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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.
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.
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…
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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