Just as we’ve previously told the story of our financials for 2018 transparently and openly, we also wanted to begin to share publicly what we’ve collectively defined as our company’s primary initiatives in the upcoming 2019 year, as well. Why?
- As a factor of accountability for ourselves
- As a tool to help other businesses and agencies
- Because sharing rings true with our values and the right way we feel things should be done
If you happen to have an hour available and would find the systems of creating yearly initiatives an important topic for your business or agency, then we would recommend simply watching the below video, in which Anthony Tumbiolo (Founder, CEO) and Cody Musser (President) discuss the specific Jakt 2019 initiatives, as well as the method for how we define and then subsequently maintain accountability for them.
For those that don’t, we’re sharing our initiatives for 2019 below, as well:
Jakt’s 2019 Initiatives
- Sales and Marketing Flywheel
- Improve Delivery & Capability (Quality of Work)
- Reduce Monthly Downside
Summary: We select three initiatives because there’s a reasonable limit to what one can accomplish while also running the day-to-day business, but one thing is too few for a year, and 10+ would mean that you’re selecting things that are likely too small to focus on, and you should seek bigger trends and grouping opportunities to distill what bigger goal, problem or challenge is at the heart of something. We define our initiatives and the KPIs that we’ll measure for each at the end of Q3 the year prior, and start to test our path to implementing them in the time before year ends, so we can hit the ground running in January of a new year. Now, a little on each of our own initiatives and why we chose them…
Sales and Marketing Flywheel
For us, this was our biggest focus. While we met our 2018 financial goals, we thought there was room for improvement in HOW we met them, and the ability to have more predictable sales and growth, and therefore an overall more stable pipeline (and subsequently organization overall). We defined this as: a repeatable and predictable way to generate and close new deals and a consistent quantity of inbound leads that attract partners that we want to work with (i.e. match customer profile) such that the conversion funnel maps to the businesses need for revenue.
KPIs that we use to measure this: # Leads, # SQLs, Lead to SQL rate, Lead to close rate, SQL to close rate, AVG lead deal size, AVG SQL deal size
Improve Delivery & Capability (Quality of Work)
The next initiative was centered upon what is likely any agencies goal — to simply continue to improve the quality of our delivered work, and carefully chosen — the ‘capability’ of our work, i.e. how many situations can we respond to from a partner and then say, ‘yes, that’s in our wheelhouse, our team has done what you’re looking for’. We defined this as: Improving our delivery on projects for partners such that there are fewer escalations, more accuracy in planning and allocation and partner satisfaction that increases positive referrals and upsells.
KPIs that we use to measure this: Partner Satisfaction Ratings, Partner Satisfaction AVG/Summary, Partner Satisfaction Response Rate, Time to release per work type, Budget Accuracy per work type, Budget Accuracy per all projects, Team Satisfaction Avg
Reduce Monthly Downside
Most agency leadership should be familiar with, at some point, the ‘monthly downside’. The sales gap that occurs after your current planned revenue drops off and projects end (and is made doubly worse by not having a predictable sales and marketing flywheel, see above). A key challenge that we’re taking on in 2019 is, how can we reduce that monthly downside by organizational adaptation in our salary base, as well as our approach to projects and sales. We defined this as: Determining how to increase predictability and velocity, reducing profit variability from month to month, and chiefly being on pace to reduce rolling 3 months downside to $0 in 2020.
KPIs that we use to measure this: Projects income from sales flywheel accuracy values, Revenue estimates, Margin estimates, 90 days on, Reduced full-time carry/cost where possible
We feel it’s important that our team understand our ambitions for the year so that we can all have a sense of alignment and share responsibility toward them. We thinks it’s extremely helpful to share them publicly, because there’s no hurt in letting the world and your partners know the ambitions you have for your business and your relationships with them, and accountability is just as valuable for our businesses as it is for our individual selves.