Setting up a success tracking practice

rawpixel-com-252127.jpgMany organisations need a success tracking practice, they just don’t realise it yet.

As any Team Sky cyclist will tell you – it’s great to be able to rely on the Team Sky staff team and the array of coaches on everything from telemetrics to nutrition.

Think about having your own team of performance coaches at work – wouldn’t that be fabulous?

Well some organisations are already well on their way – PwC, the United Nations and others – have set up success tracking programs, initially targeted at social media success. Employees can sign up to the program and they get personalised tracking scores combined with peer networking and coaching advice to help them succeed at social media.

The success tracking approach is one that you can introduce into your own organisation, or as a consultant, you can provide as a service to your clients. All it needs is a blend of coaching and attention to numerical feedback.

Learn more in this slide deck:

The Success Tracking Difference (1) : Single Score

In this mini-series, “The Success Tracking Difference“, we are focusing on the differences between the new discipline of Success Tracking and traditional analytics / business dashboards.

The single score is probably the most far reaching difference.

Compare the following images, one of a typical “business dashboard” the other of a single score success tracking program.

A business dashboard tends to feature several data visualisations without enabling the viewer to see a summary of everything in one go. It is designed with “monitoring” in mind – the idea that you are always watching the monitoring dashboard in case something goes wrong.

bad dashboard
A typical business dashboard layout with several graphics competing for attention

A success tracking program, such as the LinkedIn Social Selling Index, on the other hand, is designed for regular check-in and focuses attention on a single number.

Screenshot 2017-07-17 10.12.39

 

There are many benefits of tracking’s single score approach:

  • Simple to understand – everyone can appreciate a single number
  • Fast personal comparison – you can quickly see if things have changed (gone up or down)
  • Easy to communicate – you can send a single score via SMS text
  • Embeds priorities – you can add another layer of intelligence to the tracking by weighting different metrics and so prioritising some over others
  • Enables peer comparison – you can benchmark and rank yourself against others

The main disadvantage of the single score is that it takes time to design a good one. Working out the relative importance of different metrics is never straightforward. it is the job of the score designer to embed their own expert biases in the weighting. That means each “score algorithm” should be adjusted for the local context and business priorities.

This also means that just taking an “off the shelf” index such as that provided natively by companies like LinkedIn with SSI above, is not a good strategy.  Using someone else’s weighting is unlikely to deliver as great returns against your business goals as if you created your own single score weighted to your business preferences.

How will the world be better when everyone is Success Tracking?

If Success Tracking spreads then we will see more people and organisations reaching their potential. 

This is our vision, it’s a picture of the way we want the world to be.

Rise was founded to provide technology and services that enable Success Tracking.
marion-michele-276088.jpg
A lot of potential remains unlocked because:
  • we don’t persist,
  • we don’t continue to iterate,
  • we accept the status quo or;
  • we expect external circumstances to change around us (e.g. winning the lottery).
By hoping for big wins, we can end up sitting around doing nothing, when we could have been making a start.
Success Tracking is the art of intentional, incremental, improvements that we make ourselves. It is:
  • Owning the 20 mile march.
  • The slow route to success.
  • Kaizen, little by little, 1% improvements.
  • Starting with one starfish
  • A journey worth taking note of.
  • Diligence, discipline and perseverance.
  • Achieving mastery, autonomy and purpose.
  • A mindset that runs counter to the prevalent get-rich-quick culture but it works!
I think there are two ways to success:
  1. the fast way – you get lucky and succeed fast – you land a big fish, you hit a home run or you win the lottery
  2. the slow way – hours of measured practice, tracking performance and optimising to improve, all add up to eventual success

The slow way is the best way because:

