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The Perfect Sales Contest

· Brian Trautschold · 4 Minute Read

The following is an excerpt from Chapter 5 of our brand-new eBook: The Winner's Guide to Running Effective Sales Contests.

While there is no such thing as a perfect sales contest, the goal of every competition should be to create a sustainable, iterative environment that encourages reps with competition and recognition and focuses energy on improving process and achieving meaningful results. So rather than try to cultivate the perfect, one-off sales contest, experiment with new techniques while keeping in mind these three things:

  1. Go Beyond a Leaderboard.
    • I’m talking the go-to water cooler topic.
  2. Focus on Achieving Long-Term ROI.
    • It’s not just about today, we’re changing behavior.
  3. Gives Your People What They Want.
    • Reps crave a clear path to success and want to be recognized for their hard work.

These are the big picture motifs that will drive success. Let’s dive into each one really quickly.

Go Beyond the Leaderboard

Leaderboards are great. Reps are competitive and get fired up by seeing where they stand versus their peers.

With that said, a leaderboard is just one layer of motivation that often misses the middle 70 percent of performers, as we discussed earlier. To compensate, a sales contest should contain additional layers of motivation that will reach your middle performers.

sales contest ideas

Here’s an example of the additional jump in daily activities (phone calls, emails, etc.) in Cell Marque’s bio-chemistry sales team when they added weekly team sales contests to their standard leaderboards, as seen on the Ambition Insights dashboard.

If you really want a sales contest to move the needle, mix in these extra layers of motivation to achieve maximum impact on the middle 70 percent.

Focus on Achieving Long-Term ROI

As we said at the beginning of this eBook, a longer, more effective sales contest means sustained success, not just a brief jump in cold calls. Long-term ROI is all about getting results like those seen by Coyote Logistics -- who achieved the following numbers from their team of 400 sales brokers over a 6 month period.

sales contest ideas

The key to success at Coyote was measuring metrics from the entire sales process, weighting them according to importance, and reiterating that 1 single KPI wasn't the only focus of reps - the process and consistently hitting benchmarks was the true objective.

Give Your People What They Want

As previously mentioned, a clear path to success in addition to recognition for the hard work and achievement of reps should be the 1a and 1b goals of your next sales contest.

The outcome of achieving those two goals will be a shift in the overall performance of the sales org. What we call moving the curve forward - as everyone ups their game and level of performance.

sales contest ideas

Getting rep buy-in at the outset of a contest remains utterly critical. Using social media, company-wide email updates and other channels to publicly recognize top performers is a great way to prolong rep engagement.

Sales contests are a “quid pro quo” type of initiative -- you give your reps an exciting, incentive-driven new initiative with the expectation that they will give back, in return, a higher level of performance. The more you give them what they want, the more you’ll get what you want out of the contest.

Run Revenue-Driving Sales Contests on Ambition

Ambition is a sales management platform that syncs every sales organization department, data source, and performance metric on one easy system.

Ambition clarifies and publicizes real-time performance analytics for your entire sales organization. Using a drag-and-drop interface, non-technical sales leaders can build custom scorecards, contests, reports, and TVs.

Ambition is endorsed by Harvard Business Review, AA-ISP (the Global Inside Sales Organization), and USA Today as a proven solution for managing millennial sales teams. Hear from our customers below.

Watch Testimonials:

  1. FiveStars: Adam Wall. Sr. Manager of Sales Operations . 
  2. Filemaker: Brad Freitag. Vice-President of Worldwide Sales.
  3. Outreach: Mark Kosoglow. Vice-President of Sales.
  4. Cell Marque: Lauren Hopson. Director of Sales & Marketing.
  5. Access America Transport: Ted Alling. Chief Executive Officer.

Watch Product Walkthroughs:

  • ChowNow. Led by Vice-President of Sales, Drew Woodcock.
  • Outreach. Led by Sales Development Manager, Alex Lynn.
  • AMX Logistics. Led by Executive Vice-President ,Jared Moore.

Read Case Studies:

  1. Clayton HomesHBR finds triple-digit growth in 3 sales efficiency metrics. 
  2. Coyote Logistics: Monthly revenue per broker grew $525 in 6 months.
  3. Peek: Monthly sales activity volume grew 142% in 6 months.
  4. Vorsight: Monthly sales conversations grew 300% in 6 months.

Contact us to learn how Ambition can impact your sales organization today.

Download the Winner's Guide to Effective Sales Contests

Click here to download the Winner's Guide to Running Effective Sales Contests.

sales competition

About Ambition
Sales Leaders, HR Professionals, and C-Level Executives use Ambition to recognize, motivate, and develop employees into more engaged and productive versions of themselves. Funded by Google, used by the Fortune 500, endorsed by the Harvard Business Review.
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