Use Leaderboards to Drive Competition and Recognition

Last Updated: Friday, January 6, 2017 by Robb Sands
hand holding the word competition
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Updated: January 6, 2017


Executive Summary

Use Leaderboards to Drive Competition and Recognition
 → what exactly is a leaderboard  → why are leaderboards typically found in sales departments  → can they show more than just salespeople  → other departments where leaderboards make sense  → how to use leaderboards in the Target Dashboard application Approx. Skim Time: 1min 30sec ~ 260 wordsFull Read Time:5min 10sec~ 944 words

What Exactly is a Leaderboard?

A leaderboard takes a group of something, just about anything, and pits its members in a head to head competition, rank ordering the top performing members.

A leaderboard can measure actual performance as well as performance vs target, so that everyone can see, at a glance, who is on track and who has derailed.

Optionally, a leaderboard can show the variance, or gap, between target and actual results, either as a number or a percentage.

A leaderboard pits individual items in head to head competition, ordering the participants as it shows progress versus target, variance from target and rank amongst the group.

example sales leaderboard dashboard chart


Why are Leaderboards most commonly found mounted on the wall of the sales floor?

The leaderboard turns individual efforts into a competition and puts each salesperson's ego on the line.

This intrinsic motivation is more powerful than both the carrot and the stick (the old ways of trying to motivate staff) because it includes public recognition of their achievements in competition with their peers.

Bragging rights are earned, defended and contested as staff vie to be the #1 salesperson on their team, in their region and throughout their company.

Leaderboards are often used by sales managers seeking to use competition and recognition to intrinsically motivate their salespeople to deliver their best performance.


Can the leaderboard show more than just salespeople?

Yes!  Keep in mind that by its very nature, data is numerical (quantitative) or categorical (qualitative).

If your data has categories (columns with attributes, characteristics, data elements - many names for the same thing), then it has leaderboard potential.

Examples of sales-related categories that could work well on the leaderboard:
  • person vs person (discussed above)
  • sales team vs sales team
  • product type gold vs silver vs bronze
  • product line Vauxhall Insignia vs Brand X fleet cars
  • location of Glasgow vs Edinburgh
  • each sales cycle step - calls, appointments, pipeline revenue, actual sales

Sales leaderboards can be more than just salesperson vs salesperson, and are limited only by the imagination and available categories of data. Many are used for enhancing data analysis, while others are used for motivating team (and individual) performance.


What other departments can make use of a leaderboard?

Every department can use leaderboards, just in different ways, based on their data. Logistics might use it for pick and pack performance, On Time In Full, or safety rankings. HR could use it for:
  • department vs department retention/turnover
  • number of applicants per position/filled positions
  • division/department - recruitment expenditure
  • internally vs externally recruited positions filled

Although they're traditionally associated with sales teams, leaderboards can be a great benefit for your organisation, both in terms of motivation (through recognition and competition) and analysing performance.

See Sales Dashboards in Action
Find out how you can use leaderboards and sales performance dashboards to gain a competitive advantage.