Fair, friendly, and fun – these are the three keys to win win competition. Big business or small, sales contests waste your time and your employee’s talent if the competition does not engage your employees fully.
Before starting, you need a fully dimensional picture of the whole event – start to finish and from all sides. Sales contests are only a means to an end, and you need a full grasp of the end before you can structure the trajectory toward that target:
- Align the sales contests with the business goals.
- Focus performance on improving specific metrics.
- Promote behaviors that have strategic importance for the company. Big business usually requires higher efforts in this area.
3 Keys to win win competition:
Key #1 – Keep it fair!
Fair is a moving target. Fair is in the eye of the beholder. Attention must be paid precisely because it is a perception.
- Universal rewards: Sales leadership should reward all participants.
- Integrated team: The competition playing field is level when competencies are distributed across the teams. No one team should be talent-loaded.
- Clearly defined: Everyone must know the rules and how they are applied, concrete, and demonstrable.
- Keep the team involved: Individual competitors drive to win at all costs, including backstabbing, sabotage, and jealousy. Team competition maximizes the impact of the sales contest on performance and business goals.
Big business or small, employees – sales talented or not – enjoy win win competition for its own sake and for the prize on display. Anything that improves behavior, increases productivity, and encourages equality is win-win for everyone.
Key #2 – Keep it among friends!
Whether you use an actual or virtual leaderboard, you must communicate the contest progress. Participants are driven by their position on the list.
- Let the leaderboard drive: Create a board that emphasizes each player’s singular progress. Bar graphs, gold stars, or charts mark the progress. This provokes the member to compete with him/herself as well as with other players.
- Plan team competitions: To boost collaboration, publish ongoing results in scheduled increments. When teams work together toward collaborative goals, individual members encourage and support each other. By structuring the completion with leagues of teams in sweepstakes, futurities, trifectas, quarterfinals, or superbowls, you encourage spirited competition between teams.
- Reward teamwork: Incentives collapse when they favor the few. If the superstars are sure to win, there is no competition – and no team. A daily well-facilitated meeting can review contest performance with an emphasis on team contributions. With some reward for peer or mentoring support – even if only a verbal acknowledgement, employees will seek the favor in supportive behavior.
- Make it public: Praising performers and teams in public energizes the whole team. It boosts the octane as it invites everyone to board the success train.
Key #3 – Make it a game.
Work must be done, but it can still be fun even in big business. Fun comes with gamification: sight, sound, razzamatazz. Games are systems that do not appear so. They are structured but not annoyingly so. They are communicative without being obviously so.
- Skew the scoring: Most businesses have more than one sales purpose and goal. Sales leadership may want to increase metrics with former customers, current ones, and prospects. You may want to bundle sales, introduce a new product, or clear an inventory. You can manage all these goals by assigning values to performance tracks.
- Best new idea: To encourage individual performance in the interest of team performance, you can reward new sales approach and closing ideas. Whoever suggests the idea has no ownership in the idea, but s/he can earn a larger share of the award.
- Prize drawing: Especially where your reward and incentive budget is tight, you can offer a whole store of prizes at various values – high, low, and in between. You can reward incremental sales with raffle tickets the employee can use to purchase or bid on prizes. Or, you can award a number of prizes at each meeting so everyone receives one and, then, let them trade prizes in a white elephant game.
Sales Leaders may need help to create and manage fair, friendly, and fun. Success requires creativity, persistence, and leadership. And, make sure employee feedback assesses what was fresh, engaging, and fun.
Are sales contests available only for big business only ? No! That’s why we started developing repIGNITE sales contests software that allows every company start fair win win competition among their stuff
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