Category: Progress and Goals
Sales Scorecard 101: How To Boost Sales and Engage Your Team
We live in a culture that’s obsessed with trends. The latest influencer, the latest opinion, the latest hashtag. Are hashtags even cool anymore? But one such trend within the sales management world has the staying power to stick with us long after the Kardashians have faded from memory: the sales scorecard.
We’ve known the scorecard in many forms throughout our whole lives: report cards in grade school, the myriad polls ticking across our news channels, or the infinite number of stats we’ve created to kill time while our favorite sports are in the offseason.
But what you may not have realized is that this is one of the simplest, and quickest-to-implement tools that you can have right now at your fingertips—not only to boost your sales, but get your employees truly engaged with their work and the coworkers around them.
What Are Sales Scorecards?
In some ways it can be whatever you want it to be. Cool? OK, great. Blog post over. But in all seriousness, the beauty of a scorecard is that it can be tailor made to fit your organization’s needs.
In essence, it’s a visual display of an employee’s sales performance, designed to encourage the top-performing before across the board.
What it does is visualize employee behavior data (more on those specifics below) by measuring certain behaviors that can lead to broad success. It can be displayed as individual wins, or more like a leaderboard where sales reps are ranked by performance.
The biggest problem that we find sales organizations face is that their employees simply don’t know how to get out of their own ruts. But once they can see how they measure up to others within the organization—in a non-shaming way—they’re able to self-correct and even thrive.
Benefits: Healthy Competition
One of the biggest reasons that we (and most everyone else) is so nuts about sales rep scorecards is that they employ sales gamification —which, as we’ve shown before, is one of the most efficient ways to get employees more involved with their work.
But, but, but… writing for HubSpot, Gal Rimmon reminds us that it’s not just about rewarding the high performers, or shaming lower performers: “Gamification designed for sales teams should focus on encouraging behaviors that generate more sales, such as making more calls or improving the qualification process. Tracking actual sales misses the point” of sales scorecards.
If you’re just tracking the number of sales, Rimmon argues, you’re unfairly advantaging the better territories and bigger accounts. More on the right metrics to track below…
Benefits: Employee Engagement
As we mentioned above, many employees simply don’t feel their sense of purpose in an organization. And when they stop feeling purpose, they can lose sense of what it is that they even do for an organization.
As a sales manager, this puts you in a tough spot and puts them on a slippery slope, where poor performance begets even more disengagement from the job. And that further disengagement leads to even further decline in performance. How do you get your sales people back on track?
But therein lies the magic of a scorecard. Instantly, your sales reps can see not only how they may be lagging in their performance, but they can have a clear picture of what a great performance looks like. This gives them not only something to aspire to, but also clear cut goals that can help to give them direction in their day-to-day activity.
This also can help with remote sales engagement: having a single, publicly accessible sales scoreboard can help keep employees on track. Knowing exactly where they stand whether they are an outside sales rep, an inside sales rep or working from home can keep an entire team on track without any need for micromanagement. More than the sales manager will know if they fall behind on metrics.
And thus, purpose and clarity beget engagement. And a path to success.
How To Set Up A Sales Scorecard: 3 Key Steps
It may sound daunting, but now that you’re familiar with the concept of a sales scorecard, getting set up is a lot simpler than you might have thought. It all starts with the right platform . Here at Hoopla, for example, we pride ourselves on having created a straightforward, easy-to-launch leaderboard that works for any number of organizations. From there, it’s a matter of following these three simple steps:
Determine Your Goals
First and foremost, remember that a scorecard is there to boost everyone’s performance. So what are your larger goals for the organization? Are you looking to drive up everyone’s numbers? Are you simply trying to help your sales people feel a deeper sense of purpose?
Ensure that you are beginning to plot out how these sales goals could be visualized on a scorecard or leaderboard, and think through how you might group different individual sales people together for help or for better competition. Making sure that you are thinking through these different goals and having a solid outline can prevent unneeded reworking of these scorecards after the fact.
Before anything, make sure that you know—and your employees know—what you want. Once you’ve got a destination in mind, then you can start to map out how to get there.
Align Your KPIs
As we’ve talked about here on the blog before, KPIs (key performance indicators) are a major key (forgive us) to driving success. They’re the map by which reps know how to reach higher performance. Without KPIs, you’re basically asking your reps to meet you for after-work drinks without ever telling them what bar you’re going to.
GoodData’s Sumeet Howe nails the essential point that aligning KPIs should be an organization-wide activity: “Transparency into the process of determining goals, KPIs, and quotas will help your reps to have some context on what their ideal quarter looks like.”
By clearly outlining what your KPIs are, and why they matter for each member of your sales team, you’re setting each and every one of your reps up with the tools for success. This isn’t about some secret managerial string-pulling, it’s about giving everyone the best shot possible at a great quarter.
