I had the pleasure of working with a new client who has some phenomenal dashboards built in Tableau. But the users do not want use these beauties. Why?
As an aviation geek and armchair pilot, I wanted to have some fun with Tableau Public and my X-Plane Logbooks. Where have I flown the virtual skies in 2017? The answer isn’t too shocking, but there are some interesting patterns. Check out the image below and then head over to the live workbook.
- 90.7 flight hours with 73% flown in X-Plane 11
- 57 unique aircraft flown across 178 flights
- Top aircraft flown include the VSkyLabs Douglas DC-3, Carenado B200 XP11, and FlyJSim 727Adv (version 1 for xp10)
- Most flights occurred during the day
- KPAE and KBFI were the most flown airport pairs
Where will 2018 take me? Not sure. Perhaps getting out of the western US would be a start. Maybe even a few international flights are in order.
And, if you need some help with visualizing your data, check out my Tableau page at Spiral Analytics.
Sales Compensation is not easy. Throughout my career, I have seen plans which break the sales budget to plans which do are insulting to the rep as they pay too little for a lot of work. I refer to sales compensation programs as a form of art which requires a bit of science.
Science is pretty easy as it is understanding how your team should be selling your product and how it translates to the pipeline and corporate goals. This understanding translates to key performance indicators (KPIs) which one can use to monitor rep performance and team performance.
The art plays in as you develop the actual plan and which KPIs enter that plan. Average Deal Size, Number of Meetings, or Conference Attendees may not necessarily be the best indicators of sales. With a mix straight sales revenue compensation (say 2%) and additional kickers and bonuses, the art of using plan structure for influencing rep behavior can take trial and error to get right.
Finally, the best compensation programs leverage transparency, reporting, and recognition. This is plan implementation where making sure the rep understands their KPI progress and how it translates to their paycheck. Regular reporting and team leaderboard distribution are essential, motivating and drive revenue. A proactive analytics program can ease the calculation and payout of compensation at the end of the quarter.
Sales rep scorecards are that golden unicorn of any sales organization. The scorecard is a compilation of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) which are measured against thresholds. In a rep scorecard, we see a visual interpretation of how a rep is doing for each of the KPIs. An example of which is below:
Before I dive into best practices, a word on why not a lot of sales organizations have scorecards. The primary reason is due to organizations struggling with data which best represents the business which makes it difficult for them to setup a KPI, let alone establish effective targets. An understanding of the analytics continuum is also helpful for understanding the evolution of data practices which need to met prior to rolling out KPIs and Scorecards:
Top 5 Best Practices for Sales Rep Scorecards
- Sales reps, Mangers, VPs, and CROs must all have agreement on the KPI definition, targets, and thresholds. If one level of the KPI hierarchy is not on the same page as the others, there is very value in using the Scorecard to represent an ideal.
- Targets and thresholds must be reasonable. When rolling out KPIs, we often realize that actual performance is far from the corporate ideal. For instance, a Sales Cycle of 45 days is thought to be ideal, but the rep actual is north of 60 days. Don’t hold this against them, consider rolling out a target of 55 and stepping the target down to 45 days within three quarters of launch. Be kind to the reps and allow them to catch up.
- Scorecards must be part of a larger sales communication strategy. Rolling out a scorecard alone will have an impact on the organization, but the most impressive will happen if scorecards are a part of the larger communication strategy. For instance, a weekly email can call out wins by reps, it should call out performance, and it needs to call out what needs to be done to hit the goal. Scorecards are just one piece of the story in sales.
- Scorecards need to be updated as the business evolves. Scorecards can never be truly static, recurring reports. Part of the role of your analytical team is maintain reports as the business changes and evolves. Scorecards are no different. From a subtle change of keeping thresholds and targets up to date, to swapping out KPIs for new ones, scorecards are a living animal and requires food to stay alive.