  1. It’s repeatable – you can apply the same approach to other roles
  2. It’s satisfying – you can feel you genuinely earned it
  3. You’ve achieved mastery – you know not just that you’re successful at something but why you are successful, it wasn’t just luck
  4. It’s respected – friends and peers will value your persistence
  5. You can take time to enjoy the journey – make friends along the way, take note of the highway, study the geeky aspects of what you’re doing. The journey to success can be as worthwhile as the achievement itself.
Slow success of course can take time – it took Gamification Guru Andrzej Marczewski 5 years to change career to his dream job – https://blog.rise.global/2017/07/04/7-ways-to-train-for-your-dream-job-lessons-learned/ – but change it he did, tracking his progress all the way.
Maintaining interest in performance over a long period of time is hard.
Most of us start with good intentions. We set up a dashboard we plan to check regularly, reviewing our analytics and optimising behaviour but over time we inevitably fade.
Success Tracking offers a methodology for us to achieve success by keeping us interested in our weekly or monthly performance.
Success Tracking does this through:
  • newsletters – we receive regular news bulletins tracking our success
  • storytelling – personalised stories  that bring the data to life “personal best!”
  • community – when we journey together we go further, we conform to peer behaviour
  • positive scorekeeping – we focus on tracking what we what more of so its always aspirational
We’ve set up Success Tracking University as an place for us to teach and explore the Success Tracking paradigm. Together we can make a vision of slowly achieved potential a reality.
I am keen to hear how you can help!

7 ways to train for your dream job – lessons learned.

7 ways to Train for dream jobCareer development isn’t something most of us do very well. Our horizons are all too often limited to the career progression offered by our current organisation, our bosses job or perhaps a dreamy, unfocused vision of turning our hobby into a day job.

Even in well run organisations, career progression is only properly discussed in an annual performance review and tends to be narrowly focused on roles within the current business unit. Of course this makes sense, there are few rewards for HR and managers who “outplace” cost effective and high performing staff!

However in the digital age, employees no longer need to accept the status quo. Just a mouse click away are the informal learning resources and opportunities for us to take our career in a new direction – we just need the guts to try.

In this post I want to talk about the journey of Andrzej Marczewski who in 2011 set out on a journey to leave his job as an intranet manager to become a leading gamification consultant. It took him 5 years but he eventually achieved his dream job!

To do so he used a number of informal learning methods, not provided by his then employer, that brought him success. We can learn from the route he took.

In his own words, the tools he used were:

Social Media

“Social media was the key to getting really going as it gave me access to people who had the same interests as me and could point me in the direction of what to read to learn more – as well as being willing to teach me directly. If social media didn’t exist, there would have been no chance at all for my work to get me noticed.”

Books and Papers

“I read up on game design, with books such as The Art of Game Design by Jesse Schell and A Theory of Fun from Raph Koster. I researched the psychology of rewards from papers by the likes of Deci and Ryan, but also from more “pop” books like Nudge and Drive.”

MOOC Courses

“Kevin Werbach released his Coursera MOOC course on gamification. I wish this had been around in 2011 as it was a great way to validate a lot of what I had been doing.”

Blogging

“I started to write about my version of gamification and my views… I continued to research and produce content on a weekly basis and just kept gaining traction.”

Meetups

“I went to meetups and events about gamification as often as I could and eventually started to speak at them. I remember my first Gamifiers Meetup talk with abject horror. I spoke at conferences such as the Gamification World Congress which helped with exposure greatly. ”

Success Tracking

“By 2012 I was getting fairly established, I had started to be a regular in the Gamification Gurus top 10. I have to give credit to being on the Gurus leaderboard as well, for better or worse it provided good exposure over the years!”

Moonlighting

“I did a little bit of gamification consultancy on the side, but it was not until 2016 that I finally broke into gamification as a career – 5 years after I started making a move on the industry!”

So those are the some great lessons learned!

For me, the most interesting aspect was how Andrzej used the Gamification Gurus Rise board to track his social media success. The board tracks his blogging activity, engagement with his twitter content and the reach of his talks using Slideshare. By optimising all three of these metrics, over time Andrzej was able to reach the top 10 and improve his online social presence. Having such a strong online presence in the sector was a big benefit to his prospective employers looking to offer expert advice to their clients. Success Tracking in action!

andrzej marczewski.png
Andrzej Marczewski is now a Senior Solution Consultant focused on gamification at Motivait and continues to blog at www.gamified.uk.

Use Success Tracking to encourage sales team micro-behaviours

As a sales manager you have a pretty good idea of the tools and techniques it takes to be a successful seller.

Often you can see the behaviours that your top sellers are doing, mostly out of habit, that you’d love to see in your mid and lower range sellers.