Target Your Metrics
Finally, it’s time to nail down exactly what metrics you’re going to display Are you going to measure activity such as phone calls per week? How about new clients? Maybe it’s simply the number of sales in dollars based on territory or quota? (Remember: Don’t unfairly advantage people with larger territories). This is why its so crucial to start thinking through how you’ll organize these scoreboards early. Got a top performer who is always out pacing everyone? Make sure that you measure combined metrics for different teams, rather than putting a spotlight on the same individual every single month.
The bottom line is that your metrics should serve as proper representations of your goals and KPIs. If you’re looking for each person to hit a certain number at the end of the quarter, it really doesn’t mean much reward the number of cold-calls they made if it doesn’t necessarily lead to more sales.
Simply put, the metrics you display should be the ones that guide your reps toward the most success. If they’re not helping them work smarter or perform higher, those metrics are just a distraction.
And truly that’s it. Start to play around this week with what a sales scorecard could look like for your organization. And if you have any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to reach out.
Sales Team Lessons: It’s About the Journey Not the Destination
In this blog post – Scott Leese shares a memorable time in his career and some lessons we can take and use no matter the sales landscape.
It’s about the journey, not the destination. This was never more evident than when looking into the story of a sales team and its leader on a journey that captured the spirit within. This is a time when a true story actually lived up to one of the most famous sayings we know.
The story begins
The year started off not unlike any other before; new comp plans, new products, followed by the announcement of the annual President’s Club Recognition Award. What was different about this year’s Club announcement were the eligible participants that now extended into new roles and positions previously not considered.
President’s Club is typically seen as an exclusive “sales only” club, leaving other team members wishing them well as they set off on their exotic destinations to celebrate their victories poolside. It never did seem right leaving behind people who made it possible. That year was different; everyone had a chance to go, a welcoming change and well received by all.
The leader was fortunate to lead a team of great people. Of all the teams he’s managed in the past, this one felt the most complete and ready. One of the best parts is they all enjoyed being around each other. When presenting the President’s Club details to the group it played out exactly how the leader envisioned it. Three of the five sales people were talking Hawaiian shirts, google searching the resort site, texting their significant others to get ready for a trip next year.
The two other sales people were more reserved in an understandable “need to take in more information” way. The sales engineer was listening, calculating, and not saying a word. The two support leaders, in the most facetious and joyful of ways were joking about the lounging activities they were planning by the pool and which spa treatments would come first.
At that point, only three out of eight team members had Maui in a clear line of sight. The others were between mulling things over and thinking what an amazing pipe dream fantasy. No big surprise, and to be expected.
However for the leader, his sights were on something bigger, even though he didn’t say it out loud in the group meeting. When studying the trip qualifications, the leader thought “oh my gosh, holy snickers, this entire branch, this team could make it”. President’s Club trips are normally about sales and individual accomplishments. Not about team performance and certainly not about an entire branch making it. This would take the President’s Club to a whole new level, a level that greatly intrigued the leader.
So what is a leader to do?
The leader’s natural instinct was to hold off setting what could be perceived as lofty, wild, premature expectations. Don’t go down that rabbit hole. You may never find your way out. Those types of distractions can really jinx things. The leader found it best to take a pragmatic approach by sitting down with each team member to review and map things out, and help the team believe in the possibilities.
Summer into Fall
As the months transpired, with summer ending and moving into fall, a new ground floor leadership pattern emerged within the group. The three sales people talking about Hawaiian shirts were closing big deals and on track to exceed the President’s Club qualifications. The two support leaders and the SE were also tracking. But now they were paying close attention to the P-Club standings. The two other sales people still had a ways to go, but were positive and excited about finishing the year strong.
You could hear and feel the conversations change around the office. It was always a positive office environment, but the vibe and energy was stronger. ‘Double the octave’ was the best way to put it. Words of encouragement, support and ideas were being exchanged. And flowing throughout the day you could hear “I got that”, “have you tried this”, “let’s meet in the am to discuss”. Even the normally reserved Sales Engineer finally uttered the word Maui a few times. People were stepping up helping each other.
The leader didn’t need to say anything; the team was manifesting results themselves. This is what he wanted to see. They started believing. They all started becoming leaders in their own way.
The end of the year is fast approaching
As the year drew to a close, six of the eight team members were close or over P-Club qualifications. One salesperson was tracking, and a safe bet, if keeping the same pace. The other had work to do. They were all aware of his P-Club shortfall, to the dollar and penny. The sales person was three deals away. You could hear the office excitement with one saying “Do you realize we can do this, like the entire team to P-Club, that would be crazy sick!”
By the middle of December, seven out of eight team members were in P-Club. The sales rep with the shortfall had closed two of the three remaining deals they needed to qualify. The third and final deal, the one still out there, was the big one that would put them over.
