Injecting healthy competition through sales incentives isn’t a bad thing

competition improves salesThere’s nothing like a bit of healthy competition between members of the sales team, and with the Olympics and Paralympics fresh in our minds, it’s easy to see how competitive people can get! So why are companies still afraid to implement new sales incentives that generate a bit of competition amongst colleagues?

By setting realistic targets, having the correct objectives in place, a suitable reward portfolio and fair measurement criteria, any Sales Director can improve their sales pipeline dramatically. So what’s stopping the team competing with each other to become the champion in their field?

Generating competition in the form of league tables and ongoing sales incentives is motivation for your employees to improve. Get the criteria right and you won’t just inspire those at the top of the leader board, but those at the bottom as well, through continual performance improvement. Offer additional rewards to those who demonstrate company values and strive to improve and you’re team will see that rewards (in one form or another) are within reach, and not the sole domain of an elite few.

Having a close rival in this case, is good! In a BBC interview athlete Martin Peace said of the Brownlee Brothers success “Sibling rivalry is the key to the success of the Brownlee brothers in the Olympic triathlon, being brothers means they’re even more competitive with each other than anybody else.” What’s more, 62% of public agree that being in a competitive environment increases their motivation to work harder and achieve more (survey by Zee Solutions).

sales incentives generate competitionCommunication is vital to ensuring that you maintain that competitive edge bubbling throughout your programme. Distributing communications detailing those employees in the top spots, and how far behind others are will certainly raise everyone’s game! But be positive, if those at the lower end of the table feel that reaching the top spot is unattainable you risk switching them off, as oppose to turning them on. Keep the communications personal to each individual, let them know what they need to achieve in bite-sized chunks in order to be rewarded and reassure them that hard work will be recognized. Stop communicating and employee enthusiasm will sink.

Will your employees rise to the challenge?

Competition doesn’t have to get employees all hot and bothered, keep it fun with games and public recognition of efforts. You’ll soon notice that your sales incentives create an environment whereby individuals are inspired to improve on their previous performance and team bonds bring success similar to that of Team GB.


John Sylvester

John is responsible for the motivation division of p&mm ltd and a Director on the board of the IPM. Specialising in developing, implementing and directing many large scale staff motivation, recognition and employee communications programmes.

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