Whether you’re a CRO, VP of Sales, or sales manager, it’s a safe bet that on any given day you’re using at least three software solutions to do your job— and all of them offer some kind of reporting and analytics. When your sales teams are juggling Salesforce reports, revenue dashboards, sales rep scorecards, and more, it can become difficult to determine who should be using which data and to what end.
In this article, we’ll look at the differences between business intelligence dashboards and sales rep scorecards, who they’re made for, and ways to use them at your organization.
What are Business Intelligence dashboards?
According to CIO, “Business intelligence (BI) leverages software and services to transform data into actionable insights that inform an organization’s strategic and tactical business decisions. BI tools access and analyze data sets and present analytical findings in reports, summaries, dashboards, graphs, charts and maps to provide users with detailed intelligence about the state of the business.”
Dashboards are the feature of business intelligence built specifically to visually express the health and performance of your business in a succinct, digestible way.
What is a sales scorecard?
A sales rep scorecard is a document or application that tracks key performance indicators about members of your sales team. It is used by sales managers to track and improve the performance of their sales reps. Example sales rep scorecard metrics are: calls, demos set, opportunities created, deals won, bookings, ASP, close rate.
Scorecards can take the form of readiness or CRM scorecards and are part of a sales coaching and learning or sales enablement platform. They also track coach and manager activity.
What is the main difference between dashboards and scorecards?
The difference between sales scorecards and sales dashboards comes down to two factors:
- Who they’re made for
- What information they provide
Let’s take a look at these factors for both tools.
The role of business intelligence— users and use cases
Business intelligence is great for gaining insight into high-level business objectives and metrics. As such, sales dashboards are typically designed for more senior members of the organization such as CROs, sales VPs, directors, and managers. Dashboards help sales leaders pinpoint areas of difficulty or opportunity, identify trends, and make forecasts.
Dashboards pull in and visualize raw data from different sources like Salesforce, SQL databases, and data clouds used by the business. They require technical expertise and development resources to implement and build. BI is historically difficult for end users to understand and there is often a learning curve for teams newly implementing BI dashboards— which is why their audience is limited to analysts and senior leadership.
Typically, dashboards cover many KPIs across the business and are not limited to sales.
They have many use cases such as:
- Health metrics on product usage
- High-level pipeline progress that includes sales and marketing data
- Support response times
- Accounts dashboards for customer success to see who is in the “green” or in the “red”
- C-level executives reporting business data to the board of directors
Take this example of a CRO Forecasting Dashboard from InsightSquared:
This dashboard provides board-level visibility into pipeline trajectory, improves predictability, and answers questions like, “Where is the risk in the plan?” (source). Dashboards like these are used for occasions like weekly executive team reviews or quarterly board meetings.
The role of sales scorecards — users and use cases
Sales scorecards, on the other hand, are a type of BI built for the everyman. Front-line sales managers, enablement teams, and sales reps use scorecards on a daily basis.
Sales scorecards have a more focused scope than sales or revenue dashboards built with a BI tool. Scorecards revolve around individual reps with the purpose of looking at that rep’s performance and how it can be improved in order to achieve the objective (hitting quota, becoming a top performer, increasing ACV, etc.).
Scorecards typically pull in data from Salesforce and other enablement tools like conversation intelligence or a content management system in order to provide a 360 view of each sales reps’ performance from the number of touchpoints required to close a deal to their use of sales collateral during the sales cycle. Scorecards combine data from a sales rep’s training courses, curriculums, coaching challenges, and enhance it with performance data from your CRM all tied specifically to the individual.
Because they have a less technical audience, the data in sales scorecards is pre-processed and aggregated by sales rep. Having the data pre-processed makes the display of that data much simpler. In a dashboard, you start by reporting on the whole company and then slice and dice your way down to reps. In a scorecard, you start with the rep, and everything you see on the screen is related to that rep. This makes the experience way simpler for the intended audience. It also allows sales managers to get insights faster.
Sales rep scorecards are used by sales managers and enablement teams in four key ways:
- Monitoring and delivering a successful learning and coaching program
- Coaching the coaches using coach and reviewer insights
- Diagnosing the individual through readiness and CRM scorecards
- Reporting data to sales executives and the c-suite to show how reps have improved and how training is impacting revenue drivers
Scorecards help the sales enablement team diagnose the reps who are not completing programs or struggling to master certain subject matter. They also make it possible to easily share information with sales managers and collaborate with reps to ensure they are getting the training they need.
For example, if a rep is struggling to generate opportunities and pipeline, then they probably need help with early pipeline skills, such as identifying pain points or finding a sponsor. If they are struggling with winning opportunities and bookings, then it is likely that they need help with later stage skills such as negotiating for power.
Sales rep scorecards are a way for sales managers to keep their reps on track toward targets and to measure efficiency metrics, production metrics, and leading indicators that make sure reps are on track to hit their future goals. Sales managers might use scorecards during one-on-one coaching meetings, weekly team meetings, or monthly or quarterly reviews.
The relationship between sales scorecards and business intelligence dashboards
A data-driven organization will ideally use both business intelligence dashboards and sales scorecards. Both may pull in Salesforce data, but they pull in different data and look at it in different ways. BI companies who use their own products purchase sales scorecards because BI tech isn’t built to serve the specific use cases scorecards do, and sales enablement solution providers use BI in their business operations.
BI monitors the overall health and performance of different departments and the organization as a whole while sales scorecards monitor the activities and improvement of sales reps as part of a sales learning and coaching program. It isn’t an either/or relationship.
For example, your BI dashboard might show you the number of demos scheduled across the team so you can forecast against past results and predict incoming revenue for the quarter.
Your sales scorecards will then show you which reps are scheduling the most demos so you can learn from those high performers and train the rest of your reps in their techniques in order to increase the amount of demos being scheduled across the team. Scorecards show whether the rep scheduling the most demos has taken the most training courses or gets the most in-depth feedback from their coach.
Using BI and scorecards together, you can take a top-down or bottom-up approach in order to track pipeline issues down to a problem with sales methodology or track issues with sales rep performance to a company-wide communication or culture issue.
When paired together, the insights from BI dashboards and sales scorecards enable you to enact the most impactful and targeted strategies across your sales organization in order to increase revenue and speed up growth in a scalable, sustainable way.
If you don’t have either of these tools in place, which one you start with depends on your priorities as an organization. A word to the wise— BI generally takes longer to implement and uses more development resources. Sales scorecards, at least how Brainshark does it, are implemented for you and are quick to set up.
Schedule a meeting with us to find out the right way to implement scorecards for your sales teams. We will assess your sales process and recommend the KPIs that belong on your sales scorecards so that sales managers can help reps make progress toward their goals.