20 Sales Contest Ideas Guaranteed to Motivate Your Team
In order to make more sales, you need to find a way to really motivate your team. If you don’t have a huge budget to work with, that might seem difficult or even impossible to do. But there are some low budget ways you can motivate your team and incentivize great work.
Contests and other fun incentives can be a great way to bring your team together and get more done. Here are 20 different sales contest ideas you can use to do just that.
Sales Contest Ideas
Salesperson of the Month
Having an employee or salesperson of the month is a pretty straightforward way of rewarding great work on an ongoing basis. You simply present a designated award to the top salesperson or another employee who meets a certain set of objectives throughout each month.
To get started, you’ll simply need to choose a starting month, outline a specific prize and then alert your employees. Prizes can range from time off to money or even something more creative.
If you want to make sure that all of your employees have a chance to receive awards while still getting recognized for their work throughout the month, you can set up a raffle type system.
Each salesperson or employee can obtain raffle tickets for every sale or specific objective that they reach throughout the month. Then at the end of the month or quarter, you can have a drawing to award a large prize or a few smaller prizes. This ensures that the people who do the best work have a great chance of receiving awards, while still ensuring that every small achievement receives recognition.
Coming up with prizes can be one of the most difficult parts of running a sales contest. But there is a way to make it a bit easier. Just let the winners decide.
To do this, just pledge to give an award to the person who makes the most sales each month or quarter, then outline a selection of potential awards. The winner can then decide what they want to win, or even choose a potential prize for the next month’s winner if you want to make it more interesting.
Win a Favor From the Boss
Or you can even offer a more personalized prize for the person who makes the most sales. Let them win a favor from you!
Set up a specific timeline for the contest. Then at the end, the winner or winners can choose a favor from you as their prize. Maybe they want you to wash their car. Maybe they want to pick your brain over lunch one day. Leave it up to them — within reason, of course.
Boss for a Day
Or you could set up a sales contest where the winner actually gets to take your place for a day.
At the end of each month or quarter, the person with the most sales or points will get to run things their way for a day. Let them run a meeting, choose where to take the team for lunch and even set up shop in your corner office.
If you want to start a sales contest that doesn’t pit each of your team members against one another, you can instead ask them to work together to reach certain objectives.
To do this, set a team goal like a dollar amount for total sales or a number of products sold. Then keep track of your progress throughout the month and have your team members encourage each other to work toward that goal.
Not every contest has to go on for a long period of time to be effective. Instead, you can have smaller daily contests that give more people a chance to win.
For this, you’ll need some ideas for smaller prizes to offer your team, like gift cards or free snack items in the break room. Then give those prizes to the people who make the most sales each day.
A la March Madness, you can set up a bracket-style contest that creates friendly competitions between your salespeople throughout the month.
This one can take a bit more planning. You’ll need to create a bracket that includes all of your sales staff. Then at the end of each day or week, whoever has the most sales in each individual competition will move onto the next round. At the end of the month or quarter, depending on the size of your team, you should have a final round and an eventual winner.
When you get a list of new leads, you can start a new contest where each salesperson has the same opportunity to win no matter what their sales history looks like.
For this type of contest, you’ll need to distribute the leads evenly throughout your team so everyone has an equal opportunity. Then the person who converts the most sales within that group wins a prize.
You can also set up a sales contest where your team is awarded for making the largest individual sale, rather than the most sales overall.
This would be fairly similar logistically to other contests, but would just encourage your team to try and upsell or sell multiple items to individual customers. At the end of each month or quarter, award a prize to the person who has made the largest individual sale. You can even keep track of who’s in the lead throughout the month so that the rest of the team knows the number to beat.
You can also offer prizes or awards that go from person to person as the winner changes. This type of contest can award the largest sale throughout the month or even go from person to person at the end of each month.
To do this, you just need to identify a prize that your team members can enjoy even if they don’t get to keep it permanently. It could be a simple desk decoration or even a privilege — like the ability to choose meeting snacks. Then ensure that the prize goes from person to person when someone breaks the monthly sales record.
