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Our Best-Ever Sales Incentive: We Saw the Sign

Maybe you'll never see your name in lights. But if you close enough deals, you just might get your face on a billboard.

Hi, my name is Mark, and I’m a die-hard, irrational, highly distraught Tennessee Vols fanatic.

If you know anything about college football, you’re probably aware that week after week, my beloved Vols continue to fail me. But I’m no fair-weather fan. Which is why, if you were driving down Broadway in Nashville last month (our city’s main street), you would have seen this:

Yes, that’s my head photoshopped onto the body of Tennessee wide receiver Jauan Jennings. Yes, I would do it again, even after our sad performance last weekend. And yes, this was another incredibly motivating, outside-the-box sales incentive, brought to you by Ambition.

The rules

We dreamed up the billboard incentive last fall, knowing that we wanted to keep the momentum from the first half of the year going strong. The concept was simple: Ambition would rent a billboard for the Account Exec who brought in the most annual contract value in Q3 2017. The winner would choose the location of the billboard (within reason, from a budget perspective) and design the billboard content (within reason, from a “let’s-keep-this-family-friendly” perspective).

It was such a success, we did it again this year — and it’s become our most effective sales incentive, ever. In fact, our sales team just wrapped up a record Q3.

Why it worked

While the right team incentive will drive collaboration to boost overall performance, a good individual incentive provides a healthy dose of competition — and we all know that people in sales tend to be a little (or a lot) competitive.

The billboard concept was an instant hit. It’s like the best kind of gift: something you desperately want, don’t really need, and would never, ever buy for yourself. And it worked like a charm — which I can say with complete confidence, because yours truly has now won this incentive two years in a row. (Side note: for those of you who are wondering, this all happened before I became the interim VP of sales.)

Over the course of the quarter, the incentive made everyone push a little harder, talk a little more smack, and ultimately, close a few more deals. Bonus: even though there was only one real winner, the whole team still felt some ownership in the “prize” — because it was their teammate on their company’s billboard, out there for the whole world to see.

But wait, there’s more!

If we’re being completely honest, the first time around, we just wanted the billboard to generate a solid boost in performance and engagement across our team — which it did. But we quickly learned that a fun and creative sales incentive can easily become a fun and creative sales tool. After casually mentioning the competition to a few customers and prospects last year, we realized that it was a handy conversation starter and a great way to showcase the culture here at Ambition. Which matters a lot — because every buyer wants to know about the product, but they also want to know that there are real humans behind that product.

And hey, we get it: at the end of the day, we’re sales people selling to other sales people. So if we’ve found a powerful way to motivate and energize our team, we’re more than happy to share it with whomever’s on the other end of the line.

In fact: we’ve seen it work so well here at Ambition, we’ve decided to offer it to new deals that close in Q4 (assuming they meet our minimum requirements). If you’re interested in motivating your reps and getting a billboard in your city, contact growth@ambition today. 

(I can't promise that it will win you any football games, but it just might win you some big deals.)

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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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