While creating great products, building brand awareness, and selling to a targeted market can all contribute to growth for small businesses, it's important not to overlook the role of technology. The right tech can help your small business grow faster, and scale far more efficiently.
Our new ebook, Six Keys to Small Business Success, details six crucial ideas to bear in mind when evaluating your small business systems and processes.
One of those ideas is accountability.
True accountability isn't achievable through the use of siloed reports, or from relying only on employee self-tracking. That's because accountability is the means for management and executives to manage expectations and performance throughout the entire process.
This is the difference between looking at an employee's "To Do" list versus seeing the real impact of that employee's actions. It's like looking at the game plan instead of watching the game. The plan only tells you what should happen; the actual game is the only place you're going to watch the team score.
Centralized reporting and dashboards provide the visibility needed for real accountability. And that's not just holding people accountable to management, but to the entire organization. Accountability to execs is one thing, it's expected after all. Accountability to your peers, however, presents an entirely different type of pressure. This can be particularly effective in sales due to the competitive nature of the average salesperson.
Dashboards can offer a high level view into the business. Choose the important metrics for your business, things like leads, sales, or customer service tickets/issues, and then build out a visual dashboard to get a picture of your business at a glance.
By fully tracking and measuring accountability, you find where the ball is getting dropped in your processes. It's not always in sales. It could have been fumbled by customer support, by management making a bad decision, or by a simple error in interpreting customer concerns.
That's why you need to see the entire interaction of your team, specifically who is doing what, and what the real results were. Being capable of pinpointing exactly what went right, what went wrong and where, is how real accountability is achieved.
Salespeople often measure their own output against expectations. This way, they see where they need to improve and when they need to grow. This takes pressure off management so there's less reason to bully and harangue, a practice that doesn't really increase results - and often diminishes them.
To read more about the Six Keys to Small Business Success, including thoughts on efficiency, collaboration, and communication, download the free ebook using the button below.