How to measure what matters

Measuring what matters is essential for professional services firms, says author and consultant Tim Williams, particularly as firms continue to experiment with the concept of outcome-based compensation agreements.  

May 22, 2014 |
Steven Burns

Measuring what matters is essential for professional services firms, says Author and Consultant Tim Williams, particularly as firms continue to experiment with the concept of outcome-based compensation agreements.  

“Most measures of performance – sales, market share, stock price, etc. – are lagging indicators that only tell us where we have been,” he writes in a LinkedIn influencer post. “What we need are leading indicators. We need to measure not just brand success, but understand what are the precursors of brand success.”

Williams notes that marketers typically spend their time and energy analyzing the result instead of observing and understanding the process that leads to the result.

“Most leading indicators never appear on a financial statement or sales report, but they have tremendous predictive power – that is, they will drive the numbers that ultimately appear on the financial statements,” he writes. The correct leading indicators will foretell the lagging indicators.”

While some lagging indicators – such as incremental profits generated from a marketing campaign – are important and relevant measures of marketing success, many traditional measures of success are the result of historical practices rather than a careful study of cause and effect. 

“The challenge – and the opportunity – is to engage marketing teams in identifying the metrics that predict a brand’s success, and then work to improve them,” he writes. 

Here are a few examples:

External indicators

• Client compliments

• Client complaints

• Client referrals

• Client suggestions

• Online endorsements

• Positive brand experience

• Percent of target population knowledgeable about brand

• Positive press coverage

• Percent of clients who give high ratings to their experience with brand

• Degree to which clients are satisfied with service from firm

Internal indicators

• Degree to which employees have positive views of the firm

• Degree to which employees believe the firm practices are in line with the brand’s stated values

• Degree to which employees are satisfied working for the firm

• Intent of employees to retain their employment status)

• Likelihood employees would recommend the firm to a friend

Read more from LinkedIn.

Editor's Note: This is sponsored content. The text was provided by the sponsor company.

Steven Burns | The Business Behind Design

Steven Burns, FAIA, spent 14 years managing the firm Burns + Beyerl Architects, during that time the firm’s earnings grew at an average rate of 24% per year. After creating ArchiOffice®, the intelligent office, project management and time tracking solution for architectural firms, Steve took his management expertise to BQE Software, where he is refining their business strategy and product development.

Related Blogs

August 25, 2015 | Building Team | The Business Behind Design

By analyzing the “benchmark firms” selected from its annual surveys, PSMJ has identified several characteri...

Understanding the values and aspirations of millennials

Only 28 percent of millennials believe that their organization is taking full advantage of their skills, research from Deloitte revealed.

August 20, 2015 | Building Team | The Business Behind Design

A recent LinkedIn workplace survey revealed that millennials (defined as individuals aged 18–24) are quite...

How to improve project planning
August 11, 2015 | Building Team | The Business Behind Design

A recent research project revealed that more than 75 percent of project owners have no consistent method fo...

According to research by talent management firm Development Dimensions International, 89% of leaders with strong interaction skills have more engaged teams. Photo: Sebastiaan ter Burg/Flickr

July 10, 2015 | Building Team | The Business Behind Design

Much of what’s written about employee engagement focuses on how leaders can help their employees become mor...

How to earn respect as a leader
June 18, 2015 | The Business Behind Design

Employees will give you minimum effort if the only reason they respect you is for your authority

Is your firm social enough?
June 09, 2015 | Building Team | The Business Behind Design

The overwhelming majority of A/E/C firms are engaged in social media. But to what end? 

Succession planning starts with developing your leaders

A leadership-succession process should involving mentoring and coaching. Photo: HA0521-021/Flickr.

June 03, 2015 | Building Team | The Business Behind Design

Two-thirds of U.S. companies still admit that they have no formal succession plan in place, a 2014 survey c...

Why it’s so hard to figure out what to pay top talent
April 03, 2015 | Building Team | The Business Behind Design

Is your firm’s approach to compensation effective in today’s rapidly changing talent market?

Are face-to-face meetings still important?

It’s particularly important for sensitive communication, when having tone and body language for context makes a difference.

March 17, 2015 | The Business Behind Design

One CEO looks pass convenience and advocates for old school, in-person meetings.

How to give feedback effectively

If initial feedback doesn’t resonate, effective leaders also know how to turn up the pressure in a way that is progressive, but not too sharp.

March 06, 2015 | Building Team | The Business Behind Design

A great feedback-giving leader evaluates the individual

Add new comment

Your Information
Your Comment

Filtered HTML

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Refresh Type the characters you see in this picture. Type the characters you see in the picture; if you can't read them, submit the form and a new image will be generated. Not case sensitive.  Switch to audio verification.
Overlay Init