Common KPI and Benchmarking Mistakes – What are you measuring in your user adoption effort?

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In a previous blog we discussed the benefits of benchmarking and I outlined a 10 step process with step 1 being: select the product, process, or service to be benchmarked.

Simple right?

But in consulting engagements whenever we are trying to establish the key metrics we will use to judge and measure user adoption things get quite a bit more complex.

(If you just want to know what good KPI’s are to consider checking out my KPI’s for CRM blog)

The biggest problem isn’t that people don’t know which KPI to use, it is that they aren’t clear which “thing” it is they are measuring. Typically they want to measure everything all at once!

They want to measure the person’s usage of the system (willingness), competence, the process (the user’s knowledge of the process), and the tool (is it configured properly). These are all intertwined, obviously, but to establish a good KPI you must segment each one and introduce them slowly to prevent change overwhelm.

Do you want to know if your business process is working or if people are using the system? Or if the person using the system is competent? Or how much time is being saved? Get really clear!

Executives typically express business objectives as desired business outcomes. And they are typically presented at a high level. Your job in defining KPI’s is to define what are the smaller daily actions that drive to those high level business objectives (and yes they will be different for different roles).

Let me give you a personal example:

I want to lose 10lbs.

There are a lot of factors that play into me being successful at this.

  • How much I eat- volume
  • What I eat- Calories
  • When I eat
  • What I eat- Macros ratio – ie carbs, protein, fat
  • How much water I drink
  • How much sleep I get
  • What my sugar intake is
  • Which supplements I am taking and if I am taking them regularly
  • How much I exercise
  • What type of exercise am I doing – weight lifting or cardio

You get the point…

Now could we measure the KPI of weight lost? Absolutely, but what will actually motivate people is if they were being measured on the small actions they can take each day (gives them control!). So I know if we drink 8 cups of water a day, keep my calorie content under 1,300, do 15-mins. of cardio 3 times a week, lift 2 times per week, and keep my macros at 70-30-10 I will lose weight. So, I track those things not the weight lost objective.

Why don’t people break KPI’s down like this? Because they want to try and cover all the bases. It happens in marketing all the time, you want to make it broad enough that everyone can relate but in doing so you lose the clarity that creates the connection.

Same thing with driving user adoption! We want the KPI’s we measure to be easy to track (general usage) but clear enough for every individual (did customer service entering the contract really save the sales guy 3 hours searching for it?).

Plus when you get very clear on each small action item it feels overwhelming, especially if you weren’t already doing all those things every day and then were suddenly asked to take all those actions every day & track them.

Want to know how to help the project team manage the stress and distraction of constant change? Click Here.

But when introduced little by little each task quickly becomes normalized. The goal is to get the action integrated into the users daily to do list which leads them to their ultimate goal.

Sales implementations are where we most often see clearly articulated processes and kpi’s because sales actions can be tied directly to revenue.

  • If you make 75 calls per day revenues will increase by x percent
  • If you follow a preset script close rates increase
  • 8+ touches increases close rates
  • Following up and nurturing existing accounts produces lower costs of sales, improved win rates and more likely to lead to referrals

But what about other functions you do in CRM?

Can you think of the individual steps that lead to the desired outcomes and business objectives? If so, that is what you should measure!

Setting KPI’s isn’t usually the hard part, its identifying the small actions that need to be taken each day, truly knowing what actions make a difference. All too often there are many variables that could attribute to why one person is more effective at their job than another, if you don’t know the correct recipe your cake may turn out different every time. So if you don’t know the recipe that is an opportunity to collect data, identify trends and try to determine what the recipe really is- then you can drive people towards the adoption of that process.

Ask yourself are you trying to get people to use the system or are you trying to get them to perform their jobs at a higher success rate? Neither is right or wrong, just be clear which it is you are tying to measure in your user adoption effort. If you don’t know the recipe for successful sales and revenues aren’t increasing that may not be because the system isn’t delivering the ROI it promised…

Check out the KPI for CRM blog to see some examples you can start capturing and benchmarking.

Happy Changing!