I read a piece on Linked In around this perennial favourite recently. Of course this question is as old as sales team themselves. I believe that your answer is like holding up a mirror to your face and looking at yourself (you and your sales team). Whatever your answer, and let’s suppose that it is not restricted to a black and white yes or no, it needs to be seen as a self reflection, not a statement or opinion about the reality of other sales teams or sales teams in general. Further, I would opine that the more your answer deviates from a fulsome “yes”, the more you have got something wrong in the make-up of the sales team, its Management, and/or the design of the leaderboard itself.
But this is not my priority point that moves me to write about this omnipresent sales force effectiveness question.
A well designed sales leaderboard should feature three types of indicators…….
- Critical activity inputs
- Process (farming and hunting processes) outputs
- Financial outcomes
The all-too-oft overlooked function and value of the sales leaderboard concept is around defining best practices. Defined best practices feed your recruitment and competency profiles. And feed your training programs. And feed your reward and incentive programs. And feed your target and KPI setting. And feed your …. And feed your ….. And feed your…..I could go on…..and on. In other words, having sales leaderboards should be a sales force effectiveness mandatory. It’s simply not a discretionary. But right design is critical. With the right small number of critical activity inputs, process outputs and financial outcomes configured as sales leaderboards, then run the correlation between the three sets. See what match-ups are strongly correlated. Work it up from there.
The ultimate test of Sales Management is to exhort the sales team to “do XYZ activities, not because I say so since I’m your boss…….but because your numbers say so.”