For a deep dive into powerful sales competition ideas, check out our Winner's Guide to Effective Sales Contests.

Don’t Let Summer Cannonball Your Sales Numbers

sales contest incentives

I’m writing this on a Thursday night, 2 hours after a VP of Sales I swap strategies with told me she’s hosting her whole team at her lakehouse the following afternoon to grill and swim.

Her team had crushed their May revenue target. And per a deal she has made with them - every month they beat the target, they’re going to the lake. She was grinning ear to ear. I love it.

sales contest ideas

Look, let’s be honest - summer is dangerous for a sales manager. The Q1 kick-off excitement has worn off. Its June. The weather is unreal. The kids are out of school. People are planning vacations. Looking for porches to hang out on. And day-dreaming of beaches.

Your inside sales reps and SDRs are sitting in your office dreaming of sand and coronas. They’re not thinking about building that pipeline you know you need to smash Q4. And that’s dangerous.

So let’s talk 7 summer sales contests and incentives to keep that pipeline hot this summer.

Sales Contest Incentive #1. 7th Inning Stretch Goal

stretch goal sales contest

If you’re in a baseball market, there’s nothing better than taking the team and their families to a game. (MLB. Triple A. They are all awesome). I’m all about the stretch goal - so I love to incentivize my team hitting our stretch target. I also love to get the family involved.

Here’s my idea: set a Team Goal for Total Pipeline Dollars Created for the month. This is dead simple with Salesforce + Ambition. Throw the target and the goal on your TV with a nice background image of your local ball park.

Regardless of your sales cycle, you’ll thank me later. That investment pays off in 27, 45 or 90 days.

Sales Contest Incentive #2. Rep Call Scramble

sales competition ideas

This works great for bigger ISR or SDR teams - or any set of teams with similar daily or weekly call activity expectations.

Pair up reps in teams of 2, and run a multi-week scramble tournament. For 2-6 weeks, each team should compete on Total Calls, or if you’re using Salesforce and can track Call Connects or Outcome, go deeper and score based on the actual disposition result you want to drive.

The small team and rotating weekly opponent is a major psychological shift from just throwing up the “Most Calls By Friday 4pm” board. I don’t think I need to tell you the ideal prize here, right?

Sales Contest Incentive #3. ISR Team Win-Rate Race

team win rate

Depending on your sales velocity, you may want to hone this challenge over a few weeks or a full month. Maybe even the quarter.

The idea is to keep it simple - I love conversion metrics (we call these Advanced Metrics) - and your reps should too.  As a simple example, I would want to track our ISRs’ Total Opportunities Created divided by Opportunities Closed Won (Pow: Win Rate!).

As long as you’ve created a group with similar sales process, you should be able to easily create an apples-to-apples incentive focusing on reps’ closing skills. Bask in the glow of those Closed Won Opps. Give the winners a double-shot of cash.

Sales Contest Incentive #4. In Concert Attainment

concert sales

Pardon the play on words here - but there’s nothing better than a team excelling together to hit their personal goals and the team target. Also, there’s no better time a year to go to a concert than summer - and yes, I just looked and you can get amphitheatre tickets right now for less than $50 bucks.  

Alright, but here’s the key. You’ve got to have everyone excelling together. Put tickets for the full team on the line.

Set up your metric target Goal for each rep (ideally this is for a week or two), and over the same period, combine the total into a single Team Goal that is the aggregate.

The kicker here is that to win, it can’t just be achieving the Team Goal. Each of the reps has to hit their personal portion (which they can track progress against on their dashboard, both for the individual and the group goal).

Talk about an orchestrated performance! 

Sales Contest Incentive #5. Friday Flyer

sales contest party

Who doesn’t love the weekend gettaway in the summer?

Put a $100 or $200 flight voucher on the board, and run a 1 week challenge. I like things that can be actively affected quickly: Who can schedule the most Qualified Demo’s or who can create the most SALs by Friday? Pack your bags.

Sales Contest Incentive #6. Extra Long Weekend

sales contest relaxation

Another easy one to run either once or monthly over the summer. Take an Objective metric - think something with a clear monthly target like Closed Deals or Revenue. And keep track of attainment versus the monthly target.

The challenge is to see who can run up the greatest excess by end of month. That person gets the first Friday (or Monday) of the next Month off. Free? Check. Loved by reps? Check. Good for your target? Check.

Sales Contest Incentive #7: The Ol’ Standby: GTHO.

sales team reward

Remember, it’s beautiful out right now. People are itching to get outside. You’re itching for them to talk to prospects, qualify ‘em, and move those opportunities through the pipeline. Throw in a couple “get-the-hell-out-of-here’s” this summer.

Simple: Pick a metric that seriously aligns to your Sales Process. One that you know moves the needle. Let’s just say it Qualified Opportunities Created.

If the weekly target for Qualified Opps is 5, then set a one day target of 2. All eyes on the prize. If you hit 2 Qualified Opps Created (you should probably double check them first) - tell them to hit the road.

Get More Sales Contests and Incentive Ideas

The following articles on sales competitions slash incentives are must-reads if you're looking to create recognition opportunities and stave off the summer doldrums. 

  1. How to Use Contests to Inspire Your Millennial Workforce
  2. 5 Sales Competition Ideas for SDR Teams
  3. 5 Epic Sales Contest Ideas
  4. 4 Epic Sales Incentives
  5. 11 Creative Sales Contest Ideas and Why They Work

That should give you plenty of inspiration to work with. If you're looking to run your best sales contests ever according to the Harvard Business Review - check out Ambition.

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