A Fatal KPI Mistake

KPI’s, metrics, sales measurements…call them what you like, but they dominate the lives of salespeople. I’ve spoken to hundreds of them who continuously moan about the futility of the KPIs that they are measured against. But firms continue to design and measure completely irrelevant metrics.

Let me explain the mistake that many make. The quote comes from Ken Bate’s excellent documentary of the Vietnam War and the USA’s insistence to measure body count. In other words how many dead enemy soldiers they could achieve each day/week/month.

A ludicrous KPI but as Ken puts it:

“If you can’t count what’s important you make important what you can count.”

And they found it very easy to count and reward the commanders based around body count since they found it too difficult to measure what they should have done.

So think about your KPIs – do they fall into the body count category because it’s easy to measure them? Are you failing because you do not measure what’s important? Its worth trying.