December 2019 Issue

Elite Producers Keep Score

What do I mean by keeping score? Whether you are a single sales agent or large ISO you must know your numbers, the data surrounding your business. You need to develop a scorecard or key performance indicators (KPI’s) that drive results and help you manage the business. 

What is a KPI? A KPI is a measure that helps you understand how you are doing against your targets or objectives. KPI’s are:

  • Specific and measurable (no room for interpretation)
  • They drive results
  • They are easy to understand
  • They are tracked consistently
  • They are visible

There are really two important types of KPI’s:

  • Lagging – Measures results
  • Leading – Measures activities that drive results

Numbers tell the truth, they expose reality. This concept has been around forever but very few entrepreneurs really know their numbers. If you are just relying on your profit and loss statement (P&L) to manage the business, you are typically too late, this is a lagging indicator. You need to be abreast of what is happening in your business today, so you can quickly respond to current market conditions. 

If you are a small sales office most of your daily and weekly metrics will be around sales. Of course, this can vary widely depending on how you’re running the business, here are examples of common data points to track:

Daily – Leading indicators

  • New merchant applications
  • Approval/Declines/Pending applications
  • Installs/Activations/Deployments
  • Number of incoming leads 
  • Number of appointments or presentations 
  • Pending closes or pipeline management (proposals out, statement analysis, hot prospects, follow-up, etc.)
  • Customer service calls and disposition (larger ISOs)
  • Technical support calls and disposition (larger ISOs)
  • Risk Management Review and disposition (larger ISOs)

Weekly – Lagging indicators

  • Closing ratio
  • Appointments/Presentations set
  • Lead source review
  • Installs/Activations
  • Pending activations
  • Pending Merchant Applications
  • Account closures
  • Sales Pipeline

In the weekly review you will look back at the last week and plan for the coming week. 

Monthly – Lagging indicators

  • Total active merchants vs. year over year (YOY) 
  • Cost of acquisition (The cost of acquiring a new merchant)  
  • Total attrition (closed accounts) vs. YOY
  • Merchant approval rates
  • Average income per merchant vs. YOY
  • Average BPS earned vs. YOY
  • Total processing volume vs. OY
  • Residual income vs. YOY
  • Total bonus income vs. last month vs. YOY
  • Your profit and loss vs. YOY (Revenue, Cash flow, Profit, etc.)


  • 90 Day target review and outcomes
  • Quarter over quarter growth
  • Set new targets for coming 90 days

Naturally, KPI’s will vary based on your business model, if you are running an inside sales team you will want to track more information on call activity. Maybe you have multiple distribution channels, like direct, partner and inside sales, then you would create KPI’s for each channel.

If you are single agent in the field is this overkill? Sure, it might be. Maybe you focus on three to five core KPI’s and start there. If you want to expand the business, you must know these numbers. 

If you are a large organization you certainly want to assign metrics to each department like; operations, risk, marketing, recruiting, accounting, etc. Don’t forget what gets measured gets done. Each department head can easily give you 3-5 metrics each week, that will give you the information you need to take the pulse of the business. Every department has a number, every department can be measured, every department must be responsible for their individual KPI or scorecard. 

Regardless of size, you have no excuse not to use a CRM. There are many affordable CRM’s on the market, like Pipedrive, Hubspot, Highrise and Zoho. There are also industry specific CRM’s like IRIS, Instant Quote Tool and Clientvine that help analyze merchant statements and prepare proposals. My companies currently use Salesforce, but I would not recommend Salesforce for smaller offices due to its cost and complexity. All you need is a platform that will track sales activity, your ISO or processor should provide residual data, profitability, merchant metrics and revenue reporting. 

An amazing thing happens when you install accountability within an organization. Stuff gets done! Accountability begins with clear communication and expectations. You cannot get any clearer than a number that your team leaders are required to provide daily or weekly. This creates an environment of clarity and commitment throughout the organization.

Your job as the leader is to set the expectations, communicate them and keep people accountable. 

Marc Beauchamp

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