Month: March 2014

KPIs – Elixir or Toxin?

KPIs – Elixir or ToxinKey Performance Indicators (KPIs) drive much of what we do.  They can be powerful tools when properly understood – but potentially detrimental when not.  As the saying goes, “when all you have in your toolbox is a hammer, every situation looks like a nail.”

F. John Reh defines KPIs as “indicators that are quantifiable measurements, agreed to beforehand, that reflect the critical success factors of an organization.”  Measurement is the key as Reh points out – “in order for an indicator to be of any value, there must be a way to accurately define and measure it.”

Clearly understanding your KPIs is only the beginning, as Bernard Marr points out in this article entitled Caution: When KPIs Turned to Poison.  According to Marr, KPIs are not goals or targets, but something to me measured.  They should reflect the goals of the organization – not be defined as the goal.  Use caution when designating KPIs.  As Marr states, “One reason why things go wrong with KPIs is that they sometimes turn from a measure into a target. I believe that when a KPI becomes a target it stops being a KPI.”

He describes each KPI as a torch in a dark room, illuminating one small area of the space. Because only one area is affected, several KPIs are needed to bring light to the entire room.  Marr says, “If we now use this imperfect measure as a target it means people can deliver great results on the spot that is lit up, but ignore the large areas that are left in the dark.”

In closing, Marr says “KPIs are powerful tools if they are used as indicators to measure the delivery of the goals. However, if the KPIs become the goals, then they turn into toxic material that will inhibit performance improvement.”

Let us help you develop and implement a non-toxic set of KPIs that reflect your organization’s critical success factors and illuminate the entire room.

Building Trust with Program Communications

The design of any recognition or incentive program should be based on thoughtful consideration of the program’s purpose and potential for positive change.  Clearly defined, measurable objectives further increase the odds for successful results.  In addition, you must employ effective program communications to inform, engage and motivate program participants. QIC’s IncenTrac online points platform is… Read more »

Walk the Talk – Important to Customer Retention

You’ve probably heard the saying that it’s much more expensive to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one.  Brandon Carter, in this post – Customer Retention: Cheaper than Acquisition; Still Not Easy – points out that while retention might be cheaper, it isn’t easier. We have all heard that existing customers are… Read more »

Incentive Programs-One Piece of the Performance Puzzle

Many of QIC’s channel sales and customer incentive programs are business-to-business (B2B) rather than business-to-consumer (B2C). Both types provide insight, however and recently I was intrigued by two B2C items that came to my attention: Loyalty Programs Don’t Drive Loyalty; Customer Experience Does – by David Jacques, Customer input The Loyal Treatment, Maximizing Customer Value… Read more »

St Patrick’s Day and Sales Incentive Programs

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!  As it turns out, you don’t need the Blarney Stone to make your sales incentive program successful – just a solid design and consistent, meaningful communications. According to legend, kissing the Blarney Stone imparts incredible persuasive skill – but because most of us are a great distance from the Blarney Castle… Read more »

3 Key Ingredients for Incentive Program Success

Let me preface this post with the admission that I am a huge foodie.  I love going to new restaurants, experimenting with cooking techniques and tasting new flavors.  For the past few months I have been enjoying a service called Blue Apron and have some observations about the experience and how it relates to incentive… Read more »