3 Lessons Sales Leaders Can Learn From Peloton

Take a page from Peloton's book for a better workforce.

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By Brian Trautschold • Apr 2, 2021

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Last year was the year you met all of your co-workers' pets, the year working from your couch became acceptable and the year of Peloton. As an alternative to gyms, Peloton has become a bonafide fitness phenomenon. It's hard to scroll through Instagram and not see someone posting their ride stats.

Peloton has developed its brand by creating a socially engaging platform — hence why you see it all over your Instagram — with instructors verbally coaching riders through a workout. Alongside the instruction and coaching, there is a gamification component where riders compete against their own stats and against other participants on a real-time leaderboard. Riders also receive accolades for hitting weekly streaks, improving upon previous records or hitting new milestones.

Savvy sales leaders can take a page from Peloton's book, too. Let's take a look at how sales managers can apply some of Peloton's cues to create a sales culture that not only engages reps, but wins.

Gamification creates motivation

With Peloton, the focus on rewarding and motivating riders is clear. They lean into celebration with digital high fives and instructors publicly shouting out riders' milestone achievements. The most incredible part of Peloton's meteoric rise is how the company has crafted a culture of performance and positive recognition in a real community.

The sales industry often gets a bad rap for being cutthroat or coin-operated. However, healthy competition — just like on the Peloton platform — can be a great motivator for sales teams. To create a healthy environment, promote competition alongside metric-driven coaching and encouragement amongst sales reps. Gamification can foster teamwork and create an outlet for friendly rivalries. It also helps spread knowledge across the organization and can contribute to a great team culture long after the competition has ended.

Related: 10 Research-Backed Ways to Improve Sales Success

Channel your inner Cody Rigsby

It only makes sense that one of the main reasons Peloton's popularity has skyrocketed is its instructors. Riders quickly pick favorite instructors and feel as though they are developing a personal connection and relationship with them. Cody Rigsby is Peloton's most popular instructor, with over 600,000 followers on Instagram, and is well-known for his engaging persona. Many Peloton instructors have also become near-celebrities.

For this reason, Peloton is meticulous when hiring an instructor. Oftentimes, when we look for a mentor or coach, we seek out someone who encompasses traits that we hope to possess. We look for someone who is encouraging, hard-working, motivated and always striving to be better, similar to what Peloton looks for in its instructors.

It shouldn't be any different for sales leaders. Don't look at yourself as an overlord of quarterly numbers to hit. Rather, look at yourself as a coach or instructor ready to help your team members become the best versions of themselves. Ask yourself how you can unlock the potential in a salesperson. From there, you can create an environment that fosters growth, creativity and passion. By doing so, you can become the next Cody Rigsby, inspiring and motivating sales reps around you while positively impacting your business.

Related: How to Sculpt Yourself Into a Future-Ready Leader

Makes sales fun again with some friendly competition

Peloton made working out fun again, with everything from different genres of music to competitions against friends and family. Rather than dreading that daily workout, people get excited and motivated to get fit with Peloton.

The sales industry is not for the faint of heart. It's difficult and stressful. Similar to a prescribed workout, many of the best sales teams follow a rigorous sales process that maximizes results. Sellers have to get comfortable "putting in the reps" through cold calling and prospect meetings, which inevitably come with frequent rejection. This is why making the process fun and creating a powerful encouragement cycle are critical.

Gamification and positive reinforcement with coaching encompass a lot of what has made Peloton so popular. Sales leaders can integrate fun conditions into their work culture through leaderboards and real-time progress updates reps to increase their output. From tracking conversion metrics to outbound calls, making performance visible across the organization can help reps feel the love. Everyone can celebrate the wins and get in on the competitive spirit. If a rep is struggling to reach their goals, sales leaders can step in to help them through actionable coaching sessions. Additionally, similar to Peloton's digital high fives, sales accolades such as a "500 Monthly Calls Club" or "Top Seller of Q1" can motivate reps to receive recognition from both leadership and peers. All in all, friendly competition makes sales fun again, which in turn improves your sales team's culture and morale.

Peloton's popularity has skyrocketed over the past year, and for good reason. With the unique experience Peloton offers, users can't get enough. For sales leaders, creating an engaging environment can help sales reps feel more motivated to close deals, improve their techniques and stick around long term. Through sales gamification and coaching, sales leaders can capture some of Peloton's spirit and use it to motivate and incentivize their sales team.

Related: How to Build a World Class Sales Team

Brian Trautschold

Co-Founder at Ambition

Brian Trautschold is the co-founder and COO at Ambition, the acclaimed sales performance management platform built for data-driven sales organizations.

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