The entire team went into rally mode; offering technical support, all the sales angles, and checking any and all network connections that may influence and help the case. You name it, they covered it.
But like most big deals there were complexities and check-offs that take time to work through. It seemed like every day presented a new challenge. A hold up here, a wrinkle there, a legal person out sick, the CEO wanting more information, compliance data and cert requirements and pricing issues. The deal was starting to feel like it could very easily slip into next year.
Over the next week, the issues were addressed one by one in what felt like 40 hours of back and forth. But just like that, everything went dark, completely dark. Three days went by and no word from the customer. No returned calls or email. Not a peep. Nothing.
As the last hours of the year closed in, the positive feelings that permeated the office started to fade. Not through anyone’s words or actions. You could just feel it. You could sense it. Maybe the idea of the entire branch going to Maui was just a lofty, wild idea after all. Worse, the idea of leaving anyone behind was unimaginable.
The last day of the year
December 31st. Still no word from the would-be customer.
When everyone arrived at the office that morning, they purposely didn’t say a word about the deal. This continued through the morning hours, into the afternoon, and late in the day. Still no word from the customer. Everyone was resigned to the reality that it was unlikely to come in. Everyone did what they could.
People started to gather their belongings for the long weekend at home. A sadness and quiet comes over the office. As one person made their way out the door, another one not far behind. All of a sudden there was a loud yelp. A scream coming from one of the cubes. They all made a mad dash to see what was going on. The sales rep inside is beside themself. “I just got it, they just sent in the paperwork, I can’t believe it”!
The entire office goes crazy. No doubt the tenant in the next suite was about to call the police. Adults dancing around like children in total joy, priceless. For the leader, in that moment, time felt like it stopped. The scene was like a photograph. A lasting image that has stayed with him through all the years. It was the hugs of course, but also the smiles. The smiles were so big and wide that they stretched across the Pacific. The smiles they will never forget.
They did it
They all made it to Maui, and were living the dream. Sipping exotic drinks poolside with their coworkers and loved ones. But the funny thing was all anyone wanted to talk about were the stories, the stories that were a part of the amazing journey.
For this team, it wasn’t about being in Maui, although nobody could complain. It was about the journey they all went through together, up to the very last minute of the year. Maui and P-Club was the destination, the initial object of inspiration. But what happened over the months that followed revealed something bigger, something more important and defining.
Weeks later, the leader reflected back on what the year meant. This is exactly what great teams experience. This is what it feels like. This is what makes a great team, great.
The leader collected the lessons and shared with the team, and now I share them with you.
Selflessness: Teammates helping through the good and bad, no questions asked.
Psychological Safety: The office was a safe place where they trusted each other, helped each other, and accepted vulnerabilities. It was ok for people to be themselves without judgement, concern or consequence.
Empathy: They felt for each other. They could feel what was happening to their teammates. Empathy changes everything, and we all could use an extra dose.
Fulfillment: The team understood the difference between happiness and fulfillment. Happiness was sipping exotic drinks poolside. Fulfillment was the growth and experiences they shared as a team[and sipping drinks together].
This was about growth and the experience changed them all for the better. To this day, everybody remembers this story and those moments.
For the team, the true reward was the journey. The journey that left no one behind.
Keep Your Sales Pipeline Full With These 5 Tips
This article originally published on Predictable Revenue. Aaron Ross, of the award-winning, bestselling book Predictable Revenue, has been teaching companies how to double or triple (or more) new sales since he helped Salesforce grow from $5m to $100m. You can find tips and tricks from Aaron on Hoopla, and look out for From Impossible 2.0.
It’s the makings of your worst nightmare: deals that were once on the table disappear, new leads aren’t coming in as fast as they once did… your sales pipeline is starting to dry up. Anyone who’s been in this situation knows that there are two routes to take. The first is to panic (which we don’t suggest); the second, stay calm and work towards a solution. In any business, some months are quiet and others are tough to keep up with—much like the ebb and flow of a tide.
What Not to Do
It’s easy to panic about your dropping numbers, but don’t frantically scramble to fill your sales funnel. Turning to desperate tactics will likely hurt your business in the long-term. Following these simple rules will help you focus on being proactive rather than reactive:
- Never buy an email list and spam the contacts. Your business will develop a reputation of being spammy, not good to work with, and you may be blacklisted.
- Don’t discount your services; that includes listing “limited time” deals on your website. This strategy can attract clients that aren’t a good fit for your business and can potentially turn off good prospects that are.
- Never settle for clients who don’t fit your Ideal Customer Profile. Though these types of clients can boost your numbers quickly, a bad fit may end up being more trouble than they’re worth, costing you time and money. A prospect that’s a good match with your service understands the value and is less likely to contribute to churn.
