|I believe the best salespeople are competitive by nature. Whether they are competing against themselves to increase their numbers, or helping their clients to be more competitive. Competition gets their adrenaline flowing.
Strategically-designed sales contests can be just what the doctor ordered to jump start your best salespeople. But interestingly, most sales contests are counter-productive as they reward something beyond the salesperson’s control.
Many industries suffer from incentivizing the wrong things. For example, oil company executives can receive huge bonuses when oil prices go up, but receive no such bonuses for making the best of a bad situation when oil prices drop, even though oil prices are really beyond their control.
While your account executives have influence over whether a client says yes or no, they have no actual control over those decisions. What they do control, and what should be rewarded, is the quantity and quality of their presentations.
Here is the thing. Try running a sales contest where the person who gets the most no’s wins first prize and the person who gets the most yesses wins second prize. I can virtually guarantee you that the person who wins first prize, will also win second prize, because the number of successes we achieve is always in direct proportion to the number of times we fail.
Of course to qualify as a no, the client must explain and sign off on why they said no, which in itself is a valuable learning exercise.