This is one of my favorite things to ask our team as we begin developing strategy on a project. I see it all the time; people get excited about a project and they plan it, work it, and deliver it, but at the end of the day, they struggle to claim a win because the proper metrics were not built in to begin with.
Here are a few thoughts for you on how to build your program so that you are sure to be able to define success at the finish line:
- Be clear on the final objective. Don’t just say we want to increase sales – be more specific. Do you want to sell more of your high-end products or is it a special category you want to promote? The same is true as it relates to something like web traffic. Do you want more unique visitors or do you want to reduce your bounce rates? Know exactly what it is you want to impact.
- Identify the proper tools. Make sure that whatever you are going to measure is something you have the ability to capture. Is your software able to drill down on the information good enough to get you the answers you need? Are your website analytics tracking the right stuff? Do your sales people understand what their role is if they are needed to report data?
- Are there additional costs to putting the proper measurement systems in place and can they happen in your timeframe? Sometimes you are going to need to buy solutions that can track what you need. Don’t look at this as a cost center, because if you deliver the right information, it could save you or make you money down the road. Remember that information is potential power, and profit!
- Over communicate with everyone. If your team does not fully understand what the end result needs to be, then it will be impossible for them to drive the positive outcome. If you are well organized and you inspire your team with great information, then the momentum of everybody marching in the same direction should get you what you want.
This process even works with my wife. She gets upset at me for whatever reason and I hit her with the question, “What needs to happen for the rest of this evening to go well and end up where we are both happy at the end of the night?” Guys, I will tell you that this doesn’t always work because the answer to that question can be brutal if you ask it at the wrong time, but hey…at least I am working toward the positive outcome, right?
What does success look like for you? Share with me in the comments section below.