healthy competition

Healthy Sales Competition: A Myth or Reality?

You may have heard some say that, “Healthy competition is an oxymoron.” At CRMGamified, we’d like to politely disagree (at least when it comes to competition on the sales floor)!

Here’s why.

Competitions can give your sales team that extra push to take sales to the next level. When a previous record is broken, it helps everyone to realize that the only limits they have are the ones they put on themselves. Time to remove them!

Competition is also great because it leaves no room for complacency. Productivity suffers when complacency becomes prevalent for an individual, team, or organization. Contests, when run well, effectively combat complacency. They engage employees on an emotional level and appeal to their sense of competition and camaraderie.

If done properly, a competitive atmosphere can raise engagement, satisfaction, and performance levels in a sales department.

Here are some of the conditions for creating healthy sales competition:

1. Design a sales competition with collaboration in mind.

Instead of structuring contests that pit “every man for himself,” design team contests that boost collaboration. This encourages team members to motivate each other and work harder collectively. A neurological study from NYU and Carnegie Mellon found that during competition, while people do feel a “reward response” in the orbitofrontal cortex when “punishing” a competitor, they experience the same rewarding feeling even more so when cooperating with someone who is on their side.

When it comes to salespeople who are “newer to the game,” a great way to also help them realize their full potential is to pair them up with a veteran team member. This fosters collaboration, knowledge sharing and mentorship.

Healthy sales competition can also help with team building. Collaborative contests have the lasting benefit of encouraging team building and strengthening co-worker relationships. Research shows that having quality relationships at work boosts productivity and job satisfaction. Employees who have positive relationships with their co-workers tend to be more engaged with their work and committed to the organization as a whole.

2. Salespeople should compete against themselves first.

The goal for any contest is never simply to reward top performers. Rather, it is to boost sales performance across the board. Contests that reward individuals or teams with the most improvement in their metrics encourage employees to focus on their own performance push their personal limits. This can help salespeople realize the extent of their potential.

Even when running a more traditional sales contest, it is important that the message of the contest is about pushing personal or team performance to the next level, not about winning out over others.

3. Learn something.

Participation is paramount in sales contests, but only a few can ever win, so recognizing effort is just as important as recognizing results. Show everyone that there is real value in participation. Use contests as a test period, and remind everyone that even if they do not win, the purpose is to come out of it a better salesperson. Encourage viewing contests as an opportunity to push limits and hone skills. After the contest is over, have participants share their experiences. What new methods or practices did they try out along the way and did they work well or not? Sometimes it’s just as important to learn what doesn’t work as it is to learn what does. In the end, a contest is an opportunity for everyone to help each other become better at their craft.

5. Instill an abundance mindset.

There is only so much money to go around, so much love, so much friendship, so much learning… Right? Wrong! Healthy sales competition cannot thrive if team members believe someone else’s success is their loss and vice versa.

The prevalence of such a scarcity mindset sets organizations up for failure. Napoleon Hill, author of the highly acclaimed, Think and Grow Rich, argues that successful people have an abundance mindset. When someone has an abundance mindset, they don’t believe in the notion that someone else’s success comes at a cost to their own. In the context of healthy sales competition an abundance mindset it key to keeping a healthy, positive atmosphere.

Foster an abundance mindset by collectively celebrating participants that do well. Remind employees to encourage each other, and reward collaboration. Finally, work to create an office culture that recognizes individual success as general success.

These tips will help keep your sales competition healthy and positive. We hope you found new ideas to bring to your team. Remember, clear communication and transparency are also key to making sales contests work. We created Hurrah! Leaderboards so that teams can quickly see the results of their team efforts, acknowledge those who are excelling, and add an element of fun and friendly competition to the sales floor. Learn more about Hurrah! Leaderboards today!