Team Scavenger Hunt
Each member of your sales staff likely has his or her own specialty. So you can set up a scavenger hunt style contest where your staff works in teams — pooling their various skill sets –to complete various tasks.
For instance, you can set up a set of objectives like a sale that’s over a certain dollar amount, a sale to a brand new customer or a sale of a certain amount of different products. Then split your staff into teams and challenge them to complete every objective on the list.
Fantasy Sales Team
Think fantasy sports leagues here. This type of contest is intended to create an environment where all of your staff supports and encourages one another.
In a draft-style format, your salespeople form teams. Then each “player” is awarded points for sales or other objectives reached. And the person whose team gets the most points at the end of the month or quarter wins.
Slump Buster Contest
Contests can be a great way to spur more activity from your sales team when times are slow. What you can do during those slow times is challenge your team to contact old or existing customers to try to sell repeat or upgraded products.
To do this, you’ll need a start and end date and an objective for your team to reach. This can be the most sales, the highest volume or even the largest single transaction. Then challenge your team to reach out to their existing contacts and see who comes out on top.
“Most Wanted” Clients
Within your industry, there are probably a few big players who you’d love to have as clients. And you can even make this goal into a contest.
Outline a few “most wanted” clients and divide them up among your team so each member knows who should reach out to whom. Then reward whoever is able to make the biggest sale.
Visualizing Progress Contests
Sometimes, contests are most effective when your team is able to actually see the progress they’re making right in front of them. So you can create a visual to put up in your office to keep track of how close your team or individual salespeople are getting to their goals.
You can make it a team competition, where you set a numerical goal for your whole sales team for the month. Then all of your reps can encourage each other and update the chart or graph visualization every time they make a new sale. Or you can have a chart that depicts how many sales each individual has made throughout the month so you can keep a friendly competition going.
Trade Show Objectives
If your business does any selling at trade shows or events, that can be a great opportunity for you to foster some healthy competition amongst members of your team. So you can start a day or weeklong competition where you award the person who makes the most sales just during the event.
All you need to do is alert your event staff of the competition and then create a way for them to easily track their sales during the event. At the end, offer a simple prize to the winner.
Not every sales competition has to be just about the volume of sales made. Instead, you can create a contest where you encourage better customer service by offering an award to the person with the best customer reviews.
For this type of contest, you need to make sure that you have a way to survey your customers after they’ve completed purchases, or just periodically. Then you can present awards to the sales reps who get the highest marks from their clients or customers.
Sometimes, sales contests are less about the actual prize and more about simply recognizing your employees. And you can also add a little bit of fun into the mix by making each prize a surprise.
To do this, you’ll need to collect some small prizes like gift cards or tiny trinkets. Then place them in small gift boxes or bags. And outline some objectives that your staff must reach in order to get a prize. Then when someone achieves one of those objectives, they can choose a box or bag without knowing what’s inside, and it’s a fun surprise for them and your whole staff.
You can also reward those little everyday tasks your team completes by creating a bingo-like game. This type of game can help you encourage your team to do all of the little things since every box they can check off gives them a better chance of winning a prize.
For this type of game, you’ll need to create bingo cards that include different types of sales or tasks in each of the squares. One could be a sale of a certain amount. One could be getting a brand new account, and so on. Then have each of your reps keep track of their accomplishments, and then award them when they fill in a whole row or card.
10 sales competitions to motivate your team
1. Gift competition
This is a different and entertaining sales competition, which is especially relevant in the lead up to Christmas time.
Every time a sales rep closes an order of a certain size, he or she chooses a gift (from under a tree or hanging on a rope in the sales department).
Once the gift has been opened and everyone has seen it, anyone closing an order of a certain size can either choose a new, still wrapped gift or steal one opened by a colleague.
2. Early weekend
This competition rewards the entire team or department. Set an ambitious but realistic goal on Monday morning. Once the team has reached the goal, everyone gets to leave for the weekend.
