If your company isn’t using the technology tools at its disposal for measuring business metrics, it may be falling behind its better-informed competition.
The growth of the IoT means the data is out there, but it’s first come, first served when it comes to using it effectively.
“Companies have access to a growing torrent of statistics that could improve their performance, but executives still cling to old-fashioned and often flawed methods for choosing metrics,” advises Michael J. Mauboussin in Harvard Business Review. “In the past, companies could get away with going on gut and ignoring the right statistics because that’s what everyone else was doing. Today, using them is necessary to compete. More to the point, identifying and exploiting them before rivals do will be the key to seizing advantage.”
Choosing and using measurement tools
With the vast array of options out there, your first step in incorporating new technology is figuring out exactly what data will be of most use to you. Some suggestions:
- Ask yourself what business aspects or numbers will most impact your company in the next year. The answer could involve most any function — marketing, support, operations, sales, finance, engineering, employee performance, etc. If you’re just getting started, you may wish to limit initial goals to measuring your top five most impactful metrics.
- Aim for the most quantifiable goals and objectives possible in every aspect you wish to track. You should be able to find tools that help you track anything you want to know about how your business is performing. But gathering non-subjective metrics tends to be a clear-cut process: numeric changes in inbound leads from millennials, for example, will be easier to secure than metrics defining the quality of your branding. “Metrics should be so clear that an outside person could come in at the end of the quarter and check whether the objectives have been met,” advises Eric Savitz in Forbes.
- Shop for tools that deliver real-time feedback, then connect them so they can communicate with each other and save you time. Many of today’s Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications are user-friendly, enabling you to quickly and frequently access data you can optimize to make constant tweaks to your strategy. Examples are Salesforce for sales activities and leads, HubSpot for website rankings and inbound site links and QuickBooks and Excel for collecting and analyzing administrative data. Cutting-edge tools recently cited in Forbes include TrendKite for measuring PR results against competitors, LeadCrunch for comparing lead quality and Tableau for various kinds of easily understandable data harvesting, analysis and portrayal. And of course, Dial800’s suite of analytics tools allow businesses to closely define who’s responding to call marketing ads, who’s converting, which ads and venues are generating leads and myriad other information crucial to sales and marketing strategy.
- Maximize the value of your metrics by sharing them with your employees. They’ll appreciate your transparency, and sharing company goals establishes a culture of teamwork.
- Periodically evaluate your tools. Is the data you’re generating being used strategically, or is it turning out to have little value? Are you using each tool to its full capacity? Have new tools emerged that might better suit your goals? Pay attention to the bang you’re getting for your buck before your competitors find a better way.
Your ability to take full advantage of advancements in business technology could well be a competitive differentiator in the coming years.
“When you invest time and thought into setting, monitoring, sharing and refining your metrics, you’ll be amazed at how much more in tune you are to the state of your business, and how much more easily you can make the critical decisions that can catapult your business’ success,” Savitz advises.
Talk to Dial800 about how its data-gathering tools work in your favor when it comes to call marketing.