Success Tracking: Seven Considerations To Tracking, Measuring And Ensuring Your Retail Success.
The more you know about your retail business and employees, the greater your potential for success.
“We had everything in place. Our program was sound. So, why didn’t we see the kind of sales and success we expected?”
If you’ve ever found yourself or your team facing this common business question, rest assured, you’re not alone. Success can be elusive. Particularly, when your goal is long term sales and success in the results-driven realm of retail.
So what’s the answer? It just might be a science called Success Tracking. Many companies are finding this to be the best way to motivate their people, measure their operational performance, and start to build a genuinely accountable path to greater sales and bottom-line success.
What is Success Tracking?
Essentially, success tracking is a method of measuring progress and milestones with the goal of using the insights uncovered to improve performance. Success tracking can be deployed on a company-wide basis, a team basis, or on an individual basis. Regardless, the point is to gain a better understanding of how well people and programs are performing related to the goals that have been set or the responsibilities they’ve been tasked with completing.
Think of it this way. How can you impact results unless you know how well or how poorly things are going? When you can see the value in a sales or marketing program or share reliable analytics as to the effectiveness of online content and social media influence, or examine hard data on customer engagement, you can make this intelligence work for your success.
In this post, we’ll focus on seven key considerations when tracking retail success. They are: key performance and sales indicators, customer engagement, employee performance and satisfaction, goal setting and milestone sharing, digital data solutions, regular and reliable reporting, and return on investment. So let’s get to it.
How well are you tracking your success? The latest digital data capture software and technology could make a big difference. Learn more from the experts.
1. Key Sales and Performance Indicators: Don’t track everything, track the most relevant things.
The first step to creating an effective success tracking program is establishing exactly what activity and metrics are worth tracking. The new era of digital data capture in retail has brought with it a compulsion among many users to capture as much data and analytics as they can possibly compile. However, this more-is-better approach just doesn’t work because dealing with too many metrics leads to more confusion rather than added clarity. It’s important to start by defining the business areas most relevant to your success. These are the ones worth tracking. Common areas you might want to examine include:
- Marketing and Merchandising
- Field Team Performance
- Customer Engagement
- Event Marketing
- Sales By Location
- Sales By Product or Brand
- Training Programs
- Email, Facebook and Website Programs
Remember, success tracking is not about collecting a high volume of information. It’s about pinpointing the metrics most relevant to your success and tracking their performance. In other words, too much is too much. Focus on the right indicators and get the right results.
2. Customers (new, repeat and referrals): Find out where, when and how to connect better.
Your customers are certainly an important area you are going to want to track. How effectively are you attracting and keeping them? Where are they coming from? Are they shopping in stores or via your website? Are they social media users and, if so, are you effectively connecting with them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Do you reach out through online content? Do you have a vetted and reliable email address list? Are you using it to build effective email marketing programs?
Success tracking provides answers to these questions. By examining current and past performance, you’ll be able to uncover the most effective and efficient ways to reach your customers, as well as new opportunities to engage them.
3. Employee Performance and Satisfaction: Tracking as a way to empower your best people
Nothing has a greater impact on retail success than how well your people do their jobs across every level of your business. What might surprise you, however, is that openly tracking employee performance is great way to make good people perform at even higher levels. Don’t be mistaken, we’re not talking about a big brother scenario. That’s not productive for anyone. Instead, success tracking can be used to empower people to deliver their level best by providing them with clearly defined goals and positive recognition for a job well done.
Let’s take retail field personnel, for instance. By transparently tracking things they’re responsible for, like daily tasks, store visits, compliant reporting, and on-time performance, and then openly sharing the results, it empowers these people to self-optimize. In other words, employees become invested in increasing their own performance levels because they enjoy a tangible measure of their individual success.
