How to conduct a SaaS team audit and maintain high-performance standards

Wes Bush

Founder of ProductLed and bestselling author of Product-Led Growth.

Wes Bush

Founder of ProductLed and bestselling author of Product-Led Growth.

Last Updated
May 30, 2024
Estimated Reading Time
7 minutes

Table of Contents

Leave a rating on this post
Rate this post

When should you hire, fire, and promote your team members?

These are critical and often uncomfortable questions that you, as a product-led founder, must navigate as you build your dream SaaS team

In this article, I’ll guide you through a simple framework for auditing your team. These five steps streamline your decision-making process, helping you maintain high-performance standards and scale your company. Learn who your rock stars are, tap into your team’s motivation to drive success, identify a critical point where it’s best to terminate a hire, and more. 

Why company standards are essential for effective auditing

The only way to create a high-performance team is to maintain high standards. 

SaaS founders should focus on establishing standards in the following five areas: 

  1. Core Values
  2. Motivation
  3. Skillset
  4. Capacity
  5. Results

Check out my previous article to better understand these five standards and how they impact your product-led organization (PLO). 

Once defined, your company's core standards should remain consistent. This way, you can audit your team members against these standards to create an environment for your team to thrive. 

The secret to an effective audit process

Many founders evaluate team performance by checking who is hitting their KPIs. However, this results-focused approach often makes them question whether team members are well-suited for their roles prematurely.

At ProductLed Academy, we prioritize results last, not first

I coach founders to implement a holistic team audit framework in the Team component of the ProductLed System that considers core values, motivation, skillsets, and capacity standards before assessing results. 

This intentional sequence in the auditing process helps uncover and address underlying performance issues, such as skill training or team members feeling overwhelmed by too many responsibilities.

The following section will dive into our step-by-step framework for effectively auditing your team.

5-step framework to audit your PLG team 

To begin, set up a spreadsheet tracker. You can use this audit template here

Here’s what it looks like:

team audit template example

With this template, you can see:

  • How each team member aligns with each one of your core values.
  • How each team member ranks in terms of motivation, skill gap, capacity, and results for the roles they are responsible for 

As you work through these five steps and fill in the audit tracker, you'll quickly see how vital auditing is for making informed decisions about your team.

Let’s move to the first step: core values.

Step 1: Core value quick audit

Start your team audit by rating how each team member rates against your company’s core values. 

Your template should list each core value of your PLO. 

For each core value, input the appropriate rating:

  • Consistently aligns
  • Occasionally aligns
  • Rarely aligns 

Here’s a sample entry: 

team audit template example

How does your current team align with your core values? 

This initial quick audit goes beyond merely ticking boxes. It involves open discussions about maintaining high standards for your company's success. When a team member aligns with only two of your three core values, it's essential to consider the broader implications.

Say a core value is simplicity. If your company scales 10x, what will it mean if a significant portion of your team doesn't fully grasp simplicity? How could this affect the rest of your company and its ability to grow?

team audit template example

Step 2: Motivation evaluation

In your audit tracker, record the specific role assigned to each team member for your PLO. 

If a team member is responsible for multiple roles, create separate entries for each role in the spreadsheet. 

Begin by evaluating the motivation for each of these roles individually.

Use this motivation rating scale:

  • High Motivation: They’re excited about their responsibilities.
  • Neutral Motivation: They will perform the task but don't view it as a long-term commitment.
  • Low Motivation: They’re unhappy with the task and want to stop soon.
  • Very Low Motivation: They actively avoid the task due to strong dislike.
team audit template example

Let's say Anthony K. remarks in your weekly growth meeting that email marketing isn't his jam.  So you’d categorize this role as  “Low” on your audit tracker. This insight could lead to discussing transitioning him out of this role if it aligns with your business capabilities.

At ProductLed, I’ve encouraged each team member to list all the roles they manage (if you’ve been following the System, you’ll have already done this in your Accountability Chart). This exercise clarifies their responsibilities and offers valuable insights into their preferences and strengths. By observing their tone and how they talk about a specific role, you can better understand their capabilities and interests.

Step 3: Skillset evaluation 

Next, you’ll move to the next column on your template and evaluate the skill level for every team member’s role(s).

Use the following skill rating system:

  • High Skill: They could do this in their sleep
  • Ok Skill: They can do an average job in this role with their current skills
  • Subpar Skill: They’re not trained well to do a good job
  • Lacking Skill: They have no idea what to do

Input these ratings in the Skillset column.

team audit template example

Addressing the skillsets in your team isn’t always straightforward, especially if you're not an expert in that area. 

