You might think a leaderboard that trumpets which account executives (AEs) sell the most each month is a sufficient way to track performance.
But a more detailed set of sales scorecards can complement a leaderboard and provide AEs with a better view of achievements, said Dylan Conant, associate chief of staff to the chief revenue officer at ZoomInfo.
Conant created the AE sales scorecard template that ZoomInfo uses, which provides every rep with visibility into how they rank in a way that is transparent and fair.
Like a leaderboard, the AE scorecard “takes into account who’s selling the most,” Conant said. “But it also takes into account who’s making the most out of what we’re giving them.”
For example, a leaderboard is a great way to show that an AE sold $1 million during a quarter. However, a scorecard adds context to that number. Perhaps that same AE took three times as many demos as everyone else on the team but only sold two times the average contract value (ACV). With that additional information from the scorecard, a sales director may view the $1 million total differently.
“This helps us understand those relationships a little better,” Conant added.
In this article, we’ll focus on the steps to create a scorecard and then walk you through a sample version.
What Is A Sales Scorecard?
A sales scorecard is a personalized report for specific reps that tracks their development and goals. It compares them to industry averages, as well as other reps at the same level within the company.
Think of a sales rep scorecard as a more granular report card. Remember the ones you got in school that told you how you did in a certain class, what you did well, and what you could improve on?
At ZoomInfo, sales managers started to realize that reps weren’t performing consistently or as well as they could. Conant points out that identifying performance metrics was the difference maker when it came to building out their scorecards.
The purpose of our scorecard is to tell a story, which needs to be informed by data. And that’s where you need to consider the context of your sales cycle and identify what data points matter, and why.
The Data Behind Sales Rep Scorecards
Let’s explain the steps to identify important data for a scorecard.
1. Set the metrics your team wants to measure and pull data for them.
Choose two to five important metrics upon which to rank sales rep performance. Common ones include ACV and win rate, but sales teams can choose whatever numbers are important to them.
ZoomInfo also looks at average sales price, completed demo rate, and ACV per demo in its scorecard.
Some of these metrics are expressed as percentages, while others are straight numbers. That’s OK because points will be awarded for each metric, rather than taking an average of numbers.
Ideally, the data for the metrics your team selects can be pulled directly from a CRM system or sales intelligence platform. From there, you can export the numbers and paste them into the scorecard, which could be a spreadsheet or other document.
ZoomInfo uses a trailing three-month average, which means any given month’s numbers are averages of the current and prior two months. “We have a lot of seasonality within quarters, so if you were to do it on a monthly basis, you’d see all these weird spikes,” Conant said. “The trailing three months always keeps an end of quarter month [view] in there, so it makes it a little bit smoother.”
2. Determine baseline values for the metrics you select so that you can tier the results.
This approach is a key point in ZoomInfo’s sales scorecard, which labels these baseline values as “band metrics.”
We don’t just pull the average ACV, for example, and compare it to each AE’s performance. Rather, we tier ACV values so that you can see an average, as well as several layers below and above that average.
An average value gets awarded 5 points on ZoomInfo’s sales scorecard, with more or less points given depending on the tier. The tiers give a quick view into how well an AE is performing against the rest of the team and lets directors identify reps that are in the top or bottom 5%, for example.
Smaller teams can initially limit the tiers and then increase them later as a sales organization grows, Conant said.
3. Weight certain metrics more heavily depending on a team’s focus.
Not all metrics hold the same influence. A company may determine, for example, that ACV is the most important metric and thus assign a greater percentage to it.
These percentages, which must equal 100, are then used to apply a final point value to a sales rep’s performance in each metric. Those point values are then added up to give a final score for the AE for the month.
Sales Rep Scorecard Example
So what does a scorecard actually look like? Let’s take a quick walkthrough ZoomInfo’s version and highlight some of its important elements. Note that the dollar figures in this example are anonymized averages created for this article; in real life, the scorecard would use accurate figures.
There’s a lot of information in ZoomInfo’s scorecard, and it might be too much for some teams, Conant said. Here are five core aspects to point out, each designated by a numbered circle in the example above.
- The metrics that an AE is scored on. There are also trailing three-month averages listed for those metrics in each month.
The line charts on the right side of ZoomInfo’s scorecard show how the sales rep’s performance over time compared to the various tiered values for the metrics. Meanwhile, the additional metrics below the monthly scores act as follow-up information to explain why an AE did well or came up short, Conant said.
Most Companies Can Pull Scorecard Data Quickly
For those of you starting new sales scorecards, you’ll be relieved to know it doesn’t take very long to pull together most of the data. ZoomInfo’s scorecard took about a day to create.
“With Salesforce, you can basically get almost all of it,” Conant said. “Otherwise, it’s really just some Excel math.”
Calculating demo metrics might be an exception, as not all businesses can easily track that data, he added.
Whatever the initial work to create a scorecard template, it is worth the effort if sales teams want a clearer window into how individual AEs perform. Sales scorecards offer valuable insight beyond leaderboards and similar methods, which simply show how much AEs sell each month.
From a management perspective, scorecards enable sales leaders to rank their sales reps in order to see who needs more engagement and support and who can take on more difficult leads.
If you don’t already track AE performance with a sales scorecard, use our example as a starting point, add in your own metrics, and try it out.