How To Safeguard Your Sales
Ok, now you know what to avoid, let’s talk how to make sure your sales pipeline is always full:
The probability of selling to an existing customer is 60–70%, whereas the probability of selling to a new prospect is only 5–20%. This means that recycling your list once a quarter can be very fruitful. Just make sure you remove contacts from companies you’ve qualified / disqualified, and nix anyone that unsubscribed or sent a ‘negative’ reply.
Take time to look over your company lists once a quarter and expand your list of contacts at those same companies. This can help you reach new hires or connect with those in new roles. New contacts can lead to renewals, upsells and cross-sales.
3. Change it up
You might be set in your ways with one comfortable lead source, but try different list sources to keep things fresh. Different sources have different contacts, so you can’t rely on just one medium. Find people on social media that are looking for answers to their questions right now. Sites like Quora, Clarity, Twitter and LinkedIn can also be great for lead gen, but continually require time and energy to yield results.
4. Widen your potential network
Try casting a wider net with broad titles (vs. getting super specific with one contact). Use the cold calling 2.0 referral network and reach out to ‘referral targets’ (CXO’s and VP’s), not just the decision makers you want to meet with.
5. Ask for help
Kickstart your outbound efforts by outsourcing the initiative with a third party. Pipeline Automation Apps like Predictable Revenue (shameless plug) can help you identify your ideal customer profile, set up targeted lists and optimize email templates. If you understand that leads can dry up and businesses have bad months, then you can be proactive in your sales strategy and avoid potential nightmarish situations. Instead of panicking, use the above tactics as a part of a larger strategy to ensure that your sales funnel runneth over for many quarters to come.
The Power of Progress – Science of Motivation Series #2
In our first post of the series, we discussed the foundation of motivation: your brain. Now that you know how to get sales team motivation revved up with biology, it’s time to shift our discussion to behavioral psychology. But first, a question for all of you sales leaders: what really motivates your teams? Rank the following five in order of importance: 1.Incentives 2. Recognition 3. Clear Goals 4. Interpersonal Support 5. Support for making progress in the work If you’re like the majority of the 700 leaders surveyed by Teresa Amabile and Steven J. Kramer, you placed ‘support for making progress in the work’ in last place. In fact, only 5% ranked it first. Well, surprise! “Of all the things that can boost emotions, motivation, and perceptions during a workday, the single most important is making progress in meaningful work.”
In their exhaustive analysis of 12,000 diary entries of creative knowledge workers (like sales people, marketers, scientists, programmers), Amabile and Kramer focused on ‘inner work life’, that combination of emotions, motivation, and perception mentioned above, and how it combined to either drag a person down or propel them to achievement. They found that ‘The Progress Principle’ was the #1 factor in motivation and wrote the book on it. But what implications does this have for you as a manager motivating your sales team?
Make Work Meaningful
Your team spends half their waking life at work. Is it any wonder they want their work to mean something? Sure, it may not be creating world peace or solving the poverty crisis – but that’s not what matters. As long as the goal is meaningful to your team and it’s clear how their efforts contribute, progress can stoke your sales team motivation. Here’s what you can do to help:
- 1. Have a sit down with each team member to delineate how their role contributes to the mission and goals of the organization.
Example: Why is making 60 calls a day important?
- Do the math. 60 calls has been proven to be required to schedule 2 meetings. You need 2 meetings a day to get to 10 / week / 40 month. 40 meetings equals 30 opportunities which translates to 6 closed deals and at 25k per deal that equals 150k in revenue.
If everyone did that the company would grow at over 75% and all of our stock ownership will be worth millions more. So 60 calls a day equals millions to the company – and eventually in YOUR pocket. That’s why we ask you to make 60 calls a day. Go make a difference!
2. Keep the mission and purpose front and center in your organization. (find out how Hoopla can help)
Be a Catalyst
According to Amabile and Kramer, a catalyst directly enables progress in the work. Here’s what you can do to earn catalyst status:
- Provide clear goals
- Break big goals into incremental, achievable goals to maximize the sense of progress 3. Supply sufficient resources to accomplish goals 4. Allow independence and autonomy at work (for more on meaning and autonomy, check out Dan Pink)
Nourish Your Team
Whether you’re the ‘touchy feely’ type or not, directly supporting your sales team’s inner work lives with emotional support and respect will benefit your bottom line. And here’s why: research has found repeatedly the psychological effect that bad is stronger than good. And ‘The Progress Principle’ found that setbacks have a negative effect on inner work life that’s 2-3x stronger than the positive effect of progress. Now guess what constitutes a setback? You guessed it: being disrespected, working in a hostile environment, etc. SO:
1. Celebrate Wins even the small ones. Salespeople face rejection on a daily basis, oftentimes many times a day. Talk about setbacks! Creating an established method for your team to record accomplishments and instituting a practice of reflecting on those accomplishments daily will help sustain motivation in the long run. Here’s what else it can do:
- Build confidence with action, consistency, and results
- Create good habits with the help of the dopamine spikes they’ll get from regular rewards
- Break up the long hard work leading to the big goal
- Bring the focus back to the overall goal, and how far they’ve come
2. Track progress and use even less than positive progress as a learning opportunity – not a chance to give your team a hard time.
