Establish a baseline for key business goals

1. Meet with your leadership team to revisit your organization's vision and mission.

Ask for their input on why the business exists, where they’d like it to go, and what they value.

2. Seek input from your senior management on how each business function can contribute to specific goals that steer the business towards its purpose.

List key business goals from the business purpose statements.

3. Meet with your customer-facing teams to understand what the customers experienced from your products or services to identify your North Star metrics.

For each stage of your conversion funnel, list the North Star metrics that directly impact your business goals. For an ecommerce business, the funnel stages could be awareness, consideration, preference, intent, and purchase, and their corresponding North Star metrics could be store traffic, product page views, add to cart rate, checkout rate, and purchase, respectively.

4. For each North Star metric listed in the spreadsheet, identify and prioritize corresponding KPIs that have the most impact on your metrics.

KPIs constitute: What needs to be measured Who will measure it How often they’ll measure it. Identify the leading and lagging indicators for each of these KPIs.

5. Decide the historical date range for baselining metrics using your average sales cycle and accounting for unprecedented and seasonal influences.

For example, if you own a SaaS business that has an average sales cycle of 3 months, you would want to consider data for at least the past 3 months to set a realistic baseline.  Add the same date range across all the platforms and tools you use to track sales, marketing, and customer data.  Use a date range of more than 30 days to get a clear picture of your baseline metrics.

6. Use analytics, marketing automation, CRM, or tools like VWO to track your key metrics and export this data to a data visualization platform.

Export the data required for the finalized North Star metrics, leading and lagging indicators over the decided date range. Gather all data and establish a single dashboard on a data visualization platform.

7. Segment the data for your business’ key demographics, geographies, and personas using tools like VWO.

Remove outliers and account for randomness, to ensure data sanity. Add historical trends in your data for each of your key segments to the spreadsheet.

8. Make a note of the industry benchmarks for your KPIs.

9. Condense all KPI data into baseline figures for your leading and lagging indicators and compare them to the industry benchmarks.

10. Creating North Star metrics which roll up to the organization’s key goals for every team and member of the organization.