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So far we’ve gotten the straight dope(amine) on the biology of motivation in part 1 of the series and learned how to put the power of progress to work for us in part 2. This week we turn to something familiar to all of saleskind – competition. Is there anything better for sales team motivation?
But at some point in our career, a lot of us have probably had that sales manager that pits rep against rep in a battle royale to the (ego) death. What ‘horrible bosses’ like this end up creating is a culture of fear that tends to motivate only the most ruthless sales reps while alienating everybody else.
But what’s the flip side of this story? These terrible sales managers are just trying to meet their numbers in the only way they know. At the core, they know competition can drive people to perform; they’re just a little misguided in execution. All they really need is some structure, maybe a few tools, to transform the environment from one that’s killing morale (or worse) to one that fuels growth through healthy competition.
Because the instinct about competition being a pro is right; it can be a very good thing in the workplace. Ashley Merryman, co-author of Top Dog: The Science of Winning and Losing says: “Whether professional musicians or school children, studies have shown competition fuels creativity and even improves the quality of the work produced.” Let’s look at some key principles of healthy competition to motivate your sales team.
And finally, understand that only some people benefit from competition. 25% of people are unaffected by competition; 25% ‘wilt’ in a competitive environment; and 50% benefit from competition. Yup – it’s back to science and biology folks: age matters, gender matters, one particular gene enzyme matters. You can read all about it in ‘Top Dog.’ The good news as a sales leader is, you’re likely to run into an even higher percentage of salespeople who are motivated by competition – it’s in our blood!
No Water Balloons Necessary: Summer Sales Competitions to Boost Your Team’s Numbers
The Power of Progress – Science of Motivation Series #2
The Science of Sales Team Motivation Series