If a team member struggles with email marketing and you have some prior experience in this area, you could record a training video and establish a standard operating procedure to help them out. 

Alternatively, for specialized skills like graphic design, you may need to invest in a course to help the person grow in that role. 

Let's say a team member shows high motivation in her graphic design role but possesses moderate skill. Enrolling her in a course to enhance her skills would be beneficial both for her personal development and for your company.

Step 4: Capacity evaluation

Auditing your team’s capacity standards helps you understand if your team has the right amount of time to do a great job. 

Here’s a rating scale you can use to fill out the Capacity column:

  • High Capacity: They have ample time to do the job — this is probably their only task.
  • Good Capacity: They have a couple of other roles on their plate, but they can do a good job.
  • Neutral Capacity: Just enough to do it, but not well.
  • Subpar Capacity: They don’t have time.
  • Burnout Capacity: They have no idea what to do.
team audit template example

So, what actions do you take next when your audit tells you that you must take roles off team members' plates?

I like to use the four Ts method to optimize team roles and tasks. 

The four T's consist of:

  1. Trim: Delegate tasks that don't require your direct involvement to contractors or other external help to handle the bulk of the work.
  1. Transfer: Identify tasks that can be reassigned to other team members interested and excited about taking them on.
  1. Treasure: Focus on tasks that align with an individual's long-term goals, high motivation, and skill sets, allowing them to devote more time and develop in these areas.
  1. Trash: Eliminate tasks that add little value. This is the best way to increase efficiency in your PLO without hiring more people.

Founders must audit their own roles, as well as those of their team members.

Founders often manage multiple responsibilities. They hesitate to delegate tasks because they fear others may not execute them correctly. However, through this self-auditing process, many founders I coach come to realize that they need help in certain areas to free up more capacity for the tasks they love. 

Step 5: Results Evaluation

If you follow the ProductLed System, you know that each role should have its own KPIs. Typically, we recommend setting a quantity and quality metric for each team member, which is evaluated during weekly growth meetings. 

Use this result rating scale for your audit:

  • Above and Beyond: They consistently smash their targets.
  • Hits KPIs: They consistently meet their targets.
  • Occasionally Hits: They occasionally hit their KPIs.
  • Rarely Hits: They rarely hit their KPIs.
  • Never Hits: They never hit their KPIs.

Enter this information about your team in the last column and give yourself a high five — you’ve just completed your performance audit! 

team audit template example

What to do after completing your performance audit

Now, it's time to create an action plan for each role to enhance performance.

There are many directions you can take from here.  

For instance, consider a team member with low motivation and skill in email marketing. Investing in their training may not be beneficial if their interest in improvement is lacking. Instead, finding someone passionate about this area and eager to excel would be more effective.

On the flip side,  if a team member is highly motivated and has moderate email marketing skills, investing in further developing their abilities makes sense.

Tips for conducting effective team audits

As you get started auditing your team, consider the following: 

  • Start with yourself: Begin by auditing your own performance. This is beneficial for anyone, not just founders, as you'll learn a lot about building this action plan to increase performance on your team.
  • Evaluate Core Values Collaboratively: Step 1 of the audit should involve looking at core values with your leadership team.  This collaborative approach allows different perspectives to come forward, highlighting instances where, for example, a person may consistently treat the founder well but show disrespect towards other team members.
  • Delegate audits: Department leaders should be responsible for auditing team members who report directly to them (Steps 2 to 5). Auditing someone you don't work with directly can limit your understanding of their work and motivation.
  • Audit contractors, too: Auditing contractors and freelancers who work closely with your core team. 

Start building an elite team for your product-led business

Whether you're a startup or optimizing your current staff, this team audit process will help you make important team management decisions that will profoundly impact your company’s future.

Auditing your team gives you a really great lens through which to examine and adjust your focus on areas that can help level up your team.

Without this process, you won't build the high-performance team you dream of. 

Moreover, building a high-performance team begins with developing a high-performance founder whose workflow lets them focus on high-value roles. 

Auditing your team is the final element of the Team component of the ProductLed System, a three-phased framework designed to scale your self-serve revenue to 7-figures with a lean team.

I’ve coached 324+ companies to implement this system, and it's always the ones that show up consistently and complete every assignment that sees the best results.

If you’re serious about making a big dent in your self-serve revenue, check out the ProductLed Academy.Learn more about the coaching program here! 

Most Popular Posts