While reading “The High Cost of Information” from Charlie Gilkey, I was struck by this paragraph:
Here’s the bottom line: if you can’t ask yourself the basic questions that you’re hoping the information will answer, you probably shouldn’t be collecting information – you should be asking yourself what questions you need answered. If those questions are worth the high cost of information, then you’re golden; otherwise, the juice isn’t worth the squeeze.
Charlie’s post is about the fact that more information, while being something that we all instinctively pursue, isn’t always helpful — in fact, the pursuit of more information can (and does) keep you from reaching your goals. Spending time gathering information that you don’t really need is costly in terms of delayed goals and missed opportunities.
The bottom line is simple, know what the questions are before you go looking for answers.
This idea is one of the core reasons I created VisiOlo — with the tracking tools available to me, I could get a *lot* of information, but not precisely and immediately the information that would answer my most important questions.
So what are the questions you want your sales statistics to answer for you?
For every sales system, and any given time-frame, I want to know:
- How many people saw my offer?
- How may of those people accepted my offer (converted)?
- How many people joined my lists?
- How many people bought products?
- How much did I sell?
- Which traffic sources brought in the most sales or subscribers?
- Which traffic sources are not performing?
- Compared to ‘before’ is my sales system performing better or worse ‘now?’
- How effective is each step in my sales process when it comes to getting prospects to take the next step?
- Where I am testing one page against another (split testing or multivariate testing), which page is performing better?
Of course, if I’m looking to get people to stay on a website longer, or I want to optimize the content, or I want information related to SEO, I would ask different questions, but when it comes to tracking the results of my sales system, these are the 10 questions I ask — information not related to these questions isn’t helpful and can be distracting.
Not being able to answer these questions quickly and easily is costly.
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