- Scorecards are a coaching opportunity, not a punishment tool. While HR and managers will look at a scorecard and see a rep with all red for their KPIs, this doesn’t mean the rep needs to immediately be put on a performance improvement plan or, worse yet, fired. Scorecards are coaching tool and enable the manager to work with the sales rep and ask questions like “why do you think your sales cycle is double the average?” Work with the rep, train the rep, and allow the rep the chance to go for green.
As your team rolls out scorecards across the sales organization, keep these best practices in mind. Be kind to your reps, get agreement on definition, use scorecards as part of a larger strategy, keep them updated, and use them as a coaching tool.
Monitoring your sales team is a major part of success. Sales managers and executives need a simplified media to review key performance indicators KPIs to understand how their sales team is performing.
Such a simplified media is a dashboard style report which includes both charts and data tables which report KPIs pertinent to the business. In a for profit business, typically revenue generation is at the top of the KPI list, followed by product performance, rep performance, and then rep productivity metrics.
Since simple is good, Spiral Analytics, the name of my analytics solution company, is offering a gig through Fiverr. The $5 Gig provides a basic template and setup for a sales team dashboard which follow the metrics above. Additional charts and the ability to maintain the dashboard for you are available at additional charge. For more information, send us an email below.
For the past few years, I have been not only training for triathlon, but also talking to fellow triathletes about triathlon performance. The concept of triathlon intelligence is alive and well in the minds of anyone looking to improve their triathlon finish times. Not finding much excitement with the training and workout logs on the market, I created
TrainingMetrix (out of business – Oct-2015)to explore the intersection between data and triathlon, as well as data and fitness in general. From usability and access to data to creating KPIs for workouts and nutrition, TrainingMetrix took an open exploration of this often overlooked intersection.
Our latest template, based on feedback from our users, is a modification of our free
Triathlon Foundation Template and adds the ability to view both workouts and training plan in a calendar view. Now, you can see your workouts compared against your plan! This is in addition to the powerful performance dashboard already a part of the free template. The new Calendar View Template also allows you to build your own training plan.
I am excited to show off this latest template. We are combining a number of KPIs for triathletes into an easy to use template which resides locally on your computer, so your data is private and protected. Being based in Excel, the template provides a foundation for you to customize and create your own charts and data views. The power of workout progress and trends come alive. The ability to create and modify your training plan is another powerful tool. Lastly, the comparison of training plan to actual workouts is the intelligence the triathlete needs to stay on track, plan ahead and adjust as necessary. For more information, please visit the
Calendar View Template website.
What’s next for
TrainingMetrix and I? A lot, stay tuned, we are just getting started with understanding this intersection, data and triathlon.
Update 10/15 – TrainingMetrix was shut down in October 2015 due to increasing costs and lack of an effective business model.
Monitoring your Sales team performance is very important for the growth of your company whether it is an infant startup or a tenured enterprise. If your company is using a CRM solution, such as Salesforce.com or SugarCRM, you already have a wealth of data to leverage. The trick is to get the right level of actionable data in front of the stakeholders who need it to make a decision.
A Sample Sales Team Dashboard
The dashboard’s purpose below is to communicate the health of a sales team for a company based in Canada. The stakeholder required a view of sales by region and product category. In addition, they wanted visibility into product returns and profitability. We used Tableau Public to create the dashboard below with a Canada Superstore data set available for free. So let’s dive into the dashboard and some of the insights it gives us.
Sales Team Performance
The first three charts on the dashboard illustrate which regions and product categories are driving the most gross revenue. The first heat map shows Product Category against Region with the darker green color indicating more revenue. The conclusion is the West drives the most revenue of the regions, with Nunavut bringing up the rear. However, technology sales are highest in the West, whereas other regions have a more equal distribution.
The second heat map shows Customer Segment against Product Category. Corporate customers tend to drive the most revenue, with technology and furniture being the highest revenue generator. The lowest generator is Consumer Office Supplies.