What You Can Measure, You Can Improve
In 2004, the company SPARQ (Speed, Power, Agility, Reaction, and Quickness) set out on a mission to create the industry standard for measuring athleticism. Teaming with Nike, SPARQ grew to employ over 750 certified SPARQ trainers, and drew thousands of participants, including world-class athletes like Reggie Bush, Tim Tebow, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Bryan Clay.
The ubiquity of the SPARQ Rating system underlines the power of a motto I heard in one of their advertisements: “What you can measure, you can improve.”
Simple and powerful, it was the perfect slogan for a company whose value was its ability to measure athleticism. As time has gone on, however, I’ve found the principle of measurement and improvement to be true in more places than athletics, and in any place where there is a desire to advance and achieve specific goals.
How does the ability to measure an action or behavior make improvement possible?
Imagine trying to improve your athletic ability without being able to measure anything. Imagine going on a jog without knowing how far, how long, or how fast you’re running. Translate this hypothetical to business. Imagine managing a sales team without knowing how many calls they make, how many decision-makers they reach, or what percentage of pipeline will close. Before any prescriptive action, visibility is half the battle.
Measuring success through numbers allows you to quantify performance, making an otherwise undefined activity concrete, comparable, and scientific. For the sales teams I work with, numbers help describe and explain hours of work in ways that we can digest and build upon. When used carefully, these metrics can drive innovation and progress. Without quantifying activities throughout the sales funnel, there’s no concrete way to judge the effectiveness of effort put towards cultivating opportunities and closing deals. Every activity not measured becomes part of a blurry process that’s hard to explain and harder to improve.
When using metrics to track goals, visibility and quantifiability allow for accountability. When you’re able to see and measure your performance, you become accountable for improvement in the numbers and units used to measure success. Working with sales teams, we help individual reps and managers become more aware of and responsible for their metrics. This knowledge helps them to take control of their work, to take prescribed actions, and to drive revenue.
Visibility, quantifiability, and accountability, are some of the reasons why “what you can measure, you can improve.” At XANT, we measure everything that has to do with sales, and we use predictive analytics to drive sales. In a world where technology allows you to measure almost anything, the possibilities for improvement are endless.
Watch the video below to see how XANT uses sales metrics to help you sell smarter and faster.