As sales team members operate under considerable pressure, working in a competitive environment can prove to be a powerful motivator. Slow periods in business, lesser sales conversions and stress can lead to lower enthusiasm and passion to excel. Increasing competition amongst sales team can ignite their spirit and drive them to outperform others, thus benefitting business. If done well, it aids in achieving sales goals, improving individual performance and fostering collaboration. During slower months, it can raise the excitement and energy levels of the team as they have something to look forward to.
In order to make it more effective, the team members could be divided in different teams and then their performance could be measured. They should be given goals on a periodic basis such as number of outbound calls made, number of calls made to high potential leads, number of calls that resulted in an appointment and so on. Based on their sales performance, the team and individuals should be assigned scores.
A recent employee engagement study conducted by TechnologyAdvice found that over 55% of salespeople prefer to work in a competitive environment — with 30.5% hoping for a very competitive workplace.
Although conducting regular competitions is a powerful tool for increasing productivity of team members, it should not be too intense as it can badly discourage the sales representatives near the bottom of the performance ladder.
A well-designed competition brings positive changes amongst sales professionals and enhances their morale to a great extent. Follow the below mentioned 6 ways to make the competitions effective and fruitful:
Define the Sales Metrics
Sales contests should aim at improving the sales metrics. Some of the key metrics to track are sales by product or service, revenue per sale, total sales in a specific timeframe, sales by lead source, percentage of sales coming from new customers vs. returning customers and so on.
In every contest conducted, sales managers must focus on improving one of these metrics. Targeting to improve too much at a time can damage the whole idea of holding competitions.
Emphasize on Right Behaviours and Make it a Team Effort
To drive the desired results, it’s imperative to identify and include right behaviours. Based on the sales metric that you would be focussing in a particular contest, make sure that the sales reps have everything in place to achieve the best out of them. For example- to make them convert more leads in a specific period of time, ensure that they have effective cold email templates and well-drafted sales call scripts. Just focussing on results is not the correct way of conducting contests and judging them. First provide them with the necessary resources that they will require and which they can actually control.
Creating teams is better than tracking individual behaviour. This will promote teamwork and employees will be encouraged to help each other. Ensuring team effort will make the top performers help the ones who are struggling to meet their sales objectives, thus boosting the confidence of everyone. This will also provide room for team learning and cohesion.
Clearly Convey the Particulars of the Contest
It is crucial to provide the details of the competition to each and every team member- the purpose of the contest, rules, timelines and rewards. Sales managers must elaborate why the contest is being held and what’s their overall objective. They should emphasize on the benefits that the contest will provide both to the company and to the participants. Clearly communicating the details about the contest is pivotal to its success.
Keep it Short-term
If the duration of your competition is too long, the participants will gradually lose interest in it. Establish a sense of urgency by keeping it short-term, may be by tracking the results on a weekly or daily basis. This will keep them engaged and motivated. For instance- upsell to five existing customers in 3 days, get five appointments in a day or close 2 deals in the first half of the day.
Every team should be kept abreast of the work done by other teams. By having the sales leaderboard publicly displayed for everyone to see, sales managers can improve transparency, motivation and morale. The teams which are doing well will remain motivated to be on top spots. And more importantly, the underperforming teams will be motivated to step up and enter the league of top performing teams.
Undoubtedly, employee recognition is critical in driving individual performance. Acknowledging employees in front of their peers inspires them to succeed. It makes them feel accomplished and proud to hear that they are doing well. Either use group emails to convey praise or announce it in an official ceremony. Appreciating publicly will encourage sales team members to work harder towards their goals and motivates them in the slower months as well.