By Sid Chadwick
“A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for”..John A. Shedd
Our client asked, “What ‘Guidelines’ I could suggest to assist improving their “Teams Competition”, as they had learned that key Production Personnel could improve “Winning More Profitable Work” -- for most of their Reps – if -- invited to participate:
No. 1: Develop a Reward – that allows more than one winner..if more than one winner is desired. For instance, you don’t want to say, “Whichever Team brings in $500,000 or more -- in Value-added new account revenues in 6 months, wins and splits-up the $5,000 Bonus.” Too often, if the reward goes to only one Team or person, a “horserace develops”. Once everyone sees one group or person ahead of the others, those in secondary positions lose important motivation. (For me, I want as many Teams as possible collecting the Top Prize!) Better Statement: “Whichever Teams bring-in $500,000 Value-added dollars or more in these six months – receives $5,000 in Reward Prize money -- to split among their Team Members.” (Note: A 2nd and 3rd place prize are helpful, if performance requirements are meaningful, and there's no limit to how many Teams can win 1st Place Prize -- if they "achieve the numbers.")
No. 2. Try not to exceed 6 months for your contest. I’ve always preferred 3 months. One year is too far out to be meaningful. Every 3 months lets me run the Contest – four times in 12 months...!
No. 3. Post updated results – frequently, to keep everyone’s interest. I generally like updates -- every two weeks.
No. 4. Developing “collaboration” between Sales and Production can generate surprising results. I like to choose Estimators, Pressroom Managers and Prepress Managers – teamed-up with Sales/CSR Teammates.
No.5: Set a minimum of Value-Added revenue for a new account -- to count as a new account, and be counted in the contest. Different markets have different amounts that are reasonable. “Value-added dollars” are what help the company.
No. 6: Put the “Rules for Counting” in writing. The Boss is the judge for clarification, and arbitration.
No. 7: If special “Quote Letters” or “Winning Proposals” are developed, they are allowed to be viewed, and their strategy copied – by anyone. We are all here to learn how to “Win More Profitable Work”.
This client is marching forward…with conviction…..and innovation.
They recognize that “Contests can be Motivating, Profitable Events”…… …..or…Not…!
There is NOT an unwritten code in our industry – that Quote Letters must be dull, only containing specifications and a price -- and lacking in meaningful information and “Options” -- for my Buyer to make a more-informed decision.
When we document in our Customer Profile what my Buyer: (a) can’t get other suppliers to do, (b) can’t get other suppliers to follow, (c) never seems to receive more than the minimum of information, and then only when requested, we’ve uncovered a “mother-load” of opportunity.
Opportunity is on every corner….regardless of market conditions….waiting to be discovered.
“You can observe a lot…just by watching”…….Yogi Berra