Last night while attending a Red Sox game I found myself staring at one of the scoreboards looking at stats. They really didn’t help me drive any meaningful insights. Steve Pearce was at the plate with runners on base and I wanted to know: what are the chances he knocks one over the monster and gives the Sox the lead.
The scoreboard was showing that Steve Pearce in night games has 87 home runs. At first glance this seemed like a useful data point. It’s a night game, Steve Pearce is batting and I know how many home runs he has hit in the past.
The more I thought about it, I realized this didn’t help me at all. I didn’t know if he played in 100 or 1000 night games, I didn’t know if he hit a majority of those early in his career or more recently, and I didn’t have any comparison, like how many night home runs has Mitch Moreland (similar player) hit. If I had more context around the stat, I may have been able to form a better guess as to whether or not Steve was going to hit a home run.
Spoiler alert, he struck out and they lost 4-2.
This got me thinking back to the challenges a lot of sales managers face when trying to draw meaningful insights and coach their teams using data. One of the biggest complaints I hear on a daily basis is “I don’t know if the numbers I’m looking at are good or bad”.
Here are some of my tips for helping your managers quickly draw meaningful insights from their sales reps data:
Trends over time – Tracking a reps performance over time can be a great indication of the direction the rep is headed in. Look to see if performance is on an incline, decline, or remaining steady.
Compare to similar reps – How are reps with similar start dates doing across your key business metrics? How does this rep compare against top performers in the company?
Compare against goals and targets – As Alex Laats mentioned in his post on Data-Driven Sales Coaching, you should write down goals and have your reps commit to them. This way when looking at data you can compare achievement against the goals you set which makes it very easy to understand if a number if good or bad.
All three tips can really improve your managers’ ability to coach using data. Unfortunately, it can be hard for a manager to get data in a format that surfaces these insights for them.
That’s where Rekener (now Brainshark) comes in. With sales scorecards, you can build individual rep scorecards that your managers can use in their 1-on-1s. Having these scorecards allows you to standardize the way your managers coach their teams, and greatly improve your team’s performance. It’s also the fastest and most powerful way to give new sales managers everything they need to become great at data-driven sales coaching.