Step 2 is to make sure you have a [simple] method for measuring each of the elements.

Step 3 is to record, review and report on these elements on a timely basis.

OK, let’s walk through them…

Step 1, your top marketing items… this might include:

  • Website analytics (visitors, time on site, top referring sites, etc.)
  • Social media monitoring (followers, level of interaction, click-thrus, etc.)
  • Email (sent, received, opens, click-thrus, etc.)
  • Online ads (A/B test results, eyeballs, click-thrus, etc.)
  • Content marketing (page views, downloads, etc.)

For sales, your list might include:

  • Daily/Weekly Sales activity (calls, presentations, proposals, etc.)
  • Pipeline counts (suspects, prospects, presentations, bids, conversions, etc.)
  • Lead generation (# leads daily/weekly, source of leads, etc.)
  • And of course, Revenue (new revenue booked, potential revenue in pipeline, revenue vs. goal, revenue by product line, revenue by vertical, etc.)

You get the idea… take a look at your specific marketing & sales efforts and determine what’s most important to you.  Don’t overdo it… pick a few really key ones at first and get into the habit of tracking them.  You can always add more later.

Step 2, can you measure what you want to measure?  Whether you’re using a sophisticated Marketing Automation platform or checking things off on a tic-sheet, make sure you can measure them.  For example:

  • Website and social media analytics can all be tracked through Google Analytics (link)
  • Email analytics can be tracked through most of the commercially available email platforms; in addition to the quantifiable things like ‘opens’ and ‘click-thrus,’ these platforms can also tell you opened and clicked-thru.
  • Sales activity and pipeline can be reported through your CRM platform… and yes, you need a CRM platform
  • Revenue reports can be handed to you from your Accounting department, but you might need to create some new reports

One other point… don’t confine your measurements to just what happened this week… make sure you also include reference points; e.g. vs. last week, vs. last year, vs. the average and/or trended over time.

Step 3… recording, reviewing and reporting.  In the perfect world, all of your measurements would automatically feed into a computer dashboard that you could call up anytime.  And those do exist.  But if you don’t have access to those (and most of us don’t), sit down at least once a week with your marketing & sales team to review their KPI reports and ask questions about what’s going on.  Not only will that dialogue help to keep you up-to-speed, but knowing that your marketing & sales team has to monitor and report on their activities will hold them accountable.

The idea behind KPI monitoring is not to be so granular that you get “paralysis from analysis,” but to give you, as a senior manager or owner, that 30,000-foot view.  Then, when you see something that concerns you, you can drill down and find out the root cause.

Establish, measure and monitor KPIs as part of your marketing & sales process and you’ll be rewarded with a competitive advantage that almost no other firms will take the time to match.

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