Once a business has outlined its overall mission, defined its goals and identified its stakeholders, progress should be measured on a regular basis. You can do this using Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
Most firms will set their KPIs before the beginning of each financial year as a way of setting their targets as to what they would like to achieve during a certain period of time. With so many businesses failing to achieve their strategies and KPIs, it’s time for business leaders to understand how they should be monitoring projects and taking responsibility for the targets set.
Generally speaking, all KPIs should be reviewed on a regular basis; as often as once a month in some cases. It’s important to ensure that all stakeholders know how successful you’ve been on achieving your goals. For example, if the firm had 20 ongoing projects but only delivered on 16, this should be made clear as soon as possible as it could affect you achieving your long term goals as an organisation.
How to measure your KPIs successfully
Accuracy – Be precise when setting KPI’s, rather than the how long is a piece of string measure
Meeting your KPIs will only be possible if you have a functional and succinct method of measuring them. Here are some tips to help you do this successfully …
Decide what you want!
The first thing you should do is decide what you actually want to measure and at what point achievement is made. For example, if you want to measure average sales time, measure the length of time between first contact and the close of a sale. You may also want to look at how many times your salesperson interacts with a client to achieve that sale, as a secondary measurement.
If you wanted to exhibit, for example, your key KPI could be to generate leads from the event. This would be achieved through networking and engaging with customers that come over to your exhibition stand, and then measured by how many leads were gathered by the end of the event. You could break this down further by measuring number of appointments made at the event and then how many of these appointments turned into an actual sale.
Set a timeline and stick to it
Try to set a timeline for measuring each KPI. It’s important to repeat measurement of your KPI’s regularly, and over the same time period so that the results are accurate. You may decide this time period should be every 12 months or even every one month – it will ultimately depend on your business goals.
Give each KPI numerical importance
By assigning each KPI a numerical value based on its importance, you can create your own scale of priority. For example, one may be of high priority and five may be low priority. It’s then crucial that you focus on your KPIs by the highest priority first, and to stick to the same scale of priority measurement throughout all KPIs, to ensure little to no confusion.
Advice to firms exceeding their KPIs
If your firm is in that unique position of actually exceeding current KPIs then congratulations. However, the work isn’t over. You should be working hard to keep one eye on your success rate and one on risk management, as things can start to go wrong all too soon.
Often those companies growing at a rapid pace do so with increased risk and, therefore, having a team of individuals monitoring this should prevent mistakes and failures in the future.
Meanwhile, you may also find that your KPIs are no longer challenging and consequently need to be reset. It’s important to recognise when this is the case as it could mean that the business isn’t fulfilling its potential.
Advice to firms struggling to meet their KPIs
Many firms, especially in today’s environment, struggle to meet the KPIs originally set. If this is the case, it’s vital to understand where the business currently stands, where you want to go and how you’re going to get there. Once you’ve established this, you will be able to set more realistic KPIs to achieve those goals.
Meanwhile, if you’ve set a huge goal, it’s important to take responsibility for it and measure its success on a monthly basis. By doing this, you will be able to understand what’s working and what isn’t.
In order to achieve your business goals, you should ensure you set a monthly management report which will allow you to assess how your business is performing financially. At the same time, your current KPIs should be assessed too, to ensure they are in line with the business needs and goals.
Now that we have shed a little light on how you should be working to meet and review your goals, there is no reason why meeting your KPIs can’t be as easy as A…B…C!
Read on to find out how to follow up on exhibition leads and how you can turn these into GOLD!