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Which Way to the Endzone?

On the football field, it’s pretty easy to know where you stand. The great quarterbacks — Manning, Brady, Favre — seem to have an internal clock, a rhythm for the game. They just know when the 30-second clock is about to run out.  The rest of us can look up to the scoreboard to see a quick summary of the game — the score, the time remaining, the play clock. 

The end zone is pretty clearly marked. Down markers, yard lines and hash marks give us immediate reference points on the football field.

In the business world, we don’t have the benefit of Jumbotron scoreboards, end zones and sidelines. It’s not so easy to know where you stand and how you are progressing toward your goals.  But it could be.

I think it’s important to create a scoreboard for your company and your business goals.  With a public scoreboard visible to everyone who’s interested, there can be no confusion about what progress is being made and who’s driving it. You establish your own down markers and end zones based on what you are trying to achieve.

  • You have a stretch goal, right? That’s the Super Bowl. Even if you get there and don’t win, you’ve had a darn good season if you make it to the Super Bowl.
  • Do you have a plan and actions you’ll take to achieve your goals?  That’s your game plan.
  • Make a sale? You just scored a touchdown.
  • New business proposal? That’ your Red Zone offense.
  • New relationships, introductions and/or qualified leads? You’ve got the ball.
  • Permission to move forward in the sales process? That’s a first down.
  • No permission to move forward? Time to punt and move on to the next client prospect.

Set goals for each of these metrics and keep track of them. Of course, you’ve got a limited amount of time to accomplish all this; that’s why we divide the year up into quarters, just like a football game.  To me, this makes perfect sense…but I’m a football nut.

At HNI, we’ve taken this approach to tracking company-wide and individual progress toward our sales goals.  We created a scorecard reflecting several kinds of sales activities and benchmarks, and each month, the scorecard is published in public areas around the office.  The monthly score for each sales person as well as the company total can be monitored by anyone following the game.

We’ve helped a number of our clients use a scorecard approach across all areas of their businesses, and most have found it to be incredibly successful at building a culture that is accountable and results-driven.

Have you tried this at your company? Comment below and let us know.

Topics: Construction Transportation Manufacturing