The Grow Show: Business Growth Stories from the Frontlines

Episode 4: Building an A-Player Score

April 15, 2022 Scott Scully, Jeff Winters, Eric Watkins
The Grow Show: Business Growth Stories from the Frontlines
Episode 4: Building an A-Player Score
Show Notes Transcript

Most sales teams have a leaderboard where each person is held accountable to their number and leadership can monitor their progress. What if everyone on your team had a score based on their daily tasks and long-term goals? Find out more about how we implemented an A-Player score that our team uses to show when they've won their day or identify areas for improvement.


Eric Watkins:

Welcome to the grove show where we make it easier for entrepreneurs and leaders to grow their businesses. You'll hear from real leaders with real stories about their successes and failures. So you don't have to make the same mistakes. We won't break out textbooks or talk theory only raw stories from the front lines with actionable takeaways. The gross show

Unknown:

is sponsored by Heil sound, world class microphones for stage studio, broadcast and podcast. Find your sound it Heil, sound.com and five, Reggie are your outbound sales campaigns not driving the engagement you're looking for? Revenue leaders rely on reggie.ai to write high performing sales copy that cuts through the noise and books more meetings. Want to see how it works, head over to reggie.ai/growth show and learn how to put the power of best practices in AI into the hands of your sales team. Here's the next episode of the Grow Show.

Eric Watkins:

Welcome back, everybody to the growth show. I'm here with my partners in growth, Scott Sculley. Hello, everyone. Jeff Weiner.

Jeff Winters:

Welcome back, everybody.

Eric Watkins:

Do we have a treat for you today? We're moving, we're groovin we have a very, very important topic. But before we do that, the podcast is taken off. We're up to about seven listeners. And when you hit seven listeners, subscribes, likes, you're a celebrity. You are, do you guys have anything you want to talk about with your celebrity status.

Jeff Winters:

I just I want to thank the Academy for recognizing the amazing work that we're doing here. Oh my god, do much.

Scott Scully:

What I want you to do is play Chris Rock and I'll play Will Smith. I just it's not a safe day. If you're a celebrity these days.

Eric Watkins:

I just read Will Smith's book and I was so team Will Smith and then I saw him just slap somebody. So I don't know where do you guys stand on that?

Scott Scully:

I am so embarrassed for him. One

Jeff Winters:

not go down the middle at all. I am

Scott Scully:

just completely embarrassed for him. And I liked Chris Rock just a little bit more. And I'm wondering where the house security was. But he walked up there, punch the shit out of Chris Rock. His head did barely moved. And then he just looked at him and laughed.

Eric Watkins:

He ate that punch. Oh, he ate.

Jeff Winters:

I hope this doesn't give people permission at like, you know, company vision meetings or whatever.

Scott Scully:

Right? How fast they just don't like they don't like what you're saying they walk right up on the stage and punch your S right in the nose revenue

Jeff Winters:

was what? Hang on.

Scott Scully:

Do you think you could stand? Do you think Eric could walk up and pop you in the face and you could just stay on there and laugh at him? For those

Jeff Winters:

of you who don't know, it's kind of a stud Eric's Eric's a collegiate athlete. Okay, like, you don't need somebody of Eric stature to hit me to go down. As someone that's familiar with being slapped?

Scott Scully:

I doubt the Fresh Prince played Ollie. Oh, come on.

Jeff Winters:

That's a professional.

Eric Watkins:

Did you hear what was left? On Chris Rock's face? Fresh Prince. We just went up, we

Scott Scully:

just went up to 11 listeners

Eric Watkins:

of Fresh Prince, we have a treat for you today

Jeff Winters:

in this guy do transitions are what?

Eric Watkins:

We're going to talk about something that's gonna knock your socks off. It's not gonna slap you in the face. It might. But it is the a player score. It is something we use to run our business. Everybody in our company has an A player score. Scott, you thought of it, you created it. What is this score? And why is it so important?

Scott Scully:

Okay, so, Eric, that's a good question. I think that individual contributors are all looking for a certain set of things. First of all, they want us to be transparent. They want to know what's going on in the organization. They want to know exactly what their job is, and what would we consider to be you know, them doing well. They want flexibility. When they do the job, how they do the job. They want to know how they can earn their way and promotions progressions. And I think they'd love to get out of the annual review or they'd love to not wait until the end of the year to know if they're doing a good job and if they're gonna get that race. So when we put this a player score together, it's really for people to know exactly where they're at what they need to do for us to be completely transparent. And also, you know, in us running the business, we can look at the unit as a whole, top to bottom have a real time score, and know exactly what we need to drill into and work on to do a better job. I think what happens is people are going to think of this as a micromanagement tool. But we actually set it up. For the opposite reason we set it up for the individual, so that they actually can have access to the data that they need to do a better job so that our customers get exactly what they deserve results.