3. Create a positive culture of respect And can you believe after all that, there’s STILL more you can do to create a sales culture that motivates? Stay tuned for next week, when we discuss the role of healthy competition.
How To Boost Productivity With Your Sales Team
We’ve all done it. It seems inevitable, and it happens. We all waste time. Not always done purposely, wasting time can come from external forces like an unscheduled visit from a colleague or a Facebook notification buzz on your phone. Or maybe it’s an internal force and you’re just not feeling it today. Whatever it may be, it’s killing your productivity and that’s time you can’t get back. Being in sales, time is of the essence as you’re trying to fit in as many prospecting activities per day to close those deals. So, how do you make sure you’re making the most of your time in the workplace? Here are 3 ways to boost sales productivity and increase your wins.
1. Focus on one task at a time
What’s the most important task on your to-do list? Do this first. A huge productivity killer is multitasking. A study found that it takes an average of 25 minutes to get refocused on a task after being distracted. Let’s say you have two hours to work on a project. That’s 120 minutes. And then, let’s say you get distracted 3 times during these 120 minutes. It doesn’t sound like much, but think of it this way:
- 1. Checking your email inbox = 20 minutes to refocus
- 2. Messaging team members for a project update = 20 minutes to refocus
- 3. Following up with prospect = 25 minutes to refocus
This adds up to just about over an hour of refocusing. During this time, you might’ve been scrolling down your Linkedin feed, checking your Facebook notifications, or just seeing what Doug the Pug’s been up to. But let’s be real, this precious time could’ve been spent on work. What can you do? Create a clear task list, rank each in priority or maybe put those quick email responses at the top, and work through each task one by one. Despite the feeling you’re getting more done when you balance four tasks at once, instead of zoning in on just one, studies show that multitasking is a major waste of time and money—especially when a deal is on the line!
2. Avoid unnecessary meetings
Meetings seem important to hold, and makes the person holding it seem important. And sometimes, they are necessary. But how many times have you walked into a meeting without a clear agenda, and walked away thinking that could’ve been resolved without ever having left your desk? This can be especially frustrating for a salesperson, when quotas for calls and meetings booked are on the line. What to do: Identify the specific goal of the meeting and see if you can’t accomplish this goal without having the meeting. For example, common sales meetings occur weekly for an hour to review current sales numbers. An easy way to save everyone some time is through an up-to-date, automated leaderboard that gives you a quick glance of your team’s sales metrics by day, week, or quarter. Or, if discussion is necessary, try using Slack and creating a dedicated #sales-team channel to review topics. This way, everything is written down in one forum and can be referenced back for review later. If a meeting is inevitable, try shortening the meeting to 30-minutes and aim to discuss everything in that time frame. Give your team back an hour of their week and let them focus on their sales activities that drive your business.
3. Visualize your goals
When you can see your goals, you’re more likely to achieve them. This is because visualizing your goals allows you to see the roadmap and progress, knowing that each step is one step closer to reaching your target, motivating you that much more. Meeting your call goals today and meetings booked quota next week is a huge accomplishment in itself. Most reps don’t see this as a success, only acknowledging the end goal (a closed deal) as the win. This mentality is what boggles us down. Celebrate wins, big and small. Make it a big deal to meet your quotas for calls, meetings, and even account expansions. Making it a breaking news alert can boost morale and keep the momentum going for your whole team. Visualizing goals also ensures that everyone is on the same page and encourages teams to hit their daily, as well as long-term, goals. By encouraging the right behaviors, you’ll start to see a boost in productivity and a more unified culture. Productivity won’t come instantly, but if you make the effort to change these tips into healthy habits, you’ll start to see how much more you can get done. Spend and live each day with #NoRagrets.
3 Huge Productivity Killers For Sales
It almost seems that the further along we advance in technology, the more it simply enables us to slack off. It is virtually guaranteed, for example, that you’ve watched more than one recipe video this week that someone’s aunt posted on Facebook–and while you had the best of intentions to replicate it for tonight’s dinner, you’ve already forgotten what the dish even was. Likewise, the biggest distractions in our day aren’t always the most obvious. We may think at the time they’re actually pretty useful. We justify them in our heads as things that we may be able to use in the future, or do some mental gymnastics to convince ourselves that we’re being productive. But the truth is there are plenty of seemingly good things out there that we could well and good cut out from our workweek altogether. In sales, no sentiment is truer than that “time is money.” And every second that a salesperson isn’t using to sell, or prospect, is a second that they’re missing out on the money that’s ready to be made. Here are just three of those secret killers that are no doubt sucking the productivity out of your week right now. See if you can’t eliminate one from your day today.
