The first step to improving performance is to maintain your key performance indicators (KPIs) and business metrics in a dashboard, since the old adage, “you can’t improve what you can’t measure” is quite true.
Once you have your dashboard established, do the following:
1. Split Test
Split testing is experimenting with new variations. You can conduct tests with two variables (called “A/B testing”) or with multiple variables (“multivariate testing”). In either case, you are testing different variations and seeing which performs best.
For example, you might test two different headlines on one of the pages of your website to determine which results in the most leads or sales. Such online testing is the easiest and fastest to conduct. Offline testing is possible too, such as trying new ways of answering the phone, sending physical mailers to leads, and changing the format of your proposals.
2. Identify What to Test
Since there are so many potential tests to conduct in your business, try to figure out where you have the most leverage to improve results. For example, consider the situation where you currently get a ton of leads, but relatively few of these leads convert into paying clients. In this case, focus not on tests to get more leads, but rather tests to improve the conversion of those leads into paying clients.
3. Assign KPIs to Employees
In most organizations there is a huge disconnect between what employees think is important and what management deems important. One of the easiest and most effective ways to bridge this gap is through KPIs.
For example, your customer service manage should have KPI goals, and see results, for the KPIs over which they have influence (e.g., custom returns, hold times on phone, etc.). Likewise the person managing pay-per-click advertising should know and understand their KPIs, such as maximizing the spread between pay-per-click advertising costs and profits generated from them.
As billionaire and GoDaddy CEO and Founder Bob Parson’s said, “Measure everything of significance. Anything that is measured and watched, improves.” The very act of measuring your KPIs alone should improve performance. By adding these 3 additional pieces, your metrics should improve even more.