These behaviours could be the big obvious macro-behaviours – like getting out of the office, picking up the phone and making calls, but they might also be micro-behaviours, those smaller tips and tweaks that over 100 calls would make an incremental difference.

Examples of micro-behaviours might be:

  • tweeting on social media once a day,
  • keeping track of customer birthdays,
  • checking the industry movers and shakers news,
  • exchanging news with a colleague or
  • doing extra call preparation.

The micro-behaviours might only result in small improvements for each individual– an extra sale here or there – but as a sales manager, you know that if everyone on the team did them, that would all add up to a sizeable difference.

cash machine.png

But, if micro-behaviours are worth considering you still have the problem of how to incentivise them!

After all, most of your sales staff only get out of bed when there’s money to be earned, it’s the nature of the sales function and decades of conditioning from sales motivation programs based on financial rewards.

What you’ll find is that the big behaviours are already heavily incentivised: finding opportunities, making calls and closing deals are all covered within your formal  sales incentive scheme. It’s formal because this scheme is compulsory – every seller is measured by it and the commissions they earn are the key reason they come to work.

You may have other mandatory sales motivation programs on top of the commission structure too – for example, I’ve seen many managers circulate a sales leaderboard to encourage competition between sellers and win an additional, local, prize.

But micro-behaviours aren’t valuable enough in themselves to be worth incentivising with cash. So how do you do it and sustainably?

sales micro and macro behaviours

One approach is to run a success tracking program.

In a success tracking program, you help a seller improve professionally by giving good, digital feedback.

To do so, you track, for each seller, the micro-behaviours that you’ve seen work – for example, if you’ve seen digital selling on Twitter make a difference then you can offer to count for each seller how many tweets they did each day.

You can save them the trouble of tracking and reporting the number of tweets themselves.

The exact micro-behaviours you identify will be according to your context and business. Your job as a sales manager is to identify them, make a list and then encourage the rest of the team to apply them.

Don’t forget, you need to offer your team your success tracking service on an optional basis. Don’t position the program as yet another sales incentive scheme or management and monitoring scheme, instead position it as a self-help tool for them to help them get better at selling. By getting better at the micro-behaviours of selling they can be sure that this will improve their results on the macro-behaviours where they are formally rewarded.

instead position it as a self-help tool for them to help them get better at selling.

cash machine.png

Another way to look at this is, to think about “lead” and “lag” indicators.

Typically sales remuneration is focused on “lag” indicators – opportunities closed for example. These indicators track how you sellers did in the past but they are difficult for sellers to improve themselves – they can’t magic up sales opportunities to close.

Lead indicators are the KPIs that track behaviours that lead to successful sales (and closed opportunities) – filling the top of your sales pipeline with prospects for example. That’s a surefire way (if not the only way) to increase the number of closed deals that come out the other end.

A good success tracking program focuses on the lead indicators that bring success.

cash machine.png

So, how do you go about designing your success tracking program?

You can test success tracking very easily today.  These are the steps:

  1. Decide what do you want to track = what metrics matter? How do you weight them or assign points? You might want to ask your team.
  2. Who do you want to track? Are you tracking teams or individuals?
  3. How will you collect the data? Can you automate data collection or will some steps need manual intervention?
  4. How will you distribute the score to opted-in sellers?
  5. How will you track your own success in running the program? Has it contributed to a positive change in behaviour among your sellers?

I recommend heading over to Success Tracking University where I present a couple of courses you can take to learn more about Success Tracking.

 

 

Rise customer ClickMechanic shares their success story

It’s not often that you get a customer story told in a guest post like this. We’re thrilled with the ClickMechanic team’s Rise journey – this guest blog has been written by Simon Tinsley, Click Mechanic’s Digital Marketing Executive:

clickmechanicphoto

Hi! We’re ClickMechanic, not only are we satisfied customers of Rise, but we’ve taken the success tracking philosophy of the effective use of data and targets and applied it throughout our company with great results. We’re so excited about sharing our story so it can help other growing businesses that we asked Rise to let us share our story on their blog and they kindly agreed.

Firstly, a little background, we’re an online marketplace for car repair, servicing and inspections with a nationwide network of mechanics. We’ve used Rise’s leader board to promote engagement on social channels amongst our mechanics and found that it provided a 23% uplift in sharing from our mechanics.

