How to create a simple sales leaderboard

Gamification is a topic that has been popular for some time now. The reason is that it works! In this article we’ll take a look at:

  • Why you should care about gamification in your sales team.
  • How to get outcomes quickly – without signing up to an expensive tool or tediously integrating your data sources.
  • Some best practices around sales leaderboards.

Gamification has been such a hit because most people are by nature competitive. They want to know how they compare to the rest of the pack. And sales people are more competitive than most. Their domain is heavily numbers-driven which means that it is well-suited to gamification.

Leaderboard on a phone

What Is gamification?

Simply put: gamification is putting “game elements” in a non-game environment. Why? To increase motivation, competition and overall positive outcomes. There are many of these “game elements” which have been used to gamify various things or processes, including:

  • points (people get points for certain activities),
  • levels (people have different seniorities, depending on what they have done in the past),
  • missions (go and do something measurable and be rewarded for completing it),
  • badges/medals (one-off “rewards” that are visible on a user profile),
  • leaderboards (see a ranked list of competitors),
  • unlocks (get access to new features or content as a reward),
  • events feed (what’s been going on),
  • notifications (get people to come back and engage),
  • quizzes (test knowledge in a competitive setting),
  • progress (show time invested).

This list is probably a bit overwhelming, and you should certainly not start by introducing all (or even three) of these elements at once.

Gameboy

Start simple, measure, improve, repeat

Instead, take baby-steps and start with a very simple gamification measure. Commit to it and then observe what happens.

The best place to start is creating a leaderboard for your sales team. Setting up a leaderboard is not hard, and you immediately have something tangible that you can present to the team. A lot of the other elements listed above require a more involved implementation such as user-logins, content creation and integration with existing systems.

If you discover that this one measure is capable of “moving the needle”, you can then think about introducing more complex measures (and tools).

At the very least you will need one person to add data to the leaderboard (keep it up-to-date) as well as some channel/medium for showing the leaderboard. In the spirit of keeping things simple, we do not recommend allowing employees to add their own data or connecting up to an existing system. This is over-engineering!

What is a leaderboard?

The purpose of a leaderboard is to show who’s best at a particular thing. It is a ranked list with the best person at the top and the worst at the bottom – by the way, we recommend staying away from stigmatizing those at the bottom.

The most fundamental question to answer is what will you be tracking on the leaderboard? This will determine whether your experiment is successful or not.

What to track on a sales leaderboard?

The numbers or metrics that you track will be an individual decision, which depends heavily on your business and the structure of your team. Some ideas are:

  • The number of new customers acquired
  • The number of newly acquired business accounts
  • “Expansion MRR”: the revenue coming from existing customers
  • The number of onboarding calls to track the number of post-sale calls
  • How long does it take on average to close a deal

Again, in the spirit of simplicity, use only one metric on your leaderboard. You can add more later, if required.

Your chosen metric should fulfil these essential criteria:

  1. The metric should be measurable per sales rep. Team metrics (the aggregate performance of the team) also have their place, but not on a leaderboard where you are showing individual performance.
  2. The sales reps should be capable of moving the metric. If he/she has little influence over it, it’s a bad metric.
  3. The metric should be easy to measure. If it takes 30 mins to extract the metrics from your data by hand, then people are not going to bother.

Share your leaderboard

Obviously you need your employees to see the leaderboard for it to be effective. Most leaderboard tools will allow you to project the output onto a screen in your office as well as supplying you with a link for viewing the leaderboard privately.

Here are the tools we would recommend:

  • Google Sheets. Yes, Google Sheets! Come on, doing a scrappy experiment does not require fancy tools. In fact using fancy tools wil make your experiment slow. You can always move onto something better once your experiment was a success.
  • Keepthescore.co. That’s us 👋! This tool is super quick to setup and comes with a bunch of features and themes to make your leaderboard look attractive. It’s free to try and costs under 10 USD.
  • Ambition. This tool is a very comprehensive software tool for enterprise sales team gamification. They pretty much cover the gamut when it comes to things you could even remotely hope to cover in regards to sales gamification, sales leaderboards, and motivation. We would recommend using this after your initial experiment.
  • Spinify. This tool is built by a Canadian company and like Ambition has a suite of software for measuring and rewarding employee performance. Again, this is an all-singing, all-dancing solution, so we would recommend an experiment first before getting involved.

That’s all

If you have questions or feedback, then do comment below. Thanks and good luck!


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