As a staffing executive and a business professional, you’ve no doubt heard the expression, “What can’t be measured, can’t be managed.” And it’s a true statement, up to a point. For staffing firms, measuring sales is crucial. Let’s look at how you can apply sales benchmarks to your business.
By all accounts, staffing firms are poised for growth in the coming year (you can read our blog about this here: http://www.madisonresources.com/2015/11/24/staffing-industry-news-staffing-employment-on-the-rise/).
This is great news for players in the contingent space. But it can also bring you a different set of problems. You may find yourself running so fast that you don’t stop and figure out what your processes are looking like. Are you ignoring potential repeat customers? How’s your job order pipeline: Focused or more like a fire hose?
Are you spending too much time chasing potential customers and taking your eye off existing ones? How are your sales, month-to-month, or year-to-year? What about your margins?
It’s vitally important to have a baseline of your sales. And if the above questions give you a headache just looking at them, there are simple solutions out there. In fact, it’s easier than ever to track your sales and performance with many of the business service providers out there.
For example, at Madison, we go way beyond funding to give you insight into your business processes, including sales. These key analytics include trends on sales gross profit, gross margin, markup percentage and headcounts, and adjustable periods and comparisons with dropdowns monthly, quarterly, or annually.
So measuring your business is a key first step, and if you’ve done that, congratulations. But you can’t stop there. You’ve got all these great statistics, but how do they compare with other firms in your region, or your service specialties, or in staffing overall? For example, what’s the average win rate among first-class staffing sales teams, and how does it stack up against yours?
That’s just one of many questions that illustrate that without knowing how you are doing in comparison to your rivals, you’re lacking some key business intelligence.
A great way to get a handle on this is by joining the American Staffing Association and participating in its staffing employment and sales survey. It’s the Association’s quarterly survey of temporary and contract staffing sales, payroll, and employment. Survey participants receive an exclusive report on the results, which includes gross margin and sector-level data.
Another super resource is Staffing Industry Analysts. If you join as a corporate member, you can sign up for its Staffing Industry Benchmarking Consortium, which gives you secure and private information about key business metrics, everything from gross margin to marketing expense.
You’ve got your sales statistics, and you’ve measured yourself against top firms. That’s fantastic. But now it’s time to put these metrics into action. Whether it’s building your sales team, or saying no to certain customers on margins, or narrowing your pipeline, these can be tough decisions.
Whatever you do decide, it’s good to have a rule of thumb: Make sure that the metrics you are using factor into your overall corporate goals. If they do, you’ll have a great way to get staff buy-in. And you’ll need to communicate this to everyone from your sales team (those directly affected) to everyone in the organization.
If your employees can see that their work — and the need for change — affects your company’s performance, you are guaranteed to see results.
So measure, compare, and execute: Three important steps. At Madison, our goal is to make your staffing firm more profitable. With our back office solutions, use of technology, and expertise in the staffing industry, we can set your firm up to succeed. To learn more on how to drive profits, and how to hit the ground running in 2016, contact Madison Resources today.