video | February 13, 2011
Sales Performance Management: Should it be Dashboards or Scorecards?
When talking sales force performance, I’d like to make it a bit personal – meaning a personal scorecard as derived from the balanced scorecard concept. This blog post is not free from an analogy, – Golf
Scorecards in golf – show the goal (par) for each category (hole) of a scorecard section (front or back nine). They act as the targets to achieve the overall goal – winning! Sometimes, there are adjustments (handicap) that modify these targets. However, there are metrics that aren’t on the scorecard – like how many lost balls, how many broken tees, how much time driving the cart.
Photo from istockphoto.com/Mark Herreid
Scorecards don’t show how many slices, hooks, water hazards, or sand traps, either, nor how many putts it took to get a bogey after that great 2-shot approach. And, the scorecard only shows you one round of golf, notthe season’s worth that would show patterns of improvement or decline. This is where a dashboard would help.
In golf, of course, I don’t know of anyone walking around with an automated dashboard that keeps track of that person’s average distances hit by certain clubs, how many slices from tees or how many hooks from the fairway, or even if the average score is better when it’s below 70 degrees or hotter than 80. The golf dashboard is a mostly manual thing. By the way, SwingBySwing.com golf may not be far away from providing an automated dashboard (which they call a digital scorecard): check out this video.
The analogy in sales performance solutions is similar: using scorecards (in the sense of a Balanced Scorecard), a Sales Rep may have 4 main quadrants (think 36 holes of golf on 2 courses, with front and back nines on each course). Per Kaplan/Norton, the 4 usual quadrants are: Financial, Customer, Internal (quality), and Learning and Growth. My own scorecard has 5 sections (2.5 golf courses). Only the first one is revenue-related (Financial). Now, when I want to see how I am doing towards meeting that section’s goal, I take a look at a dashboard in our SFA tool at the sales performance metrics and drill down from total revenue to my supplied revenue, and then even further into what product streams my revenue component is made of. If we had the right analysis tools in the dashboard, I might be able to play with scenarios to determine which product I might be able to focus on more to get closer to my goal more efficiently. (In golf, this would be knowing which club to use for the next shot based on a dashboard of metrics related to the situation, not just the typical choice based on distance.)
Another section is self-development and one activity there is that I have to read a few books each quarter. My progress on that section is found only via a manual tick sheet (or the fact that the book is no longer in my reading pile.)
The point is, at a Rep level, sometimes I can go to an automated dashboard to see my progress to date, and sometimes I rely on manual systems to show my progress. So, the Sales performance dashboard can show me all the progress towards a scorecard goal at any point in time related to SALES metrics (in this case revenue), but isn’t concerned directly with other scorecard goals like Learning and Growth, for example.
Here is a table of some quick differences between the two:
Scorecard Sales Dashboard For a static period (usually annual) Point(s) in time Sets goals or targets to achieve Shows progress to date Multiple areas of concern (not just sales)
Sales Performance Mostly results oriented Has sales metrics including activity-based Like a map of the course Like a golf score clicker.