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Revenue generation has become very scientific. That means numbers, metrics and quantitative measures on a weekly, monthly and quarterly basis. Decisions need to be data-driven, and data should be helping you uncover insights that inform your action plans.
A revenue generation system like RGS™ helps you set up a scorecard for your Revenue Team. If you remember, the revenue team is a combination of key marketing, sales and customer service people, led by someone in the Rainmaker role.
This team is responsible and accountable for doing everything required to get you to meet your revenue goals month after month.
But when it comes to setting up the scorecards that help you track progress, we get a lot of questions. What metrics should we be tracking? Should they be lagging or leading indicators? What gets tracked weekly, monthly or quarterly?
To help with all these questions, here are some examples of key metrics that could be part of your scorecard for your Revenue Team. Remember, these should be reviewed at your weekly Revenue Team Meeting.
If your metrics are on track, you have no immediate action items—keep working on the plan. But if they are off-track, move this to an issue and solve it during the IDS (Identify, Discuss, Solve) portion of your weekly Revenue Team Meeting.
Here are some potential metrics for your Revenue Team Scorecards.
Leading indicator metrics are those numbers that show what revenue results should be expected in the future.
Marketing historically has a lot of leading indicator metrics. Some of the key ones include website visitors and leads generated. It’s reasonable to think that the more people who come to your website the more leads you’re going to generate.
It’s also reasonable to think that if you generate more leads, you’re going to close more new customers and generate more revenue. These are two very good examples of leading indicator metrics for your scorecard.
When it comes to website visitors, it's important to know where those visitors are coming from so the source of website visitors like organic search, organic social, paid search, paid social, referring sites, email traffic generation and direct visitor traffic is generally what you should be monitoring.
The same holds true for lead generation. You’ll want to know where these leads come from. Some of the sources are the same as those for visitors but in this case, there are others including events, content marketing, referrals from customers or partners or specific campaigns like inbound, demand generation or account-based marketing campaigns.
Other leading metrics could include rankings for important keywords, directory listings on off-site web properties or potentially social media metrics like followers, connections or friends.
There’s an entirely different set of sales-related leading indicator metrics. These are generally activity-based metrics that are an indicator of how healthy your sales process and pipeline are at any given point in time.
These include the number of first meetings and the number of sales-qualified leads generated digitally (an SQL is someone who asks for a sales meeting via the web or digital channels). You could also consider sales opportunities and proposals/agreements submitted as leading indicators too.
On the customer service side, leading indicator metrics could be customers marketed to or customers who responded to marketing campaign outreach. Customers who presented cross-sell or upsell offers via their service requests and even the number of new online reviews collected could be considered a future indicator of revenue.
One of the combination metrics is forecasted or projected revenue versus the target revenue number. It falls in the leading category because it’s a prediction looking forward based on expected results in sales. Another one of these would be total pipeline value which is a combination of all the potential deals in the pipeline.
Lagging indicator metrics are those numbers that show what actually happened in the past. These metrics tend to be items like actual revenue generated, revenue versus goal, number of new customers, average revenue per new customer, new revenue from current customers versus revenue from new customers, and revenue by customer type or product/service type.
Monitoring conversion rates at different stages of the sales process, such as from lead to customer or from trial to subscription, provides valuable insights into the effectiveness of sales and marketing efforts. These key metrics could be considered leading as they will impact your ability to turn leads into new business. However, in this case, I consider them lagging because they reflect what has already happened in your sales process.
This information can be used to improve the sales process going forward if there is a specific issue or challenge that’s causing the conversion rates to be lower than expected.
A service-related lagging indicator that does impact revenue is your net promoter score or customer satisfaction score. The happier your customers the more likely they are to stay with you, buy more and refer people to you.
Once you have your leading and lagging metrics s it’s time to figure out what time period is significant to your business. Whether you track a metric daily, weekly, monthly or quarterly, has everything to do with how frequently the numbers change dramatically and how impactful any work is on moving those numbers over the time period.
For example, tracking website visitors every single day might not be as helpful as tracking them weekly or even monthly. That’s simply because your efforts to drive website visitors up and to the right are rarely executed on a daily basis. Instead, you have ongoing campaigns that should push up the numbers, but these campaign efforts are going to be more interesting when you look at the metrics weekly or even monthly.
The real key to answering this question is whether looking at the data uncovers any trends or insights. Basically, ask yourself the question: "Did I learn anything from this data?" If the answer is no, then consider looking at the data over a longer time period. I find that expanding the time period almost always produces more insights than looking at a very short instance.
Also, remember that this isn’t a comprehensive list. I’m sure there are going to be people reading this who are shocked I didn’t include other metrics. That’s fair, but remember, I’m not trying to cover every scenario. I am trying to give people who might not have a scorecard today an idea of what a scorecard might look like over a week, month and quarter.
Metrics I recommend people look at weekly are the ones that upon review might cause you to take action to ensure you hit your monthly goals. Also, please keep in mind that your scorecard won’t be everything you want to track. Some of these metrics will be inside the reports and dashboards from your marketing automation and CRM tools.
Weekly scorecards are just to give you a high-level overview of your performance. Typically, you only want eight to 15 numbers. These numbers, when they show consistent improvement and growth, mean your company is going to hit its goals for the month.
Here’s a list of potential weekly metrics for your revenue team scorecard.
Customer Service Metrics
Metrics I recommend people look at monthly are the ones that upon review might cause you to adjust your longer-term plans. Perhaps a tactic needs more aggressive optimization. Perhaps a campaign needs an adjustment. Maybe a tactic needs to be shut down entirely.
Again, you only want eight to 15 numbers. When these numbers all show growth, your company should hit its goals for the quarter.
Here’s a list of potential monthly metrics for your revenue team scorecard. Remember, the weekly metrics are also going to be tracked monthly after four weeks, so I’m not going to repeat those.
Customer Service Metrics
When it comes to quarterly scorecards, they are usually roll-ups of monthly scorecards. There’s not much difference between what gets looked at quarterly versus in three months of monthlies.
However, it's worth noting that there have been many situations where looking at longer timeframes, even 12 months, uncovers interesting trends that you might not see when you look at shorter time periods.
One of those situations is looking at 13-month rolling trend data so you can see this month versus the same month last year. You might see a decline over the past three months, but upon further review of the 13-month rolling data, you see this month is up 20% over the same period last year. What looked like bad news may not have been so bad after all. Now the three months of decline still need to be addressed, but you’re still outperforming where you were last year.
I think it’s important to point out that there is no “one-size-fits-all” scorecard. Every business is a little different and every company operates a little differently. Your business needs to create its own scorecard that provides the data you need to make educated and effective decisions related to your business and your company.
You can use the scorecard recommendations and examples included in this article to help you come up with your own scorecard, but it will be yours and yours alone.