I recently worked with a client for two days which reinforced a principle I teach: If you can measure it, you can manage it. I want to share (without giving the details of their business) so you might be able to answer the question, “Am I measuring my business properly?”
This client has two locations, however location #2 was not up to the standards they wished for. They hired me to do some sales training and hopefully bring location #2 up closer to location #1’s standard. In working with them, we discussed some of the possible conflicts of why #2 was trailing #1 and what the possible remedies might be.
Next in meeting with their sales crew, I mentally summed up what I thought of them and what a prospective Bride might be thinking. In one case I was off. Way off. I summed up this one person as a competent, able, well presented representation of the client’s business, however, when I was given the measurements of their performance and results, I was proved to be way off.
Sometimes in business, I see people relying on their gut responses. Gut responses are necessary at times when you cannot measure, and it is further necessary to be able to get a good read on those gut responses. That said, when you can and should measure, it becomes most beneficial to you, your business and your bottom line.
In this case, the numbers didn’t lie. While I was impressed with this salesperson, I was simply distracted by the face of how things appeared. In looking at the numbers, here is what was found: this salesperson was the worst, almost by half of what the rest of the crew was at ( in fact, the location as a whole had a better than double average sales closing ratio).
In seeing this conundrum, I quickly adjusted the strategy I would suggest to my client. The fact was if you took away all of this salespersons opportunities, the store average would lift from 36% to 40% closing ratio, which just spreading the sales opportunities amongst the rest of the sales crew would have meant about another 11 sales (based on the past 4 months measurements), which was substantial to them.
The question now was either re-train, or part ways. In working with my client, we determined that this person had value if they could lift their sales. It would not take months to figure this out- they would know in weeks, so a strategy was put forward to see if the salesperson would adjust their approach.
Here is the kicker; if my client did not have these measurements, we would have relied on our gut instincts, which in this case were wrong. Mind you, I have to make my judgment in a matter of minutes, maybe hours. By having the measurements, we made a strategy that would be beneficial and profitable for the business. Having the numbers is best as the numbers don’t lie- the numbers are what they are and there is only one set of measurements which either are good or bad- there is no gray area.
When you measure well, you can ask better questions. If you don’t measure, you are left to chance. Running your business on chance or hope is not a great strategy.