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Maximize Results With an Organization Performance Management System

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Identifying a successful sales manager is easy. Just ask, "How do you spend your week?" A typical manager will tell you that he is so busy and everyone fights for his time. A successful manager will describe his plan; "On Monday, I conduct 45 minute one-on-one pipeline reviews in the morning. On Tuesday afternoon, I go on customer visits to coach my reps. On Wednesday ..." Many sales managers live a harried life; the business manages them. But the best managers live a relatively calm life; they manage the business. Successful managers use organization performance management as the primary tool to manage their business.

An organization is like a machine. It takes input from somewhere, processes it and produces an output. As with every machine, all parts must work in synchrony. Yet, in my experience, rarely can executive team members even agree on the desired organization output. That's a problem.

If I think customer satisfaction is the organization's main goal I will cut the price low and staff up. If you think profit is the main goal, you will price high and staff down. And we will fight every day. Sure, customer satisfaction and profit are both important, but when it comes to the hundreds of micro decisions we both make every day, my decisions will not align with yours.

An Organization Performance Management System (OPMS) forces a common view of the input, the process and the output. The system comprises two main parts: 1. Setting organization performance measures and 2. Managing organization performance.

SETTING ORGANIZATION PERFORMANCE MEASURES

The first step for setting performance measures is to clarify the organization's output -- "what" the organization must deliver. Let's call these Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).

Every organization has a mission that defines its purpose. Effective KPIs quantify that mission. Look for one overall performance measure -- the main thing the organization must accomplish.

In sports, the one measure may be "winning percentage." Or, it may be how far the team goes in the playoffs. In revenue generating organizations, it may be one measure of profitable growth. In field marketing, it might be closed sales from marketing leads.

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