Eric Watkins:

Jeff coming into the organization, what was your perception on a player score? And how has it changed? Over the time?

Jeff Winters:

Let me go back a step. So before before, abstract, bought the business, Scott and I go out to dinner, and he'd say, tell me all his new ideas. Some of them are true, some will realize we're competitors. It was well, it's fair in love and war. And so he goes, we just came up with this new thing. Everybody at the organization has a score, including me being Scott. And it tells him how well they're doing day to day in Salesforce. And I was like, okay, cool. Some of everything else he's gonna tell me tonight is true. Because that is that can't be like, there's no way they've invented some thing, and that people have bought into it. And then come to find out years later, when we join the organization, it's totally true. And my impression was a few fold. First was people are gonna think this is micromanaging. And it's not. That's not That's not the problem it solves. And the second, the second thing I thought was like, wow, Scott's got a score. I'm gonna have a score. It's not, hey, individual contributors, or frontline managers, you're not doing a good job. So we need to put a score on here. So we can track No, no, no, it's everybody throughout the organization. This is a culture of transparency. And it's a culture of accountability all the way up and down. And this is one of the ways we demonstrate it. So if you can visualize for those out there 500 people, all with circles above their heads inside of Salesforce. And they have a score based on how well they they performed in that day, did they win the day. And I just think it's so neat. I think it's motivating. I think people love it. And I think it furthers the culture of transparency, and accountability.

Eric Watkins:

Yeah, if you look back, this score has actually taken three years to come to fruition, it's been a lot, which sounds really bad, say it out loud. But when you see what we've come up with, you can't help but be proud of it. And the number one thing you're going to have to do as a business, the first step is what is everybody's score? How do I pick this score, and you go from two schools of thoughts, I can manage lagging indicators, which are the results that our business, the success of our business runs off of, or I can manage leading indicators. And I can manage what's going to drive those lagging indicators. So we went back, we went forth, we went back, we went forth. And this is what we came to the best mixture is 30%. lagging indicators are the key results for the business. That would be sales, that would be retention, that would be turnover, that would be profit, those hard success numbers for a business. And then 30% is based on activity. So these are the activities, the activities that are more in the employees control, to be able to contribute towards the total score. And then the remainder of the score is based on our business mechanisms that we have in place. So that's what we call maps, we did an episode, see that podcast, if you want to learn more about it, we have quality, because if we're just doing the activities, but it's not quality, we're not getting the results. And then we have training and development because that's important to us. We want our employees to continue to learn and grow within the organization. So what a great exercise for you as a business. If you say, Okay, I want everybody to have a score. It's gonna take some time to figure out the right score. But what I will say is it's not going to be perfect. You're going to learn it over time, get something in place, when it comes to that.

Scott Scully:

Yeah, I mean, I think that it changes the day. If you are going to be in a high growth organization, everybody's got to be pointed forward. You know, every individual contributor has to know exactly what they need to do day by day, week, by week, month by month, in order to roll up into the overall company's success and when we're done, because, you know, I think there's still more tweaking for us in our automation, right? Someone can put a score together off spreadsheets or in their internal CRM and have something to start with. But where I think we're going to Is that as a president of an organization or somebody that runs accounts, or somebody that's running the sales department, they keep an eye on the score. And they totally have their finger on the pulse of that particular department. That's how much thought we've put into what goes into that score, and the right things that need to happen on a daily basis. And if we're in green, and if the score is right, the results are going to be there. And I just super exciting about what we're going to have in place when we manage doubling our organization in the next three years, because that's where we're headed.

Jeff Winters:

I'll tell you who this is hohem for who this is not new news, sales team. Sales Team has had an A player score since the beginning of time. Yeah, it's called the sales leaderboard. Right? And you know, that's not fair to everybody else. Because no one else had a real time leaderboard of how well they were doing in their job salespeople did. And what that did for salespeople motivated them, we found out that maybe salespeople were motivated by money, they're motivated by recognition in large measure, it showed them how they were stacking up and it was so clear day to day. Now, this takes all that goodness, and moves it so that HR can know how they're doing. And accounting can know how they're doing and account management and whatever departments you have in your business. It's it's such a neat mechanism to make sure that everyone has the visual representation of whether or not they're winning or losing their job. And Scott, you said it not at the quarter, not at the month, not at the year, every single day. Because that's what that's what high performers want. Yeah, high performers want to know, a my kick an asset, my job every single day, because that's all I'll accept.

