Benchmarking: Why does the neighbor's grass always look greener?

Benchmarking: Why does the neighbor's grass always look greener?

Many business owners, managers, marketers and salesmen dream of having their businesses thrive, with lasting and sustainable success. However, an incessant search for excellence in processes is not enough if there are no parameters and references of what is perfection.

In the quest to drive growth and success of a business, it is quite common to see entrepreneurs having difficulty in devising ways to beat competition, increase productivity and process efficiency. Or even to innovate and keep up with market changes.

A very simple way to solve this problem is through the practice of benchmarking. It is a technique developed and widely used by industries to monitor competition, compare performance of results, improve process efficiency. With the help of Orlando Florida SEO company let's reveal the word benchmarking and how to implement it.

Understand benchmarking

Imagine that you own a small neighborhood bakery, having low billing and business margin results. Until one day he realizes that in the neighboring neighborhood there is a competing bakery full of glamor, with queues at any hour of the day and superior results.

As you seek to understand your methods and incorporate them into your bakery, you will be, unconsciously, doing benchmarking. In summary, it is a competitive study and evaluation process, which can be an in-depth analysis of the best practices used by companies in the same industry as yours and that can be replicated by your company.

It is also a valuable tool that answers questions that all managers do. How am I doing in relation to the competition? Are the results I am achieving satisfactory? How do I increase the productivity and efficiency of my processes?

This practice has been used for a long time by industries, having been introduced in the business world by Xerox. A pioneer in the use of benchmarking techniques, the American manufacturer even dismantled the equipment of its competitors Canon and Nashua, to find out how they were able to market their products at prices lower than yours.

Such a practice is also known as reverse-engineering  (and not perverse). From this, the company defined benchmarking as, "the ongoing process of measuring and comparing our products, services and practices with the strongest competitors or with companies recognized as industry leaders."

The Benefits of Adopting the Practice

  • Discover successful practices of companies that already have established knowledge about a certain subject;
  • Identify new trends and get ahead;
  • Receive new references from companies that work in the same segment as yours;
  • Gain an argumentative basis to discuss the course of new investments in the future;
  • Create a plan to develop strategies and skills that will put the company on the path to growth;
  • Improve the organization's knowledge of itself;
  • Enhance your business processes and practices to get you as close to excellence;
  • Motivate your team to achieve achievable goals, already achieved by other companies;
  • Gain more market knowledge;
  • Learn from those who have already experienced the same challenges;
  • Seek cost reduction, increase productivity and increase profit margin, etc.

But be careful, not everything is flowers

Comparison is the basis for assessing the value of what we create or do. That is, it is almost natural. However, you may come across great ideas, but that do not necessarily apply to the timing of your company, or context of your business.

And, often a wrong basis can be more harmful than beneficial. Believing that everything the competition does is good, failing to critically analyze each point, can be a real "shot in the foot". Well, sometimes what works for a competitor does not suit your business.

In addition, care must be taken when trying to implement methodologies and practices observed in the context of your company. Only a "Ctrl + C Ctrl + V" of systems, processes and routines will surely drive the company for null results.

This is because a possible excessive focus on the competition, or on companies from a context far from yours, can cause the company to lose its own identity and market position.

It is therefore necessary to filter the information and stick to the one that will produce the most result in the short or medium term. In addition, it is also important to take due care to adapt what is best, without losing the most striking and individual characteristics of your business, such as culture, values, mission and vision.

How to benchmarking?

So how to make use of this simple practice? Here are some simple examples of benchmarking:

Field research

It starts from the principle of raising a certain problem that the company is facing. Then, it selects metrics , facts and data that can be compared with competitors and other companies, which does not necessarily involve exchange of knowledge from conversations or interviews. Only use search sources such as articles, blogposts, studies, reports and databases.

Let's say your business is down on sales and you want to gauge whether the performance of your customer acquisition process is productive. To do this, you can use tools such as  Digital Sales Sales Hop Benchmarking to compare marketing and sales metrics from the same business segment of your company.

Another possibility is to compare the performance of your campaigns' emails marketing emails with the results of your industry. For this, you can use the benchmarking tool for email marketing metrics .

Events

When professionals go to events, meetups, conferences and trade shows usually have an established motivation. It can range from knowing how to increase sales and follow the trends for digital marketing until you see the latest technology solutions available in the market.

This motivation explains why attending events is a great opportunity because there you go with a motivation to find a solution to a problem, just like thousands of other people.

You will then be able to find several lectures with the latest trends on a particular subject, consult suppliers the latest technologies and solutions for your company. It can also create a network of relationships with other entrepreneurs in the industry, and even competitors to investigate what they are doing.

There is a post here on the blog, for example, that brings 10 killer tips on how to network in events , so you know how to take advantage of corporate events to maximize your networking and achieve significant results in your business or career.

Face-to-face visits

This is probably the most effective and quick way to learn from the best. Digital Results itself strongly encourages customers and partners to visit our headquarters in Florianopolis to understand how our company works.

Thus, we can experience our culture and see processes, practices and methodologies of the operation. Besides of course, have a coffee with cheese bread with some leadership.

Imagine a whole day, without wasting time, exchanging experiences with the sales, marketing and customer success managers of the best companies, accelerating their learning.

Look for companies from similar business segments. Participate in business associations. Be part of communities and groups on social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn. The more you expand your network of contacts to do immersions and see how a business spins in a different environment, the more you may have ideas to take home.

Mentoring

Unlike a consulting firm, which develops a specific solution to a company's problem, mentoring aims to share from the perspective of those who have gone through similar challenges the path of overcoming or success that has taken. Having mentors can help you and your business understand what next steps to take. Or to solve bottlenecks in the process.

How We Do Benchmarking in the DR

In Digital Results, we have as one of our values of the Culture Code to  seek the execution of improvements and search for solutions. Whenever we start a project in the DR, we have an intense research and benchmarking stage with companies in the market.

As a way of making this official, RD launched in September 2017 a program called RD Bench Office, which is nothing more than an advanced base in Silicon Valley, with a focus on benchmarking.

The main goal of the program is to enable RDoers (as we call ourselves here) from all areas to know the best practices of large companies in Silicon Valley, learn a lot and come back to RD full of insights to help us build a better company .

Silicon Valley companies have a very mature culture of error and hit record keeping, which helps us anticipate learning and scale our processes. So we decided that it would make sense to bring our team closer to these companies to gather learning about their key challenges within the company.

Time to put into practice

To put all that we explained above into practice, you can follow some steps:

  1. Study your own business and define which processes or practices you want to improve;
  2. Ask your customers what processes within your company they think can be improved;
  3. You need to identify which ones are crucial to success in your niche or which ones you feel really need improvement;
  4. Define the types of benchmarking you will use;
  5. Research companies that may have passed the same challenge, or are a reference in the process you want to perfect;
  6. In cases involving interviews or conversations, be clear, and approach people with their intent and what you seek;
  7. State the reasons why you chose the company;
  8. Invest in networking and tell us what expertise you have as a bargaining chip. Build lasting relationships because you will need more than one conversation;
  9. Get the data for analysis;
  10. Finally, compare and analyze the information collected.

From this, seek to detect highs and lows and establish action plans to carry out the improvements.

Bonus

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