Keeping and Eye on the KPI

by Victor J. McCoy, digital marketing strategist, 3V Design Media

As we approach the new year with a little uncertainty and a lot of assumptions. One business constant remains, and that is the production of profit as the “end game”. While delivering a great product or service and customer experience is a must, no business can continue to do that over a period without profits. Therefore, measuring your organizations performance across many channels requires the establishment of key performance indicators that quantitatively measure what has happened over time. Not only do we want to know what has happened, we want to know what’s next, what action must we take now to continue moving in the direction of success? For example, if we’re trying to lose weight by exercising daily, periodically we’ll get on the scale to see how many pounds we’ve dropped. Sometimes we set a goal of losing 30 pounds in six months which would require me to lose 5 pounds per month. While the tactics may be running, riding, rowing or whatever the KPI is 5 pounds at the end of 30 days over six months. To accomplish that our eating habits will change and our daily routine will change. I know this is a much simpler illustration and not as multi-layered as pursing an organizations objective, but the principle is the same – you must define your KPI.

This coming year and its political and economic uncertainties will cause some organizations to make quick adjustments, with many of those adjustments are happening right now. Not necessarily to remain solvent but to remain competitive. The KPI for your organization may be the same but the steps (tactics) to pursue the objective(s) at various levels of your organization may change significantly.

Your organizations KPI’s could be sales team tracking new revenue, total revenue, new customer capture, average deal size, new leads versus closed deals. Your customer service department could measure average number of calls during a period, average on-hold time for customers. The marketing department could measure the contribution of marketing generated sales leads to total revenue over time to gauge their effectiveness. Human resources could measure employee engagement, employee turnover, and a number of other things that contribute to the organizations success. Whatever the KPI the pursuit of any worthwhile objective must include disciplined and organized metrics that are reviewed periodically with a prescription for what’s next.