Inspect What You Expect
The likelihood is that, if you only measure how often you call on a prospective customer, you’ll be interested in how often you see that person. Similarly, if you only measure your feedback after the event, it’s probable that your focus will only be on the event feedback. And finally, if you decide to track the types of call you make or the types of organisation you go to, then that’s what will occupy your thoughts.
As it happens, how you decide to measure performance is secondary to deciding what to measure. Because its in deciding what to focus on – and what you expect – that guides how to measure and therefore what to inspect.
Too often, we get carried away with how we’re going to measure something – number of calls, feedback, and customer type – rather than what we’re going to measure – the quantity, quality of direction of our activity.
Acknowledging that our results are an aggregate of all three variables should mean that we measure activity in all areas and not just one or the others. In the event that we don’t do this, then we ultimately gain a disproportionate emphasis on one. And herein lies the problem.
Imagine recruiting for an educational event in the use of your company’s product or service.
Do you focus on the number of delegates, their willingness to recommend at the end of it, or the type of person in the room?
If you want maximum attendance, quality content and the right customer group then we need to measure all three. But conversely, if you just want to show attendance is up, that the quality was great or that you got the right type of person there, then pick the one you want more of.
The next time you measure the result of something – be it an event, a demonstration, a call or an evaluation – be sure to inspect what you expect and consider quantity, quality and direction.