As an entrepreneur, I do suffer, a bit, from the shiny object syndrome. That is where I dart from one client email, to a phone call from a franchisor, to an on-line article related to, ironically enough, “How to better manage your time”. So, what is the most important KPI for me?
Anchoring a business to few select measurements and then executing a strategy to pull the right levers to produce the outcomes you want is a practice shared by successful entrepreneurs: whether selling student handbooks door-to-door, designer eyewear in a Pearle Vision mall location, or a set of hearing aids in an audiologist’s office, you need to measure, track, and manage key performance indicators to know if you are succeeding. I used to think close rate was king. Cash was a close second.
My belief changed after hearing Matt Youngquist, a respected career coach and a great guy. He was talking about how to best manage a job search. If the only “good” day is one where you are offered a job you want, you are not going to be very happy most days, and building positive traction could be challenging. The KPI (Key Performance Indicator) he recommended using as a daily report card was outreach. How many people did you reach out to? Contacting five new people every day was the suggestion. Do that every day, regardless of your mood or confidence or workload… and progress will be made.
I veer toward activity related to client service, which isn’t surprising, because for me it is the most fun. My business model is based on helping guide someone through a, generally, once in a lifetime, high-stakes decision. When our work together is done, I start over with someone new – often a referral from the client with whom I just finished.
Holding myself accountable to the most important KPI for business development, five new contacts a day, regardless of mood or circumstance, is a smart way to ensure staying in business. I know it, and I don’t always do it. Still, processes focused on execution and fulfillment can always be sharpened. Close rates can be improved.
Make no mistake. The top of the sales funnel is the lifeblood of most businesses. Consider this carefully as you think about what business model is the best fit for you. I can help.