“You want to set goals that you can hit, so when you start hitting them, you can celebrate those wins. People start trusting in your way of projecting the business.”
– Wiley Cerilli, Founder, former CEO of SinglePlatform
Leaderboards are good for much more than simply measuring progress or showing data. Use them to introduce a fun, competitive atmosphere. Here are 3 best practices for using leaderboards.
Track the right metrics
Tracking the wrong KPIs is one of the most common sales leaderboard mistakes made by employers. Simply measuring sales may seem like an obvious choice, but in reality sales leaderboards should rather be utilized to encourage behaviors above and beyond the basic expectations of ones job.
Instead of tracking sales alone, managers should track activities that have the potential to generate sales such as qualifying leads or setting a meeting. This will start to create a pattern of good behavior while the overall goal is still the same - increasing sales.
Level the playing field
Leaderboards frequently favor the seasoned veterans and more competitive employees. These individuals often have bigger and better sales results, which are highlighted on sales leaderboards. This can leave the “newbies” and less competitive employees feeling discouraged and de-motivated. Luckily, with digital leaderboards this is an easy fix.
There are several ways to counteract this. One way is to use customized leaderboards that compare more closely matched employees. This allows the “lesser-performing” employees to still feel relevant and to have a chance to be a top performer in certain areas. Ideally this will keep everyone feeling more engaged and even encourage the lower performers to gradually climb up the leaderboard.
Another way is to track less traditional metrics. For example, a leaderboard for the most 5-star customer support reviews could be a great way to create focus on a core area of your business behind-the-scenes. Additionally, try implementing some competitions, such as a lottery competition on a weekly or monthly basis. Awarding points for a wide variety of different tasks across various roles becomes both easy and rewarding. It can also be a great way to unify everyone across the various roles.
Emphasize both individuals and teams
A common downfall of sales leaderboards is placing too much emphasis on individual employees. This can lead to selfish behavior and cause individuals to move away from teamwork and cooperation in the workplace. Of course it is important for employees to perform well individually, but not at the cost of the team as a whole.
In order to avoid this, try to ensure that sales leaderboards are comparing both individuals and teams. Try implementing a team competition now and again to encourage employees to work together to achieve a common goal. Being a part of a team is also a great way for lesser and middle performers to have a chance to excel.
Although sales leaderboards are an effective way to increase performance and encourage good behavior, they only do so when set up and implemented correctly. It is all too common that companies fall victim to toxic practices such as tracking the wrong KPIs, bias against newer and less competitive employees and forgetting the importance of teams versus individuals. This defeats the point of leaderboards at all and often negatively affects company culture.
By tracking the right metrics, implementing customized leaderboards and comparing both individuals and teams, companies can sufficiently benefit from sales leaderboards in the workplace.