Business Challenges: 6 New Products for Business in 2017: 40% of companies that organize business challenges say they are unable to accurately measure the impact of transactions on their sales. In the commercial field, the same models are often used for 10 or even 20 years, as business has accelerated and organizations have become more agile, more collaborative.
We analyzed with our experts the good practices of a challenge in 2017, which integrates daily for maximum efficiency. Here are 6 tips for visible sales results and your team’s commitment to your 2017 strategic priorities.
- The challenge must above all embark the heart of the teams: the Peloton
Most commonly, the distribution pattern of sales representatives is a bell curve: 10% perform the worst, 80% in the pack and 10% who are the “stars” of the sales force, the best. In 2017, your challenge must not only concern the top 10%: the biggest winning potential is in the Peloton, the 80% that make up your sales force. For example, increasing platoon sales by 5% is 4 times more than increasing sales by latecomers or top performers by 10%. A challenge must therefore embark the hearts of the teams.
- The challenge is no longer a contest that rewards the best salespeople by traveling
More than ever, the model of the annual contest, whose winners are known in advance, is questioned. The competition that lasts all year, rewarding the best according to the turnover and that does not vary from year to year does not attract any more interest. The winners are always the same from year to year and most often, the gap widens in the first weeks of the contest. As a result, 90% of them no longer have any chance of winning, are de-motivated and no longer participate.
Besides the competition, there are different mechanics that can be exploited during a challenge:
- Bearings: rewarding reaching a goal (setting different levels)
- Collective challenges: we can put several teams in competition
- Boosters: A bonus point can be awarded (x2 for example) over a short period
- Rebates to 0: to do every week or month a sub-challenge that starts on new bases
There is no ideal mechanics, it is to find the best combination to keep the motivation intact all year and for all.
- The challenge must be present in the minds of salespeople at all times
As we have explained, the challenge must be raised over time. To ensure continuous monitoring and permanent accessibility, the results must therefore be permanently accessible on the mobile of sales representatives. For this, it is necessary therefore an interface that is at once playful, effective and adapted. Current tools allow salespeople to access all employee dashboards to see at a glance where they stand in relation to their goals.
In addition to monitoring performance, these tools must enable the salesperson to adapt his strategy, work and efforts on an ongoing basis. They must constitute, for the salesman, benchmarks to motivate as the progression in his challenge.
- The challenge must involve field managers
It is the field managers who represent the effective relays to coach and grow the commercial in their daily lives. That is why they must be permanently involved in the commercial challenge. To do this, it will of course be necessary to define, with the sales managers and the strategic teams, the objective, the duration, the budget and the endowments of this challenge. But also set up the challenge animation plan, so that means to maintain commitment throughout its duration. Of course, the launching parties mark the minds of the sales teams, but it is in day-to-day animation that the success of the challenge lies. Performance monitoring by the manager is therefore essential, with a tool offering results and statistics on a daily basis,
The manager can thus congratulate the best performers and encourage those who will have more difficulties. Thanks to a system of alerts on Smartphone (or tablet); it is then possible to send a message easily to the commercial one.
- The challenge must be integrated into the process of animation
Involving all the strata of the sales teams is paramount, as we have seen. But the challenge must be integrated into the company’s overall long-term business strategy. To begin with, one must take into account – or define – the business objectives for the year. Then we have to ask ourselves what behaviors and actions will lead to these results and lastly the metrics to be measured. This will help to develop relevant business objectives.
In order for your sales teams to feel involved in the success of the company, it is essential that they understand the link between their day-to-day operations and the organization’s strategy. For this reason, the commercial challenge must be part of a global animation process: training, coaching, highlights, and launches. The challenge is no longer a separate exercise.
- The challenge should be an opportunity to share good practices with the teams
The challenge can also be an ideal support to bring your teams closer together. Sales forces are often isolated in the field and do not necessarily have contact or interface to exchange. With Incentive, it is possible to exchange good practices and outstanding experiences gathered on the ground. For example, you can make a three-month challenge rewarding the best sales of a product, but also the commercial who will have shared its good practices.
In addition to sharing best practices, the challenge platform must be able to provide feedback from the field. It is necessary to be able to post its returns in all formats (docs, photos, videos, etc.) with a few clicks. In this way, other members of the sales team can also react to their information by providing advice, comments or feedback.