More striking has been the impact that applying targets carefully has had throughout our company. We noticed recently that a quarter of bookings placed never get assigned to a mechanic – meaning more unsatisfied customers and less revenue for us. Recently we introduced a number of initiatives that reduced the number of customers without a mechanic by 60%. So, how did we do it?

Firstly, we gave people responsibility for a particular area of customer service each day. This focus allowed our team to reduce the amount of time they spent switching tasks, and therefore reduced wasted time. Alongside this, it gave a sense of ownership and responsibility over that area for the day. Secondly, we made the key metrics visible to the whole team. Such that the team can see the results of their efforts. The immediate feedback has seen our net promoter score increase from 80 to 85.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, we introduced targets for assigning bookings to the team. Here, we followed the key principle of ‘Count Fruit Not Leaves. Initially these were individual targets, though we found this provided faulty incentives. Team members on other tasks for the day would try to squeeze in assigning bookings to inflate their numbers and ‘win’ and neglect other tasks. With this in mind, we switched to a team target to encourage co-operation between the team. Not only have we seen the KPIs increase, but also we’ve had feedback that the team like having something to aim for and find it motivating.

We’ve also applied personal metrics to our development team. We work on a fortnightly sprint and plan our engineer’s time using ‘points’ to represent blocks of time. By doing so, we are better able to plan our development work and coordinate the rollout of new product features. Alongside this, it creates accountability within the development team – if tasks aren’t completed then the reasons why can be discussed transparently. Tracking this data allows for improving our estimation of how long projects take and can help us to identify if there are certain aspects of our process that consistently cause projects to run over.

Zoopla’s Customer Success Tracking program

What value do you offer your customers? More customers? More money? Social success? More time with the family?

Whatever it is that you are promising, you can bet that most of them aren’t tracking it effectively.

But as customers, we like knowing that we are definitely getting benefits from a service we are paying for, we just don’t always have time to measure it ourselves.

So, as providers, why don’t we track success for our customers?

What if we could keep reminding our customers that by using our services they are continuing to be successful? Wouldn’t that drive greater customer loyalty, longer retention and increased sales? Of course it would!

But, how do we do this?

Zoopla, the online real estate portal, promises the agents that sign up to its services, business success: “At ZPG we’re all about building the best property brands, marketing services, reporting tools and more, to help make your business a success.

One way for estate agents to track their business success is to measure their digital influence. The higher their digital influence score, the more effective has been their online marketing, something that Zoopla already helps them with.

Wouldn’t it be awesome if Zoopla tracked this influence score for each of its customers?

With the Zoopla Property Power 100, a tracker of social media influence, Zoopla is doing exactly that – each week they report back to any agents signed up to the program their quantified change in digital influence. This is then compared to other similar agents, giving agents a meaningful comparison.

Zoopla doesn’t just keep the stats private – it goes further and leverages the “meta effect”, heroing the weekly results back to consumers themselves via the Zoopla site and social media channels.

zpp1

It’s a very sophisticated customer success tracking service. Zoopla agents are more loyal because Zoopla is publicly tracking their success for them, showing them they are doing well and by charting a metric that matters to them.

There’s an added viral lift for Zoopla too. Successful customers tend to be happy customers and are willing to share that success on their own social channels:

zpp2

 

Zoopla aren’t the only ones catching on to the Customer Success Tracking bandwagon – CV library run a similar service for their customers called “Social Recruiter” – only here they aren’t just comparing customers against each other, they allow their customers (Recruitment agencies) to compare success against the whole market – an even more valuable comparison.

 

Both CV Library and Zoopla run their Customer Success Tracking programs using Rise.global. They define the metrics that make up the score and report the score back to their customers on a weekly basis. This weekly reporting creates its own news cycle that can then drive other content from the companies heroing which customers are doing well, building community and further brand authority.

So what about you?

What are the Customer Success metrics you could be tracking for your customers? Could a Customer Success tracking program work for your business. If you are offering social media training or marketing services of any kind then it’s a no brainer to simply copy what Zoopla are doing. You can start in “stealth mode” and gradually show people what you are up to with a Rise Power 100 leaderboard.