It was December 21st, and there were only three shipping days left in the month. So it was just about time to relax. My territory had been on fire for the entire year. Starting the year at $3.6 Million would end at over $4 Million. That was a considerable increase in business, and when I looked at the Salesman of the Year rankings, I was shocked to see that I was in 2nd Place.
Only 6-weeks before, the entire sales team was in a meeting, and there wasn't a rep that would have an increase in revenue over $100,000. What could have happened?
Being only my 2nd year at the company, I hadn't paid attention to the game's rules. I then found out why I wasn't going to win! The sales rep with the most significant percentage increase in sales is declared the winner. After some research, my competitor would end the year at $600,000. His $100K increase represented a 20% increase in business - double my 10%.
Then I remembered my statistics professor's favorite saying: Statistics don't lie; liars use statistics.
Be careful what you are comparing
In a meeting at the Detroit Economic Club this week, the speaker spoke about the gap in education expenses between Michigan and Tennessee. Tennessee had nearly doubled its education investment over the past decade, while Michigan only had increased by 25-30%. A bit later in the discussion, he spoke about the nominal amount spent; Michigan was $15,000 per student, and Tennessee was $9,000.
As the speaker started listing results, I then began to pay attention. Tennessee had higher graduation rates, higher national scores, and on and on. Those were the statistics that mattered. So if you want to use Tennessee as a benchmark, it's not the money spent but the results that matter.
Looking at your business, who do you benchmark? Is it an industry competitor? Or an industry standard? Don't compare apples and oranges; look at results that translate and make sense.
Defining your benchmark depends on what outcome you want for your business. Do you want to be the biggest or the best? Do you want to be the most profitable or the one with the highest customer satisfaction scores? It is hard work, but you will improve your tomorrow.
Looking for the right statistic to benchmark? And when you find it, do you have a plan to meet it? Connect with us for a free 30-minute call to see how the Kole Performance Group can help!