A while back, we explored the business metrics that every business owner and leader should be monitoring to keep their finger on the health of their organization. We dug into the purely financial metrics like lifetime value of a customer and profitability.

Today, I’d like to explore the marketing/sales and employee metrics that we help clients define and grow as we work with them. Just as a reminder, those metrics are:

Marketing/Sales

  1. Retention percentage (How many customers did we keep from last year)
  2. New business win rate (How many prospects did we convert to becoming customers)
  3. New business traffic patterns (How are our new customers finding us)

Employees

  1. Employee satisfaction/retention (Average tenure of your team and the health of your team)
  2. Employee value (How much value does each employee contribute to your company and are they continuing to grow/add more value)

Now let’s look at each of these and why they matter.

Retention percentage: One of the truths that many business owners forget is that the largest source of new revenue should be your existing customers. It makes perfect sense. They know and trust you. If you deliver consistently, they should need and want to spend more with you, year after year. Well, to make that work – you have to keep them as customers. When you combine this with customer ratings (how good of a customer are they for your business) you really have valuable insights.

New business win rate: When you get a chance to win a new customer, how often are you successful? If the number is too high, your pricing strategy might need some work. If the number is too low, you might be talking to the wrong people or there’s something else that’s not working. This data will also help you decide if you’re wasting a lot of time chasing after business you have no chance of getting or you’re setting your sites too low.

New business traffic patterns: One of the ways to assess your marketing spend is to understand how prospects find you. When you understand what brings your best prospects to your door – you know where to spend your time and money. Even if your best avenue for new opportunities is through referrals, there are tactics you can strategically employ to enhance the quality and quantity of referrals you get.

Employee satisfaction/retention: The team that serves your customers is a make or break element of your business. Keeping your best performers and knowing that your crew feels appreciated and well prepared to do their jobs is a vital metric for every business. As we enter into an era of scarcity when it comes to skilled and talented employees, this will become increasingly important to your business. Don’t scrimp on this – figure out a way to benchmark and then routinely measure this key metric for your business.

Employee value: Every employer knows that not all team members are created equal and that each of them contributes at a different level. You want to have a very clear understanding of the value they deliver to your customers and to your bottom line as you are determining career paths, salary increases, and bonus amounts. This will also help you decide where to invest for your long-term growth.

Once you decide how to get the data you need to track these metrics, the mechanics are pretty easy. For most organizations, quarterly monitoring will give you a good handle on the trends that have a huge impact on your company’s profitability and viability. This information will also help you determine new opportunities to explore and where you need to keep a watchful eye.

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Drew McLellan
Drew McLellan has owned an advertising agency for almost 20 years, serving local, regional and national businesses. He also coaches hundreds of agencies on business best practices through peer to peer networks, workshops and consulting.  Drew is often interviewed/quoted in Entrepreneur Magazine, New York Times, CNN, BusinessWeek, and many others. The Wall Street Journal calls him “one of 10 bloggers every entrepreneur should read.” He blogs at both www.DrewsMarketingMinute.com and www.BuildABetterAgency.com.

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