Effective Sales Contests for Employees

Everyone is motivated in different ways, but the majority of sales people enjoy sales contests because it is competition. I would be surprised to find a real sales person (someone who is really good at sales) who is not interested in a sales contest.

The purpose of this post is to understand what makes a sales contest effective and how to launch a sales contest for your team.

First, answer the following questions to establish the reason for conducting a sales contest.

  1. Decide long term objectives. Why do you want to conduct a sales contest?
  • Some reasons may include:
  • To give recognition for good performance
  • To set performance standards
  • To develop team spirit
  • For employee recognition
  • To provide a context for performance improvement and training
  • To boost morale
  1. Sales contests should be designed to accomplish specific objectives over short periods of time. A contest should not have more than three objectives. (Note you can change and run separate sales contests simultaneously. Example: you might run a sales contest to sell special services and also run a contest exclusively for newly hired employees). What are the sales objectives for this specific contest?

Some objectives may include:

  • To obtain new customers (consumer or business customers)
  • To increase the average cost per sales
  • To sell additional ancillary products / services
  • For the completion of training (tie this type of contest to testing for comprehension.
  1. 3.      What resources do you have available to use (prizes) for the sales contest?

Some common resources many companies use include:

  • Cash or gift cards
  • Company merchandise
  • Other merchandise (from a list of choices)
  • Travel
  • Paid time off (without using personal time)
  • A special casual dress day for the winner
  1. 4.      Application – Use the answers to the questions above to start to plan your sales contest:
  • What is the time frame for the contest? Start date_____________ Contest End Date _____________
  • Establish the rules for the contest. Note to make sure rules established don’t promote unwanted behavior. Sales people are smart and will know how to work the system.  Make sure you think through all possible scenarios when establishing the contest. You wouldn’t want employees making recommendations to a customer just to win the contest when the recommendation isn’t in the customer’s best interest causing a return and / or unhappy customer
  1. Develop a communication plan for the contest
  2. Launch communication for all sales shifts
  3. Create a theme if desired (suggested) (such as a Super Bowl theme in January for 1st quarter)
  4. Post in non-customer viewing areas posters or other collateral that tracks the success against goal for the contest.

Have you ever created a sales contest for your sales people? How well was it executed?

1 comment

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