Tracking Your Numbers: Spotting the Problems and Opportunities in Your Business
As advisors, we’re often beating our heads against the wall, looking for new ways to grow our practices and struggling to figure out the latest, greatest tactics.
In this post, we’re going to help you quickly identify your greatest opportunities for growth, set benchmarks to measure your progress, and spot challenges as they emerge so they don’t turn into big problems in the future.
The common theme in this, is the importance of tracking. As the saying goes:
“What you don’t measure, you can’t improve.”
Too often, most of us rely on little more than wishful thinking that at the end of each month, we will have generated more than we’ve spent – but to grow and scale your practice predictably and consistently, you’ve got to know your numbers.
Which Metrics You Should Track, and How Often
Let’s start with a tool that we use when working with advisors to help them track their business. We call it the Automated Advisor Scorecard.
Here are the key metrics that the scorecard can help you track:
- How much money you spend on marketing each month.
- How much traffic you’re generating each month.
- How many new leads you’ve generated.
- How many appointments you’ve scheduled from those leads.
- How many of those appointments were kept versus canceled.
- How many clients you’ve closed.
- The total revenue you’ve generating in a given month.
No matter what your goals for growth may be, these metrics are critical to your success, and should be reviewed monthly, quarterly and annually. At Automated Advisor, we track these numbers for advisors in real time using software, but however you do it, it must get done!
The reality of marketing is that it’s not one big challenge, but rather a lot of little ones. What’s interesting is that there are strategies to improve each metric above independently. Once you understand that you can see the importance of tracking each. You’ll most likely find that some are performing acceptably while others aren’t. Once you know which aren’t, you can begin improving them!
Make Small Adjustments Frequently to Avoid Getting Off Course
Now, if you’re still reading this, I know you want to be able to make reliable projections for your business. Many of us already do make projections, in our heads. They go something like this…
“If I can generate X number of new leads this month, it should translate into X number of appointments, which would generate X number of new clients. Which should generate X amount of income.”
The hard part, however, is making projections that then become reality. Maybe you’ve told yourself,
“I know I can hit these numbers,” or “I can close at least a third of these leads,”
“I should be able to get at least half of these leads to set an appointment.”
But somehow, at the end of the year, you come to the sobering reality that you’re nowhere near the goals you set for yourself in January. What happened?
If you’ve experienced this, the problem may be that you’re simply not tracking your numbers and making incremental adjustments throughout the year to your client acquisition strategy to resolve problems as they arise.
Let’s me share an example with you of how we do this using the Automated Advisor Scorecard…
Determining Your Percentages
- Let’s assume you plan to spend an average of $5,000 on marketing per month.
- You reasonably expect that this effort will bring approximately 400 new prospects to your website.
- Of those, you think it’s reasonable that you’ll be able to generate 80 new leads and convert at least 15 of those into new appointments.
- Assuming 12 to 15 of those show up for the appointment, you assume you can close 8 new clients.
- With an average revenue per client of $9,000, you plan to generate $72,000 a month in total revenue.
What’s important to note in this assumption isn’t the total numbers, but the percentages.
If you generate 80 new leads from 400 interested web visitors, that means you’re converting 20 to 30 percent of your traffic into leads– a great benchmark!
From there, if you can convert another 20 percent of those leads into appointments, again, that’s pretty good.
Of those, one would expect 90 percent to show up and hope to close at least 70 percent of them as new clients.
With these percentages in mind, you can begin to evaluate the various phases of your client acquisition funnel to determine where you’re on track and where you may need some help.
Using The Scorecard to Identify The Problems and Opportunities
Let’s look at three hypothetical scenarios…
1. Your Offer Isn’t Working:
Let’s assume that you are working off of the metrics we outlined above.
$5,000 Marketing Expense400 Web Visitors
20 New Leads (5%)
5 Appointments Set (25%)
2 New Clients Closed (40%)
$18,000 In Revenue
Do you see the glaring problem??
Their goal was to generate 80 leads from those 400 web visitors, but instead they generated only 20 – and the impact of that problem was felt all the way down the funnel. This advisor has one of two obvious problems…
1. Their lead generation page is not optimized for conversion
2. Their offer or “lead magnet” is not valuable enough to convert visitors into leads.
By understanding their numbers, however, they can now begin resolving these problems, this advisor could bring lead volume up, hit that benchmark of 20 to 30 percent and (since all the other percentages are in line) ultimately see it translate into their original goal of $27,000 of monthly revenue.
2. An Appointment No-Show Problem
Let’s say that same advisor experienced the following…
$5,000 Marketing Expense
400 Web Visitors
80 New Leads (20%)
15 Appointments Set (18%)
4 Appointments Show (26%)
2 Close (50%)
$18,000 In Revenue
The problem now, is not generating less, but rather getting the appointments that schedule to show up. As you can see, this is an altogether different problem to solve. Same less than ideal end result, but now the advisor can focus on solving the right problem.
According to our goal, we want 90 percent of the appointments we set to stick. With 15 booked, this advisor should have 13 – 14 prospects actually walking through the door. They have a no-show problem. While this is not unusual; (fallout is a common challenge), there is a solution for it.
An advisor who’s trying to bring their percentages up in this area would do well to implement a nurture campaign to improve the ratio of people who set and then keep their appointments.
3. A Messaging Problem:
For this last example, let’s assume the advisor has the following:
$5,000 Marketing Expense
100 Web Visitors
20 New Leads (20%)
5 Appointments Set (25%)
4 Appointments Show (80%)
2 Close (50%)
$18,000 in Revenue
What’s the problem?
Not enough traffic!
In this case, the problem is at the very top of the funnel. With only 100 new web visitors, there’s no way they will be able to acquire the 80 new leads they need to reach $27,000 in revenue by the end of the month. This advisor may be tempted to say…
“Direct Mail doesn’t work!” or, “See, Radio is horrible!”
But in reality, it has far less to do with the medium and more to do with your offer and message. The ads (regardless of medium) are reaching their market but are not generating a response. These prospects aren’t even visiting the landing page, let alone seeing the offer and deciding to convert.
The best course of action for this advisor would be to really look hard at his or her ads and messages and consider them in light of what’s motivating their ideal prospects.
The sad truth is 98% of the advisors I speak to each week leave this up to the mail house, the radio station, the “expert”, but the truth is, no one is going to know your clients like you do.
(By the way, for a great resource on messaging your ads, check out Marketing Messages That Convert)
Zero In On Your Problem Areas, Fix Your Funnel and Unlock Your Potential
In all three of the above scenarios, the ultimate end disappointment was the same: Only $18,000 of monthly revenue, when the original goal was $27,000. However, in each case, the root of the problem was dramatically different.
This is why tracking your numbers is so important. It allows you to zero in on the specific aspect of your funnel that isn’t working.
So, what can you do to assess your numbers? I’d encourage you to take a minute and download the Automated Advisor Scorecard. Once you have it, plug in your numbers each month, and you’ll discover exactly where your greatest problems and opportunities have been hiding.
Doing so will help you determine where to spend your time, money and energy, and help you actually fix what’s broken. Otherwise, you may be tempted to simply chalk up the poor results to a bad month, or worse yet, double down and spend twice as much the next month on a broken campaign, hoping for a better result.
As long as there’s a leak in your funnel, spending more money will only compound the problem. So resolve today to begin tracking your numbers, identifying where you need to improve, and then getting focused on building your business!
If you want more on tracking your numbers and spotting opportunities using the scorecard, check out this quick training video!