Now this may sound counterintuitive as you’re waiting for an important email from your manager as you read this–or it may sound altogether too close to home as you’re reading an email from your manager that you didn’t need at all. But it’s hard to find a person who wouldn’t agree: email is a big, ugly time-suck. Writing for Entrepreneur, growth and marketing expert Alice Default raises this point: “So many things could happen in your inbox, from emailing a colleague for a quick question to managing a complex project with meetings and document sharing. The question is though, should they happen there?” The truth is, email is a great tool, but you’re probably using it like a Swiss Army knife. Try translating your team’s goals onto a KPI dashboard, throwing the stack rankings up on a leaderboard, or taking that 15-email thread conversation offline and solving it in person instead of continuing the chain of miscommunication.
On the other hand, you may have a highly motivated salesperson who’s simply misguided in their approach. One of the biggest killers for any salesperson’s productivity is chasing after unqualified leads. This could happen for a number of reasons: they don’t know the product well, they’re not doing their homework when prospecting, or they simply don’t have well-defined goals. Whatever way you look at it, keeping them isolated certainly isn’t the solution. Help those sales people chasing after bad leads to look up from their own cube for a second and see how your high-performers are doing it. Whether it’s through a little friendly office competition, or simply by giving someone the chance to shadow a few cold calls, it’s important that your sales team knows how to sniff out a bad lead as early as possible.
But of course, no matter how sharp your sales leaders are, there’s no one who can really escape the terrors of paperwork: from expense reports to contracts, there are a lot of i’s to dot and t’s to cross. Make sure that wherever you can, you as a leader are making sure your team spends as little time as possible on the grunt work that keeps them away from prospects and clients. Those silent productivity killers are all around us. It’s up to you and your team to sniff them out, and then snuff them out. Don’t be fooled by the fakers, focus on the work that really needs to be done.
Create a Goal-Oriented Workforce With OKRs
Managing a team of employees in an office environment is no easy task, and it can sometimes be a challenge to keep everyone on the same page. Staff will sometimes lose sight of key objectives because it may have been some time since the information was relayed to them. Objectives and key results (OKRs) metrics can solve this problem by keeping team members in the loop, and displaying key objectives in a visually engaging way helps with the flow of important information. OKRs have been helping a number of firms achieve success by enabling them to execute their ideas and goals in a structured, organized way.
Research carried out by Cognisco found that large companies with more than 100,000 employees were losing approximately $62 million annually due to misunderstandings in the workplace. These high figures show just how costly miscommunication can be. Nevertheless, losses can be turned into gains by having the right infrastructure in place. Objectives displayed on a big screen give employees a set of clear goals. If employees aren’t sure about something, they may feel a little unease asking their colleagues or superiors because it might reflect negatively on them. Instead, they just go with what they “think” they should be doing. OKRs significantly reduce misconceptions because the data is visible throughout the office, allowing everyone to see core objectives and company values on the big screen daily.
Fostering a competitive work environment enhances results. This can be achieved through sales gamification. This feature increases motivation and adds the fun factor to chasing sales. Employees go head-to-head with their colleagues to see who can outperform whom, as well as themselves in their own records. Make it fun by putting the employees’ names, pictures, and walk-up songs on the big screen to create a culture of celebration. This light-hearted approach is likely to bring out the competitive spirit in a friendly fashion.
A Driven Workforce
The digital age means that millennials are used to staring at screens and having information readily available in just a few clicks. Digital signage solutions that display OKRs give young professionals the constant feedback they crave. This can help to better identify their strengths and weaknesses, in turn making them more self-aware and encourage them to improve performance. OKRs delivered in real time on digital screens can do wonders for morale. The sales environment can be tough at times, but a few inspiring words can turn tired employees into a driven workforce.
Many firms adopting OKR metrics have seen a positive increase in performance, and it has turned some companies into giants. When Google was still in its infancy, one of its investors, John Doerr, pitched the benefits associated with an OKRs system to them. Google recognized the benefits and embraced it. The company still uses this system today because it helps them to attain goals and increase profits. Though, OKRs aren’t just for the tech giants. Sears Holdings Corporation, a Fortune 100 company with 20,000 employees, rolled out this technology and saw the positive impact as sales soared. On the other end of the spectrum, a small IT team based at McKinnon Secondary College, Australia, has been using OKRs to improve team performance. This technology is diverse and can help organizations of any size manage objectives and reach desired goals. Creating a goal-oriented workforce doesn’t have to take lots of time and money. It can be achieved by simply having the right tool and strategy — namely OKRs on digital signage.
How the Modern Workplace Is Changing & How You Can Adapt
There is no doubt that there has been a recent shift in the workplace environment thanks to technological innovations. Most evidence shows that these changes are better for employees, since they help to create more productive office environments. But what exactly is working, and how can your office take advantage?
