Numbers don’t lie. On the other hand, we often lie to ourselves when we don’t know the numbers, or we ignore the bad and only focus on the “good” ones. Gut decisions are good, but if we can take time and access the numbers to help us make better decisions, the numbers are invaluable.
What numbers am I talking about? Results-based numbers including the following:
1. Future Sales: A number, presented monthly, of new prospects, hot prospects, potential sales, future clients in your pipeline, number of new clients, and sources. These can help us by measuring ourselves through looking back and looking forward, determining trends, and making decisions about marketing strategies and sales skills. Without them we are guessing and assuming.
2. Referrals: The number of referrals from clients, prospects, strategic alliances, etc. are invaluable to track. These numbers, viewed and discussed monthly, can help determine trends up or down, and help to identify areas of focus if the numbers are of concern.
3. Website Analytics: Website analytics are critical. Accessing the data on how many people are coming to your website, when, what pages they visit, how long they are staying, where they came from, what the bounce rate is, etc. These are critical numbers to look at, probably weekly, to see if there are trends or problems. Problems could be that visitors are “bouncing” off your website before going anywhere but your home page. That is a bad sign for the compelling nature of your home page and probably needs to be changed. You probably already have analytics set up on your website and if not, you can set them up for free at www.google.com/analytics.
4. Social Media Analytics: For professional purposes, we usually don’t spend time on social media reaching out to clients, prospects, and strategic alliances for fun. We are doing it for business. So, compare the number of followers, interactions, connections, how many people are actually engaging with your social media sites, and the views on the content you post. If nothing is going on (which can be the case) then stop wasting the time to use social media OR try new things and see if your results change. Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter have analytics as well as programs like Hootsuite.com.
5. Marketing Events: The best numbers to track from a seminar or event you host are not just the number of people that came to the dinner or the number of sales closed. It is of course those numbers along with the number of appointments scheduled, appointments held, and the amount of the sales. These numbers need to coordinate with the amount of money spent on invitations, mailing lists, dinner, and handouts, as well as the time spent by staff on managing the event, following up, and the cost of materials printed. This is the only way to measure real seminar success and it points us directly to areas of improvement.
If you aren’t already looking at your business analytics, now is a great time to take a few moments and put in place some systems to measure your numbers. And if you already have the numbers at your access, now is a great time to start looking at them consistently. I know it helps to make smarter decisions, and who doesn’t need a few more of those.