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You may have heard that ranking employees is bad, it’s demoralizing, and it fails to account for intangibles. Handled correctly, though, employee ranking can be an excellent motivator, and using it for leaderboards is one of these situations. Here is a look at the benefits, especially for sales teams.
Sales is an environment that inherently lends itself to friendly competition. No matter the metrics being used, it is a huge boon to see your name at the top (or near the top) of leaderboards. And this motivation shows up in the results: for example, more outbound calls, higher-quality calls and increased follow-up.
Gamification technology makes even more fun and motivation possible. Suppose you pair this technology with the fantasy football concept and divide your sales team into, say, four fantasy teams. You can evaluate teams and players on factors such as the number of calls made to important leads and how many contacts resulted in prospects making in-store visits. By doing this, you rev up the competitive engines of your teams and drive incredible gains.
One brilliant aspect to employee leaderboards is that everyone has a chance. For example, if a company ranks employees only once a quarter via traditional means, there are a mere four “winners.” Even if the company does it once a month, that’s only 12 winners, likely leaving out (and discouraging) a lot of people. With real-time employee leaderboards, companies can rank their sales staff daily and weekly. Every morning is a fresh opportunity to win the title, “Sales Hero of the Day.” New starts mean looking forward instead of being stuck in the past. You can also have several metrics in play at once. For example, you could have daily and weekly leaderboards for categories such as most high-priority lead calls made, how many appointments were made from these calls, which email campaigns had the highest click-thru rates, and so on. Thus, it is possible for more than one person to “win” each day and to shine in multiple areas throughout the weeks.
Another benefit to real-time rankings is that sales representatives and their managers can quickly learn from low rankings, and identify issues and performance metrics that need focus. Higher-ranking reps can help mentor the lower-ranking performers in their winning processes. An issue or bad habit that may have typically taken a year or more to become clear can, instead, become apparent in a matter of weeks.
Employee ranking on leaderboards saves time in several ways. Namely, there is the fact that employees are likely to play games (say, Solitaire) during work anyway. If they don’t, they are probably checking Facebook and personal email. There is, of course, some benefit to this behavior for many people, as it gives them a chance to decompress and take a break. However, these dips into non-work can become excessive, and competitive leaderboards reduce how many times someone needs to “escape” from work. They keep salespeople engaged with their work. All of these advantages come into play for the best results with proper design; otherwise, employee leaderboards can backfire or fail. Some aspects to emphasize include a continuing focus on teamwork, finding ways to pull up underperformers and choosing the right metrics. Many salespeople are internally motivated, and employee ranking on leaderboards is another way to tap into that motivation to keep the adrenaline coursing all day long.