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Adam Hollander

I think the premise of this post is flawed. The author is 100% right - if sales contests or competitions are 'designed poorly' they will yield all of the negative results above. This is why you need to design them (a) to be team based so the reps collaborate and push on each other, (b) to have multiple paths/ways to win so if a rep falls behind in one area, they still have a way to compete and (c) to be balanced across the team; generally done by incorporating metrics around activity as well as results. At FantasySalesTeam we've had great success helping dozens of companies design exactly these types of contests. It's the entire reason we designed our sales gamification platform; to help companies run a different breed of contest. One that doesn't just focus on top performers or allow reps to become disengaged when they fall out of contention for a single prize. The solution isn't to eliminate competition. Competition and high visibility of results DRIVES SALES. It just needs to be done properly so you don't fall into the pitfalls of traditionally designed contests or competitions.

Dan Enthoven

"When the competition is considered unfair or unbalanced (say a certain sales rep has an advantage because he or she happens to sell in a good region, for example) and offers no realistic chance for some people to win, salespeople are less likely to participate."

Fair point. Competition can push your sales team to really reach their best, but it has to be an even playing field if you want everyone to participate. Someone will win and someone will lose but let it be based on how hard they work, not just who got the lucky region.

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