Out with the old, in with the new
Companies are beginning to see the benefit of creating alternative work environments that employees enjoy, but there are still some outdated practices that will first need to be done away with. For example, implementing business-casual dress codes, especially for non-customer facing companies, is definitely the way of the future. With the advent of startup culture, we are also seeing a breakdown of the traditional hierarchies. In its place, workplaces need to encourage ideas from all levels of the company and reward innovation.
Ease of collaboration
Between the rise in open office floor plans and a variety of communication platforms, collaboration between employees has never been easier. With all of the different chat devices, it is possible for remote and on-site employees to keep in touch with each other throughout the day in order to promote an open flow of ideas. New technology also makes it simpler to communicate across teams and keep all areas of the business in the loop about any new developments. This creates a more harmonious office, as people respond well to open communication.
There has also been a shift toward trying to make the workplace a more fun, inviting environment for employees. The idea around this is that the ability to take a break and have some fun allows employees to actually be more productive. Extensive snack options, games, couches and so on are all being implemented to create a new kind of environment.
Aesthetics have also become increasingly important — people like to work in light, airy workplaces, with high ceilings and up-to-date technology. Employers are embracing this trend because it has proven to help inspire employees and improve overall morale.
Focus on powerful visual aids
In addition, new software, like Hoopla, can pull real-time updates on performance from applications that are already in use, then broadcast them on TVs throughout the office. This can help create more visibility into the progress of a project and help to motivate employees. The feasibility digital signage can be used to post digital leaderboards or announce closed deals, both of which are great tools for sales teams. Take advantage of TVs in your office and stream motivational videos or post inspirational quotes to boost morale. It can be a great way to unify a sale floor and engage employees.
Studies have also shown that people process images more quickly, so these visual aids can save your employees’ time and allow them to focus on more important tasks, such as customer engagement and sales. The visuals register more quickly and get people amped up. It can be encouraging to not only know what your numbers are, but see visuals of your progress and how much further you have to go to reach your goals.
Increase focus on work/life balance
Companies seem to finally be understanding that happy employees will stick around longer. Because of this, they are adjusting the new work culture demands by offering flexible hours, work-from-home options, and generous vacation plans. It has been proven that implementing results-based evaluations and focusing on work completed instead of specific hours puts the onus on employees and makes them take more ownership over their work.
All of these aspects are leading to a brand new way of working. We should all be able to agree that, from technology to employee engagement, these changes are for the better.
6 Keys of Customer Success & Metrics to Track
This article originally published on Predictable Revenue. Like salespeople, customer success is an investment that should make money, not a cost to be put off as long as possible. Do you retain 95% of your customers month-to-month? That sounds like something to be proud of – until you do the math. That’s 5% churn per month, or 60% per year. In other words, you have to replace 60% of your revenue every year just to break even. What if you have monthly 98% retention/2% churn? That’s still 25% a year, or a quarter of your revenue. The best-run SaaS companies can see up to -2% churn per month (on a revenue basis). Yes, that’s negative 2%, which means they make more money every month. How? Because the customers who stay with them buy and spend more over time than what the company loses from other customers leaving. If you’re a CEO, take Customer Success as seriously as marketing, sales or product development with these rules:
6 Keys to Customer Success
1. Customer success is your core growth driver
All great companies’ customers come from one main source – word-of-mouth, whether the leads come via referrals directly, or whether new customers are closed using case studies, references or testimonials. This is much more me assurable in recurring revenue models, where we can track renewal rates, upsell-amounts and referrals.
2. Customer Success is 5x more important than Sales
Yes – Sales is your priority. But Sales only helps begin what will hopefully be a longer-term relationship. To function at all, Sales needs Customer Success resources – like references, stories and case studies. Generally, founders do a good job of doing whatever it takes to get a big deal closed – but often they do a poor job of everything after that, be cause they’re off to help with the next fire, drama or Big Deal. CEOs and founders: don’t focus on getting new customers so much that you ignore your current customers.
3. Start early, hire early
In SaaS, Customer Success is a “single-digit hire” – one of the first 10 hires. Another SaaS rule of thumb is having one Customer Success manager per $2M in revenue – hired in advance of that revenue, not after you have it. Silicon Valley companies with enough funding often now invest big at the beginning, with 2 to 4 people on the team right away. Remember, a Customer Success person, like a salesperson or a marketing budget, is an investment that should make money (a lot); it’s not just a cost to be put off as long as possible.
4. Visit customers in person
Unhappy customers don’t (always) complain before they leave. In-person visits can make all the difference in identifying their problems and in changing their attitudes. Here’s my personal 5+2 rule on this point – for every co-founder, the CEO, plus every Customer Success Manager:
- Must meet onsite with five customers a month (that’s 60 per year) and
- Get two customer badges every year as a bonus (that is, you visit so often they give you your own ID badge.)
