How to Effectively Run a Sales Contest to Motivate Your Sales Team

We all know that the sales world is competitive. Those who get ahead are the ones that have a competitive fire and are willing to fight for the sale. So, what better way to promote comradery, productivity, and increase sales effectiveness than a little friendly competition?

In-office competitions are a great way to lighten things up and have a little fun. If the contest is set up right, it’s also a good way to boost your sales – it’s a win, win. But before you haphazardly set up a competition with idealistic notions of team building and productivity, there are some guidelines you should follow for it to be effective.

  • Keep it Simple: The last thing you want to do is make the competition hard to understand. If you create complicated rules, point systems, and incomprehensible reward systems, you risk frustrating your team and negatively affecting their overall productivity. If your team members are trying to figure out how many points they earn for certain tasks or what they have to do to level up, they are 1.) not focusing on actually participating in the competition and 2.) being distracted from their actual job. To avoid complicating things further, make sure you only run one competition at a time.
  • Set up a Clear Rewards System and Track Progress: Team members are more likely to participate in your contest if they clearly see the results of their hard work. Set up your contest so that it rewards a number of staff members who meet certain milestones. Bonus points if you create a leaderboard that shows who is in the lead. Nothing fuels competition like seeing that you are only X number of points away from first place.
  • Promote and Utilize Feedback from Your Team: A sign of a good manager is someone who has a relatively good understanding of who their team members are and what drives them. You don’t want to look completely oblivious by buying tickets to a Broadway show when in actuality most members of the team would rather go to a ball game. On the other hand, you can’t be expected to know everything about every member of your team. So, ask them. They will love being included and fight even harder for a prize that is something they actually want.
  • Provide Updates (and Provide Them Often): As we hinted to earlier, most people have a competitive side to them. And salespeople? Come on, it’s in our blood! So, providing updates is critical to providing motivation and keeping the competition up. Aside from a leaderboard, you can update team members by sending weekly (or daily) emails. You can also include milestones along the way and announce achievements as they are reached. Whatever it takes, keep the interest up.
  • Make it Fun No one likes a boring contest. If the competition is dull, employees will be less likely to participate and those who do partake will likely deliver substandard results. Try to make the contest engaging and fun. Incorporate employee interests, provide thoughtful and worthwhile rewards, and promote the competition. Gamification is key. In other words, introduce a level of fun to an otherwise routine task.

Contests are a great way to shake things up and have a little fun. But to ensure you set up the best contest possible, be sure the contest is fun, productive, and adds value to your team. Let the games begin.