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.