A little friendly rivalry can boost employee performance. But if you don't handle contests carefully, they can backfire. Whether on a sales team or anywhere else in an organization, reward programs and contests are supposed to motivate each member of a team to perform at the top of his or her game.But I’ve seen situations—even in large, sophisticated companies—where the program becomes a hotbed of resentment and frustration.If you want your award program to promote achievement and team morale while taking you closer to your corporate goals, follow these five rules.1. Announce the Program Well in AdvanceIt’s amazing how many companies wait until mid-year to announce an award program that, by then, has been going on for months, unbeknownst to the team
If you haven’t mastered these simple sales skills, you won’t be able to sell at the highest level. Make sure you’ve checked them all off.Over the past 10 years, I’ve had in-depth conversations with more than 75 sales gurus, as well as hundreds of sales professionals and managers. Based on that experience, I have concluded that there are eight–and only eight–truly essential sales skills.If you have these skills already, fantastic. If you don’t, it’s time to start filling in the gaps.Read more: How to Master Any Skill1.