Tracking sales activities in a spreadsheet has become commonplace. Often referred to as a sales scorecard, this tool allows sales leaders to better manage the cascading chain of controllable activities that lead to sales. This is the first step towards a modern sales management system.
As “Cracking the Sales Management Code” authors Jason Jordan and Michelle Vazzana explain, sales metrics quantify and track the day-to-day “doings” of your salespeople.
Salespeople often get lost in the business of their day-to-day role. But an inputs-drive-outputs approach allows you to create focus around the behaviors you know will lead to the outcomes you desire: closing more business. And that’s exactly what a sales scorecard gives you.
Here are just three of the many benefits your entire sales team experiences when using one…
3 reasons you need a sales scorecard
1. Simplify your sales process with a sales scorecard
Instead of leaving your reps with a trial-and-error approach to winning deals, you likely have a defined sales process in place. What are the typical steps in that process at your organization? They might look something like this:
- Prospect Uncovered
- Prospect Qualified
- Opportunity Created
- Discovery Scheduled
- Discovery Completed
- Closed Won/Lost
Now, consider the activities performed by reps that move opportunities from lead to close. Selling is a complex process, but breaking it down into 3-4 controllable key performance indicators (KPIs) for reps to focus on drives productivity. For the example sales process above, the KPIs could be:
- Created Opportunity
- Completed Discovery Calls/Meetings
- Proposals Sent
- Closed/Won Opportunities
After coming up with a hypothesis for your team’s KPIs, interview reps and managers. Get their feedback on what they think are the most important activities in the sales process. Afterward, you might want to modify your key selling activities. But you don’t have to. Feedback from reps and managers also helps determine what might be good secondary metrics and creates buy-in from the whole team.
2. Determine what are achievable goals with a sales scorecard
You probably feel like your salespeople love to complain that the quota you set for them is too high, but in certain cases, they might actually be right. A sales scorecard helps you evaluate performance against goals and the goals themselves.
Start with each rep’s yearly quota, then divide it by their average deal size. Here’s an example:
$1 million annual quota / $20,000 average deal size = 50 deals
This means your rep needs to close 50 deals this year, at a rate of four deals a month. In essence, your rep would need to close a $20,000 deal every week of the year to achieve that quota. That’s a lot to ask of one person.
To make this goal more achievable, you could split the quota between a team or cut the individual’s quota in half.
$500,000 annual quota / $20,000 average deal size = 25 deals
At this rate, your rep (or team of reps) have to close at least two deals a month, or one deal every other week. Much more achievable than our original quota, right?
From there, determine your average conversion rates between each step of your sales process: On average, how many proposals does it take to close one deal? How many discoveries does it take to send out a proposal? And how many opportunities do you usually source before one agrees to a discovery?
Now you can reverse-engineer your sales process and determine how many of each activity it will actually take to achieve quota. For the sake of simplicity, we’ll assume a 25% conversion rate for each step.
25 deals / 25% = 100 proposals
100 proposals / 25% = 400 discoveries
400 discoveries / 25% = 1600 opportunities
On your rep’s sales scorecard, the goals above would look as follows (consider adding cushion to goals to ensure you achieve them):
Deals = 2-3 / month
Proposals = 2 / week
Discoveries = 8 / week
Opportunities = 7 / day
These goals are achievable, which shows that the quota your team contributes to is also achievable.
3. Foster accountability and coaching with a sales scorecard
In general, salespeople want to be successful. They crave real-time performance feedback that tells them how and where they can improve. A CRM dashboard or report won’t tell them this. But a sales scorecard can.
Once you’ve defined and calculated your team’s sales activity metrics, have reps use the spreadsheet (free template below) to track them. The most efficient way to do this is in real time, right after reps complete an activity. Note that there are sales technologies out there, such as sales management systems, that automatically track activities within your CRM, calculate pacing to goal and alert reps and managers when performance falls out of line.
Tracking performance against goals in real-time allows reps to see how they stand performance-wise (as well as what they need to do to get back on track or stay ahead of their goals). If a rep sees that they haven’t sourced enough opportunities this quarter, they can hit the phones and start qualifying leads. Another rep might notice that he has the right amount of discovery meetings, but not nearly enough proposals. That rep can then ask for some coaching on converting a discovery meeting into a proposal.
That brings us to the final benefit: sales scorecards serve as a great foundation for weekly one-on-ones and coaching sessions. It allows sales leaders to quickly gauge how and what each rep is doing to reach quota. Sales leaders can also identify pain points and coach accordingly.