During our talent management work with clients, we are often told, “scorecards and job descriptions are the same thing.” I always politely disagree and use a metaphor to explain the difference. Ironically, a baseball metaphor (seeing as pitchers and catchers just reported to training camp) is timely…

Scorecard— .318 BA 27 HR, 122 RB, 23 stolen bases
Job description—play centerfield where you are responsible for catching fly balls, throwing out baserunners and showing up at the ballpark 3 hours before the game starts.


Big difference, right? How does this apply to sales and specifically, talent management? Scorecards are the governing document of performance. As we discussed last time, they are made up of competencies (behaviors) and accountabilities (results).


There are two types of accountabilities:
Pre Ramp—key activities for which I am responsible during my initial training . aka Knowledge Training
Post Ramp—key results for which I am responsible when I have been fully trained. aka Job Execution


A critical mistake companies make in the selection of future ‘A’ players (new hires) is not defining the knowledge training that must be performed in the onboarding phase of somebody’s employment. More importantly, spelling those out in a clear document that can be shared during the interview process


Why? ‘A’ players put their trust in the Manager that can take them to the next level. When interviewing, a candidate really has no idea how good the territory, comp plan or products are. They are buying the hiring manager. When an ‘A’ player Sales Manager can show an ‘A’ player candidate a well thought out set of tasks that are part of a larger Talent Management program, it inspires great confidence. There are 6 main areas in your Pre Ramp Accountabilities or knowledge training. In baseball terms, they would be the equivalent of running drills, batting practice and fielding grounders; they are preparing you to produce quantifiable results (Post Ramp). Below is a snapshot of a Pre Ramp Scorecard



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Who wants to play for a team that doesn’t have a playbook? If you display discipline and preparation, you can demand it. This will lead to better hiring. If you attract the right players, you are halfway home.


Matt Sharrers

Studies and works with the top 1% of B2B sales and marketing leaders who generate above average revenue growth for their companies.

Matt is arguably one of the industry’s most connected, and physically fit, sales leaders. He “lives in the field.” As a result, he is the foremost expert in the art of separating fact from fiction as it relates to revenue growth best practices. Because of Matt’s unique access to the best sales talent, private equity investors tend to turn to him first when they need to hire remarkable leaders to unlock trapped growth inside of their portfolio companies. Matt’s recent engagements include work commissioned by private equity leaders Permira, TPG, Bain Capital and Hellman & Friedman.


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