Driving Lessons – Eliminating Risk and Avoiding Errors
It can be hard to figure out what to do without all the right information. When you’re learning to drive, they teach you not to make a move until you know for sure the move is safe. This requires some data gathering – what cars are in the way, who is two lanes over but looking to mirror the move you’re making, what are the road conditions and how will they impact this decision?
As adults, it sounds silly to describe the simple act of changing lanes in such great detail, but that is because we’re trained in the art of gathering driving data. Our system is nearly automated, because we know how to filter for relevant information quickly. A young driver does not have these automatic instincts, and making decisions on the road can be a challenge without that experience. They just don’t yet have the mobility of a more seasoned driver.
There is no time for this kind of indecision when you’re leading a business. A CEB survey recently showed that 60% of the corporate strategy officers surveyed said that their company’s decision-making process is too slow, in part because of an excessive focus on preventing risk. This lack of mobility costs companies almost half of their potential growth rate, and is due largely to the excessive, sluggish process.
There is a constant need for timely, relevant information in order to ensure you are on track for hitting your revenue numbers – and it’s never just about hitting those numbers. You need to ensure that you are set up to successfully to hit those revenue numbers, you have to be certain that you are retaining your top reps, you need to always be coaching your low performers up from the bottom rung, and you have to make sure that the sales ramp up time for your new hires isn’t impacting your ability to hit quota. These are the road conditions of your business, and you need a system that is equipped to handle these analytics quickly and accurately.
It is imperative that sales management is involved in the design stage, in order to create a system like this. We have worked with company that had taken the first steps and automated their incentive compensation process. However, they relied on outside consultation to design their plans, and their sales management team was minimally involved in the process. Unfortunately, quotas were miscalculated as a result.
Because of business reasons they were unable to make an adjustment to these quotas for over a year, and by the time they could course correct, they’d suffered a massive turnover rate. Had sales management been involved, and if they had used the right data to determine quota allocation, this issue could have been easily prevented. Imagine being on the road, merging into the wrong lane, and not being able to correct for that mistake. The risk is serious for both scenarios, but it is also totally avoidable.
This is a prime example of what happens when you don’t have the visibility or intelligence to plan correctly and manage your team throughout the year. It is an absolute priority that you have access to visibility, to prevent accidents or business errors. Without information, you are making decisions that cost you money and hinder your growth.