We could go on and on about the many benefits of bringing competition into the workplace (and we would!), but let’s just get to the good stuff. Here are the top four reasons why sales competitions are so effective:
Competitions are for everyone
Running standard sales competitions is fine, but it can get boring running the same competition over and over - they can only be so effective when left in this cookie-cutter format. Your organization and your employees are unique, so why shouldn’t your contests reflect that? Customizing competitions to your specific needs, or the needs of your team, is much more likely to affect and drive the right behavior.
For example, introducing an element of chance by making who wins the competition a lottery. Or encouraging head-to-head battles between reps. You could also switch it up by creating custom teams or level out your playing field by taking the highest average of whatever metric you’re competing on as the winner. The possibilities are endless, and by switching up the types of competitions you’re running will keep your teams engaged and excited to compete.
Competitions inspire creativity and innovation
When people have a tangible goal to work towards, it causes them to perform better and do everything they can in order to achieve that goal. It inspires creativity and innovation because they tend to explore various solutions that will lead to performing well in the competition.
In addition, team competitions are an excellent way to encourage collaboration, which leads to openness and knowledge sharing. Say you are a software company running a team competition amongst your developers. Perhaps Jim is particularly skilled at Visual Studio Code and shares some useful tips with his team that they were previously unaware of. Now Stanley and Dwight have added a new skill to their toolbox that will ultimately lead to better performance in the future–and they have an advantage in the competition as well.
Competitions challenge people
To understand how competitions can successfully challenge people, it’ll help to learn what extrinsic and intrinsic motivation means. Extrinsic motivation “occurs when we are motivated to perform a behavior or engage in an activity to earn a reward or avoid punishment.” Intrinsic motivation “involves engaging in a behavior because it is personally rewarding; essentially, performing an activity for its own sake rather than the desire for some external reward.”
The great thing about workplace competitions is that they can involve both types of motivation–extrinsic because it generally involves some type of reward and intrinsic because people can also want to perform well at their jobs. After all, it is personally satisfying to them. Sales competitions are so effective because they cater to both motivation types, and they challenge your employees to work harder, whether intrinsically or extrinsically motivated.
For instance, Michael might perform better in a week when his office is running a competition because he wants to win the top prize of an extra vacation day. Pam might perform better during that week because she genuinely loves succeeding at her job and enjoys the personal satisfaction of seeing her name at the top of the leaderboard.
Competitions are fun!
A cliché, we know. But hear us out! It may seem overly simple, but competitions are so effective in the workplace because they are fun. Especially when the daily grind of boring data reporting and repetitive tasks starts to wear down your employees, competitions are an excellent way to introduce a sense of fun and excitement back into the office.
Ultimately, competitions are an effective way for leaders to rally the troops and boost productivity. Sales competitions are a fun approach to encourage employees to push themselves to meet challenging goals while fostering healthy competition.