Question Tradition: The Sales Scoreboard Reset

Jan 1, 2024 | Blog

Question Tradition: The Sales Scoreboard Reset

It’s that time of year again…when we embark on the unquestioned tradition of resetting the scoreboard for all of our revenue-responsible team members.

Well, I’m here to question it…in another case of something sales history got right, and we get wrong!

Consider this question:

Under which scenario would you be more driven?
LEGO 40581 BIONICLe Tahu and Takua - LEGO Bionicle - BricksDirect Condition New.

A Lego Bionicle

You’re asked to build something – let’s say it’s a 40-piece Bionicle Lego model. Once completed, you’re paid an amount and given another one to build. You’ll be paid a little less this time than the first time. This process repeats until you decide it’s no longer worth it to keep building:

Scenario One: Once you complete a Bionicle and are given the next, as you begin to build, the completed one you built is disassembled right in front of your eyes and put back into the box. It’s handed back to you to build again once you complete the one you’re working on.

Scenario Two: Once you complete a Bionicle and are given the next, as you begin the build, the completed one you built is put on a shelf for everyone, including yourself, to see.

The build and the pay are the same in both scenarios…

Image of Dan Ariely's 2016 book, Payoff

Payoff: The Hidden Logic That Shapes Our Motivations (2016)

This isn’t made up. When Dan Ariely ran this study outlined in his book Payoff, those in Scenario 1 quit almost twice as quickly as those in Scenario 2.

Questioning the Traditional Start-Over in Sales

Each year I was in a sales role, my attainment reset to $0 at the beginning of each year. in 1999, I managed to achieve over 800% of my quota. On January 1st, 2000, I was back down to zero with everyone else…and within weeks, nobody remembered or cared what I did last year…other than a little club trip to Hawaii and my headshot shown on stage at kickoff with the other piles of quota achievers.

As a leader, I did the exact same thing to my teams, resetting everyone’s back to $0, too! Each year, the process was the same…

  • Bring in as much ARR/MRR/LTV/whatever all year.
  • Once the new year arrived, It’s like last year never happened.
  • And now you are asked to build again, only this year, a little higher (raised quota) and for a little less $ for each (same OTE, so pay per deal is less)
We’re creating Scenario One with our teams when Scenario Two is within easy reach!
The ROI of creating Scenario Two with our teams is huge – through higher engagement, longer tenures, and more advocacy:

Just a couple of ideas here:

Carryover credit: Allowing top performers to carry over / start with a lead in 2024?
A customer wall: Have a place where every employee can see the team members who drove the revenue that keeps everyone going.
Lifetime achievement scoreboard/awards: Club levels, titles, recognition for revenue milestones over time…not just in a quota period.

P.S. Resetting the Scoreboard Penalizes and Rewards the Wrong Team Members!

As the 800% achiever, completely resetting the scoreboard to $0 was a penalty. I’m now back to the same exact level as all those who didn’t perform as well!

As a 40% achiever, resetting the scoreboard back to $0 was a reward! I’m now up to the same exact level as all those who were way out ahead of me just last week!

Question tradition. There’s an opportunity to inspire your top performers’ sense of pride, ownership, and impact…which will pay you back handsomely!

Wisdom of the crowd: Ideas inspired by my LinkedIn post on the topic:

“A simple way of doing this is paying an additional percentage commission for achieving last year’s budget. That way consecutive achievers get compounded benefits. For those who achieved more than 20% over Budget a further % is rewarded. Display these.” – Clive Moore

Airline Status: Did you earn airline status in 2023 that applies to the entirety of 2024? Can we think about something similar for salespeople? Achieve your 2023 target, and earn a badge or title designation or status for all of 2024? Something more significant for larger percentages of quota attainment? Some sort of “lifetime achievement” designation for those who are like an airline “million miler”? – inspired by Rob Langejans

(HEADER IMAGE: Shown is a company salesperson scoreboard from 1922, This board shows a ranking, daily average for the current period, gains or losses of previous months, and their year standing for several years back. Yes, they understood this in 1922!)


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I speak and teach revenue organizations on how to leverage transparency and decision science to maximize their revenue capacity. It’s what I do…teach sellers, their leaders, well…entire revenue organizations how we as human beings make decisions, then how to use that knowledge for good (not evil) in their messaging (informal and formal), negotiations, and revenue leadership. I wrote a book Book Authority lists as the 6th best sales book of all time (𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘛𝘳𝘢𝘯𝘴𝘱𝘢𝘳𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘺 𝘚𝘢𝘭𝘦), and a second award-winning book (𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘛𝘳𝘢𝘯𝘴𝘱𝘢𝘳𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘚𝘢𝘭𝘦𝘴 𝘓𝘦𝘢𝘥𝘦𝘳).

Reach out if you want to discuss The Transparency Sale sales methodology, or really…anything else (sales kickoffs, workshopskeynotes, the economy, history, etc.)! Email info@toddcaponi.com or call 847-999-0420.

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