In our State of Sales Survey, we found out that we aren't the only ones partial to sales gamification. Over 70% of sales teams surveyed were either currently running a competition or planning to soon. Seems that competitions are becoming increasingly engrained in successful sales culture. To help you keep your contests fresh, affordable, and aligned with metrics that matter, we're bringing some fresh contest inspo — read on!
Before launching your next contest, here are a few things to consider:
1️⃣Actions over outcomes will keep your reps more engaged. They have control of how many times they pick up the phone much more so than revenue booked.
2️⃣Real-time, super visible metrics fuel the fire. Our survey indicated that visibility into numbers was an even bigger motivator than incentives.
3️⃣Don't always lean on "first place winner" contests. Move outside the box to engage more of your middle. Fantasy competitions are great for this.
4️⃣Stir the pot and build the momentum. Get people fired up and make sure the winner gets their incentive real-time. This is what keeps people motivated to compete in the future.
5 head-to-head competition ideas to fire up your team:
1. CALL RAFFLE
Description: Every 50 outbound calls earns a raffle ticket. Obviously, the more raffle tickets you have, the more likely you are to win, but it's still a game of chance.
Why it works: It keeps the entire team engaged, even if they don't come in first place.
The setup: Assign 1 point for every 50 calls. Every point earns a ticket. At the end, draw the raffle number, and the person with the winning ticket gets the prize.
Best for: Outbound sales teams
2. ACTIVITY BLITZ
Description: Compete on calls and emails together with a multi-metric challenge.
Why it works: Rather than focusing on a single activity that prevents reps from focusing on their daily responsibilities, this one encourages to go above and beyond on all activity metrics.
The setup: Assign a multi-metric challenge for the value of number of calls and emails. Highest for a 3-hour block wins the afternoon off.
Best for: Inside sales teams
3. MEETING MASTER
Description: Compete on calls, connects, and meetings set all together.
Why it works: Focusing on the activity metrics rewards the effort and efficiency metrics reward the experience. Combining them together ensures that your team doesn’t sacrifice quality for quantity. You can also get a good feel for win rate averages and drill down to knowing how many calls you must make to hit your meetings booked quota. Predictable attainment!
The setup: 1 point for every call, 2 points for every connect, 3 points for every meeting set. One day or one week in duration ought to get your AEs feeling booked on their calendars!
Best For: Inside sales teams
4. BIGGIE SMALLS VS. TUPAC (East Coast vs West Coast)
Description: A team vs. team contest for who can book the most meetings
Why it works: Focusing on objectives like meetings booked that are more controllable and influenceable than, say, revenue booked, allows your team to have power over the outcome and they’ll be doing the things that are directly attributable to results and quota.
The setup: This one is simple. Divide into two teams by territory and the most meetings booked in a day or week (your choice) wins! The idea of shorter time frame challenges prevents fatigue and keeps the competition focused and fun.
Best for: Sales teams who utilize territory
5. DOUBLE COMMISSION DAY!
Description: Double the commission for closed deals on this day.
Why it works: We aren’t ones that often advocate for competing on outcomes over activities and objectives, but pulling this one out gets your team flexing their closing skills and encouraging them to nudge their opportunities a little bit more.
The setup: Create a one-day challenge around deals closed. Everyone gets double commission and the overall winner leaves early on Friday.
Best for: Account execs
5 fantasy-style competition ideas to fire up your team:
6. SHARK WEEK
Description: Go outbounding to named accounts! Create paired teams made up of an AE and SDR. Launch a 4-week fantasy competition with a set list of named accounts and work to get meetings booked.
Why it works: This challenge works by ensuring that you're booking meetings with prospects that are an ideal fit, flexes outbounding skills — and the teamwork keeps reps accountable and engaged.
The setup: Pairs of AEs and SDRs have a declared list of named accounts they are going after for the week. Give a point for every call, a point for every email, and 10 points for every meeting they set with one of the named accounts. The points system rewards the activity and the objective.
