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The Best Way To Use Leaderboards In Sales Coaching

The Best Way To Use Leaderboards In Sales Coaching

If leaderboards are used to their fullest potential by sales coaches, everyone should come out a winner — the reps, the customers and the organization as a whole.

In some sports, what happens on the field (or the ice) goes by so quickly that it can be difficult to keep up with the action. That’s where scoreboards come in — a place to display a running tally that shows the fans how close they are to a winner.

Ideally, leaderboards within a sales team would work much the same way, except it’s all about closing more deals, not necessarily categorizing winners and losers. In fact, if leaderboards are used to their fullest potential by sales coaches, everyone should come out a winner — the reps, the customers and the organization as a whole.

Unlike the scoreboard in a sports arena, leaderboards don’t have to be large and hang from the office ceiling, making everyone feel under pressure. Instead, they might be woven into the company intranet or integrated with CRM, marketing automation or analytics tools that help organizations measure the results of their teams’ efforts.

Think Beyond Revenue KPIs

Of course, closed deals, such as new business won or renewals, are the kinds of numbers everyone expects to see on a leaderboard, but that doesn’t have to be the only thing recorded. In fact, a big part of coaching is helping the team to identify the steps along the way that lead to a close, and tabulating those can foster healthy competition and a sort of peer benchmark without necessarily discouraging newer or less experienced reps.

Some of those KPIs could include:

  • Pipeline activity — how many meetings has a rep booked for next week? What does their cold calling volume look like? All these things lead to a sale, and it’s behaviour worth encouraging.
  • Social media activity — a considerable part of the buyer’s journey now begins online, and social media is becoming a key place to learn from your peers. Showcasing the posts that reps are putting out there to become part of these conversations may prompt others to do the same.
  • Content marketing support — more organizations are recognizing the need for better alignment between marketing and sales, and are bringing in reps to develop white papers, case studies and so on. Leaderboards can help capture the downloads and leads generated by these assets and attribute their success to the reps who helped create them.

Use Sales Enablement To Drive Leaderboard Activity

Smart organizations make sure they arm their sales teams with much more than a list of accounts and a phone. Great sales enablement tools could include a sales playbook, an ongoing series of short video explainers and market research reports, among other things.

As sales enablement strategies are created, keep the leaderboard top of mind. If checking their performance against the rest of the team helps drive them, they could be given guidance on how the tools can get their numbers up. Point out how a statistic in a market research report, for example, could be used in a specific customer-facing scenario that could overcome a common objection or barrier to closing a deal.

Set up Challenges

Leaderboards should not be treated like a company time clock — a static recording of what happened and when. They should be a reflection of the overall culture within the sales team. Coaches do this best when they issue specific challenges to reps where the results can be featured on the leaderboard. Some of the ideas around social media and content marketing mentioned above could work here, but here’s a few more:

  • Presentation delivery — Challenge reps to hone their public speaking skills by delivering a lunch n’ learn to their marketing department or other groups that gives helpful feedback on what’s on top of customers’ minds.
  • Demos — Nothing loses a sales rep’s credibility faster than showing off a product and having something go wildly wrong. This is often due to lack of advance preparation. Challenge reps to do some demo trial runs and put it on the leaderboard to inspire their peers.
  • Voice mail pitches — There’s often a temptation to hang up when prospects or customers aren’t around to take a rep’s call. Challenge them to go the extra step of creating a compelling voice mail pitch—and let them brag about how many they’ve put out there to generate more demand.

Open And Close Coaching KRA Sessions With The Leaderboard

Key result areas, or KRAs, are a fantastic way for anyone to organize all the activities they pursue over the course of a day, a week, a month or a quarter. That’s because they identify the outcomes that really matter for the business. Coaching, in sales departments or otherwise, should be largely about helping staff better understand their KRAs and nurture their strengths so they can deliver on them more often and more quickly.

The sales leaderboard doesn’t necessarily need to mirror a specific individuals’s KRAs, but coaching should consist of a dialogue that helps show where they relate or overlap. And as each coaching session ends, team members should walk out with some action items that will change what’s on the leaderboard next time around.

Find more tips to inspire your team in our eBook, Accelerate Your Sales Performance: 7 Tips to Sales Success.

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