A phone call is not a meeting. By visiting in person, regularly, your company will learn more about what’s really working or not, earn more trust – and those customers will (almost) never churn. It’s much harder to tell a friend you’re leaving them than some faceless company. What if you have nothing to say? Just show them your roadmap and ask for feedback on it, and on issues they are having today. That alone will fill the meeting.
5. Customer Success needs financial responsibilities & metrics
When your Customer Success function doesn’t have financial goals, its value can get muddled. One bad assumption is that “a great product will automatically create happy customers,” and therefore you won’t need to hire people to actively work with your customers. However easy or incredible your product is, you need humans talking to select categories of your customers. The whole point of Customer Success is to increase Net Negative Churn, so you need tools and processes to measure and improve the function, including how the people on your team perform. To justify investment (such as in headcount or tools), and to create the hunger that a Customer Success leader and team will need in order to deliver measurable results, Customer Success needs to own some financial results: usually at least on retention rates and perhaps even on upsell revenue.
6. Evolve Customer Success goals and matrics as you grow
- Traction ($0-$1M): What do customers want, and what do they do with our product?
- Adoption ($1M-$5M): Why and how should customers include our product in their daily business?
- Retention ($5M-$20M): Why do customers need to keep on using our product after the honeymoon?
- Expansion ($20M-100M): Why should customers expand to more seats, more features?
- Optimization ($100M+): Automation and improvements driven by data.
Aaron Ross, of the award-winning, bestselling book Predictable Revenue, has been teaching companies how to double or triple (or more) new sales since he helped Salesforce grow from $5m to $100m. Now he’s turned his attention to building the software platform that will power the next wave of Cold Calling 2.0 teams. Check out Aaron’s latest work on How Hyper-Growth Companies Create Predictable Revenue.
6 Ways Sales Tracking Software Can Be Fun
Sales tracking software may have the reputation for being all business, but the right software can be fun and engaging for businesses to use. Here are some ways you can ramp up the fun factor with sales tracking software.
1. Make it a team-wide competition.
When salespeople compete, they are more engaged, making it a game instead of a set of dry figures or a daunting quota to reach. Friendly competition can include many levels of fun, such as the following:
Level 1: Loser buys coffee
Level 2: Tickets to the Warriors game
Level 3: A Blueboard prize (from skydiving to diving with sharks)
Salespeople can also compete against themselves, trying to beat a personal best or improve their numbers, especially when they have easy access to them through a display like Hoopla’s.
2. Go head-to-head.
Do you and your colleague constantly come up with the same numbers for dials each week? With Hoopla, you can create a Face-off challenge to see who the real Dial King or Queen is. Hoopla can track all kinds of other KPI data as well, so you can redeem yourself when the dial numbers don’t go your way. Face-offs and other forms of friendly competition can motivate a sales team like nothing else can.
3. Display progress in real time.
With real-time updates, reps are motivated to improve performance as they fulfill each milestone to reach their quotas. Recognizing reps for their performance along the way, rather than waiting for the closed deal, celebrates and drives employees. Recognition builds happier and more engaged employees.
Hoopla shows sales numbers and all kinds of relevant metrics in real time with quality graphics and presentation to keep the entire sales team engaged and updated about the status of sales campaigns and whether goals are being met. With Hoopla, managers can also use video to keep the team upbeat and hold their attention as well as recognize standout reps in front of the team.
4. Create Fantasy Sales Teams.
Just like a fantasy football league, you can choose players (sales team members) to form teams that compete. But sales tracking software has more capabilities than just telling you how many sales the team makes. Points can be awarded for all sorts of metrics, including dials per day, calls per week, qualified meetings booked per week, and calls-to-deals rates.
Even “no’s” can be tracked (each no brings you closer to a yes), as well as lead generation and, of course, actual sales. The fantasy sales team that wins the competition could be rewarded with an after-hours football viewing party or with matching team shirts to commemorate their victory.
5. Make yourself the reward.
Many different kinds of rewards motivate salespeople, but one unique reward could be a few hours of your (a member of management’s) time given to the winning salesperson or team. Not only does this reward not cost you anything but some time, but it also shows team spirit and that you are willing to get in the trenches with your team and work as hard as you expect them to.
What can be more fun in the workplace than being able to assign grunt work to your boss for a few hours? And who knows, you might even be able to show them how it’s done and inspire the team to greater heights.
6. Change the presentation frequently and creatively.
Hoopla enables a constantly variable and engaging presentation. The graphics, video presentations, and type of contest can be changed as often as needed or when you sense the Channel needs refreshing. Motivational quotes, montage videos of Rocky and other champions, or your company’s latest commercial are ideas that might break up the monotony of numbers. Check out our blogs for inspiration and keep your team pumped throughout the year.
Download the Startup Guide to Building the Best Sales Team for more information about Hoopla and what it can do for your business.