Sales Team Training & Development

How can you create healthy competition between sales reps?

Jonathan Hubbard
Jonathan Hubbard
March 1, 2024

Sales is inherently competitive, so why not focus that energy onto goals that grow your business? Gamification applies game mechanics like scoring, competition, and rewards to motivate reps and promote friendly rivalry.

Implementing a well-designed gamification program aligns individual rep performance to broader campaign targets. Reps receive constant feedback on their progression while competing for glory and prizes.

Gamification works by:

  • Publicly tracking activities that contribute to targets via leaderboards
  • Offering a variety of success metrics so all rep strengths are valued
  • Incentivizing effort redirection through real-time notifications
  • Encouraging teamwork and accountability through healthy competition

Focus on campaign goals

Rather than generic contests, connect games directly to key campaigns. Gamify goals around moving slow inventory, upselling product bundles, acquiring ideal customer profiles, etc.

Campaign focus ensures gamification drives results, not just participation. Reps compete on meaningful activities, not just volume of calls or meetings.

Offer multiple paths to win

Not all reps have the same opportunities, abilities or clients. Provide a mix of quantitative and qualitative success metrics so anyone can compete:

  • Objective metrics like sales volume, deal size, profit
  • Subjective achievements like creativity, persistence, long-shot wins

With enough options, every rep can play to their strengths while expanding their skills.

Make it visual

Visibility keeps gamification engaging and effective. Use leaderboards, trophies, badges, progress bars and more to showcase competitor standings and highlight winners. Public recognition feeds intrinsic motivation and friendly peer pressure to sustain effort.

Connect to rewards

Level up the competition by tying games to compensation and rewards. Offer prizes like gift cards, public praise in company meetings, choice of leads, additional PTO, etc.

Basing a portion of commissions or bonuses on gamified metrics also works. The potential for extra earnings increases participation.

Automate tracking

Manually updating scores is time-consuming and prone to errors. Connect your CRM and other systems to automatically log and score targeted activities as they occur.

Automation provides an always-on view of rankings and progress without added workload. Reps stay caught up in the action.

Customize for culture

Every sales organization is unique, so tailor games to motivate YOUR team. Involve reps in designing competitions and incentives that resonate.

Ongoing feedback also helps refine games to maximize engagement and business impact over time.

Rather than generic contests, gamify key growth and performance areas connected to real incentives. Automatically tracked competition focused on campaign goals drives better results.

Some ideas to get you thinking:

  • “Most Unlikely Upsell” (goes to someone who upsold a notoriously difficult client)
  • “Growing Fish In A Tiny Pond” (goes to someone who cross/upsold a client previously considered to be a low priority/small spender)
  • “Big Fish On The Line” (goes to someone who got the contract with a potentially huge spender)
  • “Best Bait” (goes to someone who had success with a novel approach to attracting the client’s attention/closing a deal)
  • “The Long Haul” (goes to whoever contacted a client the most to get them to yes)

You’ll notice these cover a broad range of “ways to win”. That way all reps are incentivized even if they may have once felt like some reps have a higher advantage of hitting goals due to territorial designations, being given specific accounts from the company, or having a longer standing within the company. 

You could even tie up your rep incentives and commissions to each trophy or total amount of trophies collected over a time period - for example, trophies they accumulate over 12 months contribute to their total end-of-year bonus.

They’re also a mix of objective and subjective. The numbers based trophies can be awarded to reps according to the data systems you have set up for a particular campaign.

But how to determine “Best Bait”?

That is intentionally opinion-based. You could have reps pitch what they did to deserve winning it, during the monthly reflection/projection meeting. The sales team debates and votes on a winner, which makes them more emotionally invested in thinking like a team but winning individually, but more importantly, they all go away inspired with a new tried-and-tested tactic or script to try themselves.

Your approach and targets should be customized to your campaigns and company objectives, and you might benefit from having reps help decide the best ways to gamify the goal.

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