Competing against the right rivals?

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Are your salespeople competing against the right rivals?

Forget your external competitors for a moment. The key to building a powerhouse of a sales team may depend a lot more on how they square off against one another internally.

We know that healthy competition is good. On the one hand, competition validates your business; if there is more than one company competing in your space, the case is automatically made that it is a space worth being in. The corollary would be that if there is real demand for your product or service, why are you the only one doing it?

But while that may be clear in a broader business sense, it is the ferocity of your internal competition that probably holds the greatest key to your success or failure. How is yours shaping up?

Are your people competitive enough? Is there a consistent band of top performers, middle level players and a gaggle of those at the bottom who aren’t making the grade? Or does your top performer category consistently come under threat or change from quarter to quarter?

Do your people understand that while the goal may be first and foremost to meet or exceed their own targets, they also have a duty to aim for the number one spot? Have you successfully removed the mantle of sacred cow from your top performers and declared a perpetual open season on the top spot on your leader board?

It is both important and necessary to protect your top people and they must be given all the support that they need to continue doing exceptional work, but if you want a really powerful team across the board, you’ll have to make internal competition the order of the day.

It’s crucial, however, to foster good and healthy competition in order for it to be a positive incentive in the workplace.

  • Ensure cooperative competition by encouraging teams to work together to be more productive and produce better results.
  • Always keep in mind that all people are wired differently and some will respond better than others. Match the competitive landscape to the person or team.
  • Not everything is a competition. Focus on business results, not small, daily issues.
  • Transparency, trust  and engagement should be the order of the day.
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