The 5 Metrics You Need to Measure to Increase Throughput
When you create a system for anything, you want to make sure that you increase the output of the system, aka the throughput. Instead of increasing the total load of the system, instead of increasing the number of people that are hitting your site, how many calls you’re having, how many sales closes you’re having - you want to increase the output. For a lot of companies that’s cash, for a lot of companies, it’s their mission or their north star metric, etc...
A really simple framework for how to increase throughput is to breakdown your entire business into 5 different main metrics:
1) Where are your leads coming from?
For B2B: how many people are getting interested for a call
For B2C: how many people are hitting your site
2) What are your conversion metrics?
For B2B: calls
For B2C: how many people are ‘adding to cart’ or how many people are submitting to your email list
3) What are your sales metrics?
For B2B: how much cash is in the bank, how many sales closed on those calls. For B2C: going to be how many people that ‘add to cart’ actually buy
When you’re measuring those 3 things, you’re measuring the top of the funnel stuff and that’s what most businesses measure because you want to know if you’re making money or not - that makes sense.
What you want to add and what you want the focus to be on are the next two metrics:
4) How many of the customers that are buying are actually happy/ satisfied with what they bought. What’s your customer success rate?
5) How many of those customers that bought and are happy, are actually referring new business to you? That’s either by user-generated content on social platforms or by just referring their friends to you. Measuring that number is how you’re going to get that throughput number increased.
As you have all of those metrics laid out, you want to look at what the conversion rates are for those metrics: how many leads became calls, how many calls became sales, or for B2C how many website visitors became email submits, how many email submits became sales.
From there, identify what you’re doing really well and what you’re doing really badly. Where are the conversion rates really high vs where are the conversion rates really low, and Identify what is going to actually increase the referral.
Once you have all of that lined up, you want to start testing.
Always test on the things you’re doing really well first instead of the things that you’re doing really badly. It’s very tempting to be like “we’re getting this many website hits, but only 1% of people are actually adding to cart”, but if 90% of people that are adding to cart are buying, you want to put your focus there because it’s going to be a lot easier for you to increase that conversion rate. That’s the mentality you want to have around actually building a system, to go after that throughput, to increase that product-market fit, to get to that growth that you want to hit.
A really important point here is that a lot of companies tend to celebrate too early, and that’s what’s stopping them from hitting those throughput metrics. They’ll start counting people that buy the product that aren’t really happy, but are so excited about your brand that they’ll start sharing - they’ll count those people as the same as the people that are successful with their product.
When that happens you kind of get a growth loop, you kind of get that throughput built, but it’s not to the effect that you actually want to build it. That's building a brand based on hype and excitement versus actually building a brand based on successful customers and the problems that you’re solving.