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Using Incentives to Drive Sales and Marketing Alignment

When sales and marketing are misaligned, everyone loses. This fall, we used a simple contest — and a smart incentive — for a quick win.

One of our biggest takeaways in 2018: sales incentives aren’t just for sales. When they’re done right, they’ll always drive performance and productivity, but they can also drive alignment across teams and departments — which ultimately amplifies their impact.

We saw that happen at Ambition early this fall, when we were busy prepping for Dreamforce. Dreamforce is one of the biggest (most exhausting?) weeks of the year for software companies: five jam-packed days of driving awareness in our target market, boosting net new leads, accelerating pipeline, and getting face time with our key customers.

It’s a major investment of time, energy and resources, so there’s pressure on our sales and marketing teams to make every moment in San Francisco count. This year, that meant connecting prospects with our founders in hopes of accelerating existing pipeline deals. It also meant setting meetings with existing customers: we take pride in our strong customer relationships (our CS team is cream of the crop, if we do say so ourselves), and we wanted to be sure we found time on their calendars.

Easier said than done, of course. If you go, you know: between all of the sessions, meetings, and obligatory happy hours, time is extremely limited, and it can feel impossible to nail people down.

We sent a marketing email and got a few bites, but not enough to fill our schedules. So we asked ourselves, “How can we align with sales and CS to set as many face-to-face meetings as possible in San Francisco?”

The answer: a smart (and fun!) incentive. I launched a contest (in Ambition, of course), challenging any sales or CS team member to set meetings. Our team didn’t disappoint — they got to work immediately, dialing and emailing customers and prospects, all in the name of winning the incentive: a $200 flight voucher on any airline of their choice. The logic: we’re all very ready to start planning a little PTO the second Dreamforce wraps.

Contest standings were rotated on the Ambition TVs throughout the day, so everyone had full visibility into where they stood and what they stood to gain if they booked just one more meeting. Aside from the huge increase in meetings set, my favorite part was the trash talk. One of our CS team members immediately posted a GIF that set everyone off.

The results were immediate and measurable. Our Dreamforce crew left for the week with a full list of meetings set, which resulted in critical facetime with key prospects and customers and made the event more than worth our time. Quick wins, FTW.

Want to learn more about sales incentives programs? Download our free guide.

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Case Study: WayFair
Learn how Wayfair used Ambition to track real-time B2B sales activity and raise revenue-per-rep 100%.
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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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