Data Determines Destiny: How Performance Enablement, Used in the Right Way, Can Change a Business
In the digital age, data determines results. Case in point, the New York Times has a recent report on errors in increasingly complex computer chips. Such errors can lead to serious issues, such as the Facebook and Twitter outages from 2021. When circuits, and the tiny components that comprise them, have even minor malfunctions, the results can be quite impactful in such an interconnected age. Performance enablement is one way of thinking about the role of data.
The point here is obvious–bad inputs lead to lackluster, and sometimes dysfunctional, outputs. In the realm of hardware, misfiring switches can create outages, while in workforce operations, bad data likewise leads to productivity lags, lost opportunities, and other kinds of wasted effort and time.
The good news is that good data, funneled effectively, can have the exact opposite impact. As Rallyware’s Co-Founder and CTO, Mykhaylo Kostandov, says, “For many types of modern workforces and their leadership, data has become inextricably linked to organizational destiny. If you start with the right information, structure the measurable outcomes well, and have the right technology in place to make the best use of it, you can deliver the right activity to the right people to complete at precisely the time when it will be most valuable to them. Moreover, validating those activities—at scale—closes the loop and enables continuous refinement as the network effects take place.”
The process by which data informs decisions is performance enablement. Essentially, performance enablement uses workforce information gathered in the past to inform the results of the workforce in the future.
How Do Businesses Use Data to Grow?
Good question. Before we get into performance enablement, let’s discuss it.
Businesses use data to grow by using it to inform their decision-making processes, identify opportunities for improvement, and measure the effectiveness of their strategies. Here are some ways that businesses can use data to drive growth:
- Identify customer needs: By analyzing customer data, businesses can identify customer needs and preferences. This information can be used to develop products and services that better meet those needs, as well as to improve customer experiences and loyalty.
- Optimize marketing efforts: Businesses can use data to track the performance of their marketing efforts and optimize their campaigns. For example, by analyzing data on customer behavior and engagement with marketing materials, businesses can make more informed decisions about targeting, messaging, and channel selection.
- Improve operational efficiency: Data can be used to identify inefficiencies and bottlenecks in business operations. By analyzing data on key performance indicators, businesses can identify areas where they can reduce costs, streamline processes, and improve productivity.
- Predict future trends: By analyzing past data and trends, businesses can make predictions about future market conditions and customer behavior. This information can be used to inform strategic planning and identify new opportunities for growth.
- Monitor performance: Data can be used to measure the effectiveness of business strategies and track progress towards goals. By monitoring key metrics, businesses can identify areas where they need to make adjustments and ensure that they are on track to achieve their objectives.
Overall, businesses can use data to gain insights into their operations and customers, make informed decisions, and drive growth. By leveraging data effectively, businesses can stay competitive in a rapidly changing business landscape.
Performance enablement, as we’ll discuss, is one way of using data for growth.
Performance Enablement Keystones
Technology, at its essence, is a supplement to human activity, intended to make it simpler and more effective. This is true whether the technology at hand is the wheel or the internet. The goal is to drive human behavior, improving the results of everyday processes.
The same is true, no doubt, for human capital. Goal achievement on the job requires repeated processes. If you start work each day and do something radically new, your performance will drop. On the other hand, if you have procedures in place which can be judged for success and altered whenever necessary, your goals will be much easier to attain.
As an example, salespersons have to develop consistent processes that lead to deal closures. At the same time, they need some way to adjudicate these processes, to decide how successful they truly are based on core KPIs. Otherwise, they will have no way to tell which sales methods work and which are suboptimal.
That’s where data enters the picture. With the right data, the workforce’s performance can be rationalized to a state of prime efficiency. In business, as in life, we can only produce the best output when we have the right input. Yet if data drives results, what data should teams be tracking? Here are some brief use cases that can serve as examples.
Sales progress tracks how far from achieving a sales goal, like closing a deal, a salesperson is.
Though sales progress might seem like a static quantity–either a distributor is at one stage or another–the right data can make it dynamic. When good data gets interpreted in smart ways, the salesperson’s technological systems will always be helping to move them further along the pipeline and toward completion.
Let’s say that Shaina has reached out to a number of prospects and needs help nurturing the lead. Using powerful technology, she can receive the right learning activity at the right moment, the very instant she needs it. Her technology is analyzing her sales data and making inferences on what would best help her perform best–in this case, nurture the lead, follow up, and close the deal.
Customer care is all about performance. Strong performers get rewarded, while less-strong performers need to find ways to improve. What if technology could help them find those ways?
Historically, this process has been left up to the actions of individual managers, who might draw conclusions based on behaviors they perceive at the workplace. While using this method, it is of course possible to train and promote reps in the right way, it would be far easier to use objective data and automated processes to reach such conclusions–particularly in an age of remote work.
Let’s say two different reps are receiving two different kinds of customer review scores. One rep gets fantastic scores; the other gets middling scores. With the right technology in place, the fantastic rep will be recommended, automatically, for a managerial growth path. The technology might use customer review data to make that conclusion. The rep who needs improvement will be given learning activities to improve her performance and sharpen her performance metrics. Automated training can become the lifeblood of a business–just ask VELOFIX mobile bike shop, for instance.
Similarly, efficient customer support is effective customer support. The less time spent on each customer problem, the more customers a given rep can help. It is important to be able to differentiate between customer reps who are ready to move upward in management and those who need to be further trained–in fact, this is a large part of management’s job.
While managers have long relied on manual performance-tracking, good technology can be more granular, monitoring KPIs like interaction length and the ratio of interactions to resolutions. The ideal technology can then use this data to intelligently specify growth paths for individuals–say, who should be promoted on a managerial path, and who needs to be trained on what.
Managers can then determine who is ready to lead other reps and who requires more product knowledge. Good technology can even provide that knowledge, educating support reps autonomously.
Performance Enablement Tools Drive Business KPIs
Performance enablement technology can isolate the right data points and drive the most meaningful KPIs possible.
Rallyware’s technology is a prime example of that technology. In general, such technology does a number of things described in the three cases above:
1. Integrate with internal systems
Rallyware’s technology reads and interprets the data gathered in an organization’s internal systems–sales performance trackers, call log systems, and more.
2. Triggering the right learning activities to the right person at the right time
Rallyware then uses that data to conclude that X individual needs Y learning activity to unlock their full potential, ensuring that workforces are effective while also reducing the need for managerial oversight.
3. Enabling learning by reinforcing it with follow-up business tasks
After workforce learning activities have been completed, Rallyware assigns business activities that help reps put that new knowledge into action.
4. Retesting and making sure each person continuously grows
A core part of knowledge retention is repetition. Rallyware automatically retests people to ensure that knowledge stays where it belongs, rather than disappearing. At the same time, Rallyware judges which learning activity is needed next, carrying the rep along on their growth journey–one foot in the past and one in the future.
Remember, one of the keystones of performance is data. Without the right input, the right output becomes near-impossible. Interested in learning more about how Rallyware can use the right data to drive the right KPIs? Click here to request your free demonstration.
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