Eduardo Santaella, Chief Operating Officer and General Manager of Mobile Insight®, a leading provider of software and technology solutions to the nation’s top brands and retailers, puts it this way. “One advantage many of our clients have seen using our data capture and retail management platform is the positive impact it has on field team performance. Our solution gives people working in the field an easy way to track and manage their daily activity, as well as long-term goals, which means they find themselves tracking their progress and achievements right alongside management. This ability to track and share performance metrics gives people a definitive measure of how well their doing their jobs, and this motivates higher performance simply because it is in our human nature to want to achieve.”
Do your people have the tools necessary to achieve their potential? Could you use a little help in promoting their success and job satisfaction? Learn more at www.mobileinsight.com.
4. Goal Setting and Milestone Sharing: Raise the bar a little higher and you’ll get there
A good success tracking program is always based on ambitious but achievable goals. A good rule of thumb is to set short-term goals that are somewhat aggressive but that guide you in meeting long-term goals.
For instance, if the quarterly number you want to hit is $4 million in sales in order to secure a long-term goal of $16 million in sales, you could aim a little higher and set your quarterly goal for $4.5 million. Or, if your email marketing program is currently based on capturing a certain number of email addresses from your customers each month, you might improve results by setting a slightly larger number of email addresses to collect.
The key to goal setting is to leverage short-term goals that may challenge your people, but are certainly within reach, in order to attain long-term success. It’s important to track each activity to see how well you’re doing along the way and identify any adjustments that need to be made in order to achieve those long-term results.
Finally, share those milestones among the people who can impact their success. One way many retail companies are doing it is by integrating new data capture and reporting technologies into the mix that give employees and management real-time access to analytics and performance metrics.
5. Digital Data Software And Solutions: The new wave of success tracking
New digital data solutions are redefining how success tracking is done. These real-time tools are giving brands and retailers the ability to instantly see, track and share insights into sales numbers, operational metrics, customer service, employee performance, store conditions, website user experience, email marketing, online content, and much more.
The is a tremendous advantage because one of the most critical components of success tracking is being able to get actionable insights like these in front of the right people. With the right information, people at every level of the company are able to make more informed decisions and initiate important operational changes directed at meeting goals and bolstering success.
6. Regular and Reliable Reporting: Activity right there on the page in front of you
Tracking success shouldn’t be a search and recovery mission. Again, this is where advanced software and reporting can be a big help. A good digital solution will incorporate customized reports that distill mountains of data into a clear and digestible format. Rather than making you search and analyze pages of metrics and analytics, these reports put the insights right in front of you and anyone else who needs to share it. Information overload doesn’t add value, but the right data and intel when, where and how you need it does.
7. Return on Investment: Success tracking should help build you, not cost you
This might seem somewhat obvious, but success tracking should pay for itself in bottom-line numbers. Certainly, you’ll have to invest some capital to design a good tracking program, just make sure one of the things you’re tracking is how much that program is costing and how much value you’re getting out of it.
One big advantage of outsourcing to a digital data solution provider is the ability to know exactly how much your success tracking program is costing in terms of time, energy and dollars.
“Mobile Insight® is a sign of the times,” says Eduardo Santaella, “We’ve proven we can digitally track virtually every aspect of our clients’ operations with technology that lowers costs, improves performance and delivers measurable returns. It could not be more transparent. Our clients’ can see how well our solutions are working because the analytics are right there in front of them with real-time reporting.”
If you found this post useful and are interested in learning learn more about digital software and tools that make success tracking more effective, visit www.mobileinsight.com.
Mobile Insight® is the only retail and merchandise management solution designed to meet the brick and mortar sales challenges of high-value brands and retailers. Unlike hardware and software providers that focus on fast-moving goods, the Mobile Insight® platform delivers assisted sales solutions for more complex, interactive, and customer-centric environments. Combining data from in-store systems, 3PLs, employee and partner activity, Mobile Insight® enables informed, smarter decisions that drive sales and operations excellence. For more information, visit www.mobileinsight.com.
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