As each month comes to an end so begins the nearly week long process of aggregating everything that impacted your sales and service results.
If it was a good month this process is usually shorter, however if the final tally was off from your targets the fact finding mission is usually quite painful. We subject ourselves to this to determine how to repeat past successes and turnaround under-performing subsets of our business.
Here are 4 trends we have found over the years and countless reviews of individual dealership month end results:
1. Good results can lead to reporting with a goal to validate recent efforts that in the past have been subject to scrutiny.
2. Reporting bias is a real thing. The person who creates the report, even if 100% genuine, will inadvertently portray their findings in a way that feels like an agenda is under the surface.
3. Bad results lead to a ‘CYA mission’ that seeks to remove protected individuals from the cause of the bad month.
4. The effort that goes into determining the decision to stay the course or plot a new one is a highly stressful and demotivating experience for most involved.
Here are 5 recommendations to get your month started faster, with less stress and more focus:
1. Automate your reporting process so no one has to “pull reports” to see what happened. Every time you hear the words, “pull reports” stop and ask yourself, “What’s the goal?” and “How can we automate this?”
2. Establish a roster of metrics that you will track each month and a system that is 100% independent from reporting bias. Here are the 74 we track
3. Map the decisions you made each month against your results – although this isn’t necessarily causation it does measure the impact your adjustments may have on long term trends.
4. Shift the focus of your improvements to the future versus the past. Create a dealership forecast based on data, not goals, to measure your progress. Here is how we built ours
5. Daily and weekly feedback loops are essential to determining how effective you are. Keep the conversation going and everyone’s goals aligned.
The quicker we absorb the lessons from the past the faster we can engage in the future. Stop isolating this review to the start of the month – keep it in front and center each week. Give your team a break from the distraction of monthly self-appraisals, your customers will thank you with their business in the beginning of the month!