Scott Scully:

You know, the cool thing that this caused is you can do contests. And a sales department could be up against an implementation department. And the contest can be all about a player score. So it really levels everybody off and competition and just really getting the motivation going. And I think that that's kicking in for us. Thank you.

Eric Watkins:

Absolutely. The you mentioned it, Scott, you mentioned it, Jeff, you talked about high performers. What does any high performer not want? They don't want to be micromanaged. Right? That is the word that continues to come up. It's a hot topic these days. We want flexibility. We want freedom. So as a business, you get into this spot when you have a process that works. And you have this balance of how do I give my people the flexibility and freedom that they want. But I know if they do this, it's going to be successful. So I think micromanagement is a little bit misunderstood. And I know people are probably going to be taken aback by that. But what does micromanagement mean, it actually means to manage the details. When people say micromanagement, the part they don't like is when their managers hovering over their shoulder looking at every little thing that they're doing, what we were trying to do with this score is allow us to manage the process, but from afar, and you manage it, that's your score, at the end of the day you be accountable to that, then I don't have to tap you on on the shoulder when you're not working the process that we defined. And

Scott Scully:

that's probably the most important part, that you're putting them in control of managing those most important metrics, because they have access to it in real time. So that you don't have to micromanage it, that's probably the most important part.

Eric Watkins:

And you know, who loves a player score? Our highest performers, because they're always in green. And it shows and they love the fact that their hard work on a daily basis, goes to a scoreboard and they can see it and they can leave and they can go home. And they don't have to think about work, they can have that balance, because they know they did the work they needed to do today. I think that's super important.

Jeff Winters:

And then what ultimately happens is so at the beginning of your employee journey, coming to a job, you need clear expectations. Am I doing a good job? Am I not a player scores perfect for that. Then throughout the middle of your journey, it's okay, I'm achieving or exceeding my player score every day, then you start to get into management leadership, and you go, you know, look, I've done this, I've mastered this, maybe the metrics should be a little tweak this way or a little tweak that way. And that's and that is a really cool component of this to the eight player score isn't fixed. It's not static. It's not written in stone, a player score changes based on those who have done it who have succeeded, and they now are able to contribute to what the a player score should be ideally going forward. And that's a cool thing. You

Scott Scully:

know, what happens? Guess who rises to the surface? Guest guests who becomes super obvious jackasses. I mean, they do right the people that are riding under the radar are not doing the work the people that the rest of the departments pissed at because they're doing that person's work. This levels the playing field, like you guys have been saying and and it literally everybody's contribution is completely obvious. And then you know what else it does is it takes emotion out of you know potential interview process for promotions and progressions, you know how that can happen based on favoritism, and people liking somebody, as opposed to somebody that ultimately should progress because of their performance. We've completely laid that out. It's completely exposed. And it's facts, not fiction. It's not an opinion, it's not feelings. It's right there. Hardcore, easy to see.

Eric Watkins:

And we use leading indicators, I think is the point to reiterate there, when you're talking about where it shines the light on the people that aren't doing the work, it's not just that they're not good at their job is that they're not actually doing the leading indicators. That's 35% of their score. I apologize. I misspoke earlier, it's 3535. And then 1010 10, but 35% of their score is 100%. And their control are very close to 100%. In their control. So you quickly find out who are the people that want to be here, and who are the people that don't.

Jeff Winters:

And it's you know what, it's Eric, you brought up such a good point. And to just take it a step further, when you've got those people, we all know these people, their results aren't there for whatever reason. But they're working hard. They're doing the daily activities every day, 110%, they're positive. Sometimes those people don't, that the light of day isn't shown on those people. And so those people sometimes just get to get fired, or they get put on performance plants like, No, this helps you understand, hey, this person is energized, they're doing everything they can, They're busting their butt that's on us, like we need to coach better to this particular person, like that's been super helpful for us to see, coming into this and being new, is we've got some people who in in the past iterations of the business weren't hitting their numbers, but there must be something wrong. They're not doing their job, maybe we didn't hire the right person. But now it's like this on us like this person is crushing the activity. They're just not hitting the result, we have to do a better job as leaders. And I think that's something that at first blush, you wouldn't think about this score. But it's an amazing positive unintended consequence for those who are really trying who really want to be here. And we're just not giving them the support they need.

