The upcoming 2012 Summer Olympic Games, officially the Games of the XXX Olympiad, will commence in London, England, on July 27th, 2012. For 17 days, top athletes from around the world will compete in the spirit of the Olympic creed introduced by Baron Pierre de Coubertin at the Olympic Games in 1908:
"The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well."
The aim of the creed is to inspire athletes to embrace the Olympic spirit and perform to the best of their abilities. The question becomes: How can this powerful concept be harnessed by Sales organizations for the purpose of motivating their team to strive for success. One approach is to consider key attributes of high-performing athletes that influence Olympic success - focus, dedication and motivation.
Meeting annual sales targets is very similar to competing in an Olympic sporting event. In the world of sports the score, the opponents and the time remaining in the event are all cues monitored by athletes in order to stay focused on the goal of winning. Similarly, a Sales team must stay focused on sales targets, the competitive landscape and reaching key milestones in order to achieve annual goals.
A key factor that top athletes identify as influencing Olympic success is their inner desire to achieve their athletic goals. Through persistence and commitment to their training, Olympic athletes exhibit a high degree of dedication and drive. At the core of a Sales team must be a personal commitment and inner drive to reach their end goals.
Exceptional Olympic athletes surround themselves with excellent coaches and a support network that fosters their development as well as encourages and keeps them motivated. Sales teams require the same degree of backing throughout the year in order to significantly influence their success. Designing a Sales incentive program that motivates every member to strive for their "personal best" ensures engagement of the entire team and not simply the top performers. By motivating and rewarding the "mighty middle", which represents 80% of any team, the organization ensures all team members are striving for success.