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What This Business Owner Did to Get His Team Out of a Sales Rut A little friendly competition translated into a big jump in sales.

By Jason Daley

This story appears in the May 2015 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Brian Brady was doing everything he could to motivate the 30 salespeople he employs at his six Wireless Zone franchises in Virginia. Every few months he'd run sales contests and put up prizes like cruise vacations, iPads and gift cards. But no matter how lavish the rewards or how much excitement he tried to generate, the contests failed to result in significant extra sales.

"You always have your overachievers, then your middle-of-the-road sales guys, then the bottom tier," Brady says. "The contests always had the same results, with the top salespeople winning. I had to start handicapping people, and the people at the top felt they were being punished for being good. The people at the lower end never paid attention to the contests because they felt like they'd never win."

Searching for a solution, Brady found FantasySalesTeam, an online platform that helps businesses run fantasy-sports-inspired sales contests. Each employee chooses a team and trades or updates the roster of salespeople each week. The format gives lower-producing salespeople a chance at the top prize and motivates employees to push each other and cheer each other on. After running his fantasy-football competition late last year, Brady saw sales increase 176 percent.

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