Eric Watkins:

That's a great point, Jeff. And that's a huge reason why in the score, I love that we have a map. So it means they had to meet with their manager each week. I love that we have a one development hour per week, it means that we had to provide them ongoing training, and they have a quality score. So if you're doing the activity, and you have a high quality score, and your results aren't there, it's just a matter of time. It's just a matter of time of continuing to work that process. And they will eventually be there. So I think that a player score is a game changer. It's I mentioned that it's taken us three years to get to this point. It absolutely has not been an easy road. So flashback 2020. Before COVID, beginning of the year, we're putting together a player scores. And we're in the process. We've got something live, it's in the works, but it's not fully adopted, people aren't using it. It's not going great. So we're looking at the scores. And we're like, alright, well, let's meet let's see everybody's scores. And let's see who's doing the best and who's not. So anybody in sales, and fulfillment, probably had a zero or a 15, or 17, or 25 out of 100. Everybody in product

Unknown:

and process 100% greens across the board.

Eric Watkins:

And I think it was a good it was a good lesson that for this to be important. We needed to make sure that this was an equitable across all parties.

Scott Scully:

Yeah. So So you know, sales might have been about their sales number that they didn't hit yet. So they've got this low score when we first started, right, right. And implementations might have been about doing the work check in the box is going through the steps. So we've got all these people at 100% as the month goes along, and then the people that were their result happens over time were low. And I remember some of the conversations about that for sure.

Jeff Winters:

People like that. Salespeople love that. Yeah, right. 25%

Eric Watkins:

And let's not knock operations they do their job, like Yeah, it's hard to get people to do things consistently no matter what it is, however, not exactly refer, but we fixed it. And wow has operations been diving into the fulfillment and diving into the sales. And there's such a huge part of our results now.

Scott Scully:

And we figured out what we do want daily out of sales, the revenue may come as the month goes along, but we figured out the things, the when the day things like you were talking about what they need, what do they need to do today for us to consider that as success?

Jeff Winters:

For everybody out there, I want you to think to yourself, how good a job are you doing? It's celebrating operations? How good a job are you doing? It's celebrating human resources? How good a job are you? How good a job, are you doing it celebrating accounting, and you're celebrating sales. You know why? Because it's easy, because I got blinking lights and fireworks. And good on them, they should. But so everybody else. And that's a fun thing about this is you can look and see the shining stars of HR, and accounting, and training, and all of these under celebrated positions and bright lights, and they deserve it.

Scott Scully:

And you know what? Which departments have to scale the most when you grow? Not sales. Right? It's training and implementation and fulfillment thrusts like data quality content, you know, all of those that didn't have those particular metrics, and we didn't have as much to celebrate, you always knew that they did good work. But now just makes it super obvious to point it out, make it clear, and we're just a way better organization because of it.

Eric Watkins:

So Jeff, wrap it up top five a player action items.

Jeff Winters:

Every week we do a player action items. The idea is you come to this podcast to get actionable takeaways that you can put into place in your business right now. So let's get started. Number one, a player action item, everybody in the company must have an A player score, and it's got to roll all the way up to the top. So that means you miss CEO, Mr. President, you need to have a score on display. Number two, the score needs to be a blend a mix of both leading and lagging indicators is a super important because for people who are doing their best and killing it every day, the results may not be there today, they will be there tomorrow, this is a great way to ensure they're staying motivated and excited daily. Number three, it's got to be visible and public to the whole company. This does not work. If all of the a player scores are not public and visible to the whole company. Fourth takeaway, you must be deliberate on how you roll this out to the company and to people, people could get the wrong idea. They could not understand the why they could not understand the benefit to them, their colleagues, their managers, the people that report to them, you must be deliberate on how you roll this out. And number five, it must be built into the reward system of the business. It must play into promotions, your scores got to play into reviews, and all the rest of the reward system that go on in the business. So those are your five a player action items, five

Eric Watkins:

action items, five of them. Five, put them in five. Do them

Jeff Winters:

do it. We promise. It's not sexy. It's not exciting. It's the owner's manual for your business. Do it. It'll make going to the next level so much easier.

Scott Scully:

One, let's grow.

Eric Watkins:

Let's grow let's grow baby.

Jeff Winters:

If you liked this episode, and even if you didn't like, subscribe, comment, we want to hear from you. Connect with us on social media. Let us know how you feel. Let us know what you think. Let us know how it worked. We want to know Right? Right? Absolutely here for the audience. Absolutely. All right. So until next time, always be growing. Always be grown. Always be.

Eric Watkins:

Thanks for listening to the Grow show. Leave us a review and let us know how we're doing or if there's a topic you'd like us to cover in the future.

Unknown:

The Groeschel is sponsored by abstract marketing group whose outsourced sales and marketing services provide you with everything you need to close consistent business for less than the cost of a full time employee. Separate consulting what or schedule your sales appointments so you don't have to abstract cloud solutions leveraging the power of the Salesforce platform