by T. A. McCann, Gistful Thinking
When it comes to sales and marketing, results matter. So if you’re running your business without a defined set of objectives and a measurable way to determine whether or not you’re meeting your goals in these areas with a positive return on investment (ROI), you’re missing out on a tremendous opportunity to improve your business’s bottom line!
The following are some of the potential objectives you should consider when implementing management plans for your sales and marketing teams, as well as the tools that can help you measure the ROI of each goal more effectively. Keep in mind that these are only suggestions – the specific goals that make the most sense for your business will vary based on your unique organizational structure and mission.
Improving your customer service process can result in more satisfied customers (and, in turn, more sales and referrals for your business). There are several different metrics you can measure throughout the customer service process, each of which can have a measurable impact on your overall ROI in this area.
Consider setting any of the following goals for your Customer Service team:
● Decrease overall response times
● Decrease customer complaints
● Decrease returned products
● Increase customer satisfaction survey scores
Of course, with these and all the other potential goal types listed below, it’s important that you modify these objectives with specific metrics that suit your business’s unique needs. For example, saying that you’d like to decrease customer complaints overall isn’t nearly as effective as saying, “I plan to limit customer complaints to fewer than 10 per month
To measure your performance according to these goals, you’ll need to add a few different types of tools to your business arsenal:
● Response tracking system – In order to establish a baseline performance level and track improvements over time, you’ll need a system that tracks when customer complaints, queries or other response are first entered, as well as when they’re marked complete. Look into Desk.com [free to start] or IssueTrak [free version available] to handle this task.
● Sales CRM – To measure returns (as well as perform a host of other activities), you’ll need a software program that records your sales activity over time. While this can be accomplished using a simple Excel spreadsheet, programs like Salesforce.com[$15/month, per user, to start] and Microsoft Dynamics CRM [$44/month, per user, to start] make the process even more powerful.
● Satisfaction survey monitor – One of the easiest ways to improve your company’s perception throughout your industry is to take customer feedback seriously and use both praise and complaints to make changes to your business model. But to use this feedback, you’ve got to first capture it, which requires a satisfaction survey program likeWeb Engage [free version available] or KISS Insights [free version available]
Sales and Marketing
Implementing goals and objectives tracking for your sales and marketing activities is another great place to start improving your overall ROI, as changes here can have a direct impact on how much you sell and how profitably you’re able to do it.
Check out any of the potential goal options below for ideas on where to get started:
● Increase number of sales
● Increase profit margins on sales
● Increase number of new contacts and leads
● Increase number of new accounts
Again, you’ll want to modify these goals using the specific parameters that make sense for your business.
To manage any of these objectives, you’ll need the same type of Sales CRM program to track sales activity as described above. Both Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics CRM offer great ways to track this information, although you’ll want to pair them with a contact management solution that allows you to tie customer data to sales history to determine the number and profitability of new accounts you create.
No matter what industry you’re in, having a business website is pretty much a default expectation these days. So instead of simply putting up a “billboard” style website that tells visitors more about your company and your products, turn your website into an effective sales tool of its own! The following are some of the potential metrics to consider when forming a series of objectives to improve your website’s performance and ROI:
● Increase average time spent on site per visitor
● Increase website traffic from particular sources (including organic search, PPC traffic and social networking sites)
● Increase total number of sales online
To capture this information, you’ll need a website analytics program that tracks where people are coming from and what they’re doing on your site. The best tool for the job is the Google Analytics program [free], which allows you to capture visitor data, as well as set up advanced sales goals and funnels to determine which sales are originating from your website and which traffic sources are the most profitable for your company.
Finally, while it’s important to focus on improving the overall ROI of your company’s sales and marketing divisions, applying this same practice of setting goals and measuring progress can be just as effective when tied to your own personal workstyle. Consider the following elements of personal productivity that can be measured in order to increase sales and improve ROI:
● Decrease time spent responding to non-urgent email
● Increase total amount of focused work each day
● Increase number of non-essential tasks delegated to other workers
Tracking and improving on each of these varying objectives requires a number of different tools. Check out any of the following options:
● Email efficiency tools – There are plenty of different programs available today that can help to finally take control of your email inbox. Take a look at Sanebox’s[$4.95/month] inbox prioritization program, as well as Yesware’s [free version available] email template system.
● Focus boosting apps – If constant distractions prevent you from completing the amount of focused work you’d like, check out apps that block in-browser distractions (including Leechblock [free] and RescueTime [free]), as well as programs like Focus Booster [free] that can help you measure your focused time each day.
● Delegation programs – In order to manage multiple tasks across different workers, you need a system that allows you to define activities and assign them to your employees. Basecamp [$49/month to start] has long been considered the “gold standard” in this area, but you should also take a look at Trello, and up-and-coming, free-to-use program that provides many of the same features.
What specific goal types are you tracking within your organization? Share them, as well as the tools you use to measure your progress!