Most sales organizations discover that some of the sales opportunities in their pipelines have gone cold. There’s no more potential in them and they only waste time. An obvious competition to host in this case should focus on contacting prospective clients and testing to see if they would still consider buying the product or service being sold.
By making this cleaning process into a quick competition, the
sales manager ensures that it finally gets done. The housecleaning tests the pipeline, making it more credible. Last, but not least, some of the prospective clients considering making a purchase will be given a nudge in the right direction.
4. Mentor points
Sales competitions can also be used to motivate your best sales reps to guide and advise newer sales reps. If, for example, you’re running a long-term competition where each sales rep is given one point per order closed, why not also give the mentors of new sales reps 1½ points if he or she has played a role in the success of the new sales rep?
5. Dynamic Duo
An alternative Mentor Point system is to create teams of two in your sales departments. The best sales rep is teamed up with the worst, the second-best with the second-worst, etc. Over a period of, for example, 2 or 4 weeks, the duo is given points relative to goals and part- goals achieved:
- Dialogues with new prospective clients = 1 point
- Meetings arranged with new prospective clients = 5 points
- Orders closed with new clients = 20 points
6. Currency exchange
Many sales organizations are struggling to motivate sales reps to look beyond the low-hanging fruit. These organizations struggle to motivate sales reps to do what’s necessary to generate:
- Cross-selling (selling different things to the same clients)
- The regaining of lost clients (e.g. no invoice in a year or two)
- New clients
The idea behind the currency exchange is, that it takes 10 times as much effort to get a new client as it does to close additional orders with an existing client. So should we not give the four different types of turnovers different weightings in the competition? For example:
- Turnover from cross-selling is worth 3 times as much as resale
- Turnover from regaining lost clients is worth 5 times as much as resale
- Turnover from new clients is worth 10 times as much as resale
Surprise of the day
Every morning, the sales manager brings a new reward. The nature of the reward is secret; the winner finds out at the end of the day.
The sales rep that generates the best results during the day wins the competition.
7. Personal record
Have each sales rep note down his or her best result before leaving the office on Friday (number of orders, biggest order, and so on).
Make it clear to the sales reps that the goal for the next week is to surpass this record. Everyone who succeeds is rewarded with a prize.
In this way, the best sales reps are competing with themselves.
8. King and servant
This competition works best with young, playful sales reps.
Every Monday morning, evaluate each sales rep’s individual results from the preceding week.
The top 10-20% are kings and the rest are servant. Consider handing out crowns to the kings or special t-shirts to the servants.
The kings are entitled to spend the entire week asking the servants to:
- Fetch coffee
- Make photocopies
- Answer the phone
- Book meeting rooms
- Pick up laundry and washing cars (if the atmosphere’s right)
9. Boiler room
Put aside a morning with compulsory attendance for all sales reps. The entire morning is about canvassing completely new leads.
Each dialogue opened with a new lead gives 1 point. Each meeting booked, if this is the next milestone, gives 5 points.
This competition works well when you’re looking to fill up the calendar with meetings. It also works well following an exhibition that generated a lot of leads that need to be followed up on.
Evaluate the sales rep’s Breakthrough at the end of the day on Fridays. The winner:
- Achieved the most Breakthrough over 100%
- Achieved the highest average score on all Breakthrough
- Achieved the highest score on a specific – and important –Breakthrough
- Consider whether the prizes need to be gifts. The prize could be the best parking space or use of the corner office for a week. It could even be something like receiving the next new computer.
- Remember to make the sales competition dependent on something other than closing orders – especially if your sales cycle lasts more than a few days. Have a look at the following video about the milestone principle.
- Find your own combination of individual, duo, and team competitions.
- Make sure to have the prizes in the room. The prizes become far less motivational if the winners have to wait 3 weeks for them. They have to be visible.
Make sure not to set unrealistic goals. This will demotivate the sales reps.