Best for: AE/SDR teams
7. TEAM VS. TEAM
Description: Pair up newbies with veterans to compete on efficiency metrics, like connects to meetings set.
Why it works: You'll help ramp your less experienced reps by letting them learn from a seasoned peer who is invested in them getting it right...so they can win, together!
The setup: Choose a metric, like connects to meetings set, so that your team is flexing some selling skills to make the most of activity, pair up the teams, and launch a fantasy setup for 4 weeks.
Best for: Fast-growing sales teams
8. SHOOT THE MOON
Description: This focuses on high-dollar opportunities. Encourage reps to look for upsells, more licenses, or ways to increase the overall order size. Week over week, the rep with the largest opportunity advances in the bracket
Why it works: It encourages your team to make the most out of every lead and not discount too often or too quickly.
The setup: Super simple setup. Largest opportunity size by way of $$ advances
Best for: Higher volume sales teams
9. A+ ACTIVITY SCORE
Description: Encourage your reps to hit their scorecards targets with fantasy competitions that advance the rep with the highest activity score for the week.
Why it works: The activity scorecards are a reflection of the most important daily and/or weekly activities and metrics the reps are supposed to be spending time on. You can really build healthy activity habits by encouraging reps to end the week with the highest activity score to advance in the bracket.
The setup: This works best if the activity scorecards are set up weekly.
Best for: Any teams, because scorecards that are role-specific level the playing field!
10. REFERRAL DRIVE
Description: Referrals are known to close at higher rates than other opportunities. Focusing your team on keeping solid relationships with current customers and seeking out referral meetings is a way to get more quality opportunities in your pipeline.
Why it works: These referral meetings are in addition to all the other usual channels. You'll get an instant bump in warmer meetings.
The setup: Differentiate your meeting set types so you can track referrals separately. Reward the top 3 reps that book the most referral meetings.
Best for: Any teams who set meetings!
5 sales contest ideas to fire up your REMOTE team:
Ambition customers (and our own Ambition team) leverage competitions to create accountability and visibility for distributed teams, while keeping engagement and morale high. Here's some inspiration from leaders and brands you know!
11. MONDAY MORNING BLITZ
Description: A 1-hour contest Monday mornings to start the week strong. Combines activities and objectives in a multi-metric scoring format.
The setup: 1 point per dial, 10 points per conversation, 2 points per voicemail, 50 points per SQL.
Duration: One hour on Monday morning
The Prize: Varies
Why it works: When you work remotely from home, it can be tough to leave weekend mode and launch into work week mode on a Monday morning. Highspot helps reps come to work fired up with a Monday morning blitz each week.
12. TALK TIME
Description: A weekly contest that awards points based on the number of minutes of active talk time.
The setup: 1 point per each minute of talk time
Duration: One week long Monday - Friday
The Prize: Varies
Why it works: Putting an emphasis on talk time rather than pure dials ensures reps are taking quality into account and dialing for ICP connections. Talk time shows their remote reps are steamrolling objections and able to control the conversation. The winner gets credit on the sales TV that runs in lap top browsers for the remote team.
13. MEETINGS SET, HELD, NEXT STEPS
Customer: Xactly Corp
Description: A month long contest that awards points based on the full cycle of meetings
The setup: 1 point per meeting set, 1 point per meeting held, 1 point per meeting advanced to next steps
Duration: One month long
The Prize: Varies
Why it works: Competing on the full cycle of meetings lets even inexperienced closers contend and fuels their fire to get more "at bats." This month long competition helps the remote exactly team keep a focus on the objective of their daily activities. The more meetings the team can set, hold, and advance, the more deals they will close even if they don't see an improvement in the win rates month over month
14. THE GREEN GOAT
Description: A week long contest that awards points based on activity score for reps
The setup: 1 point per activity point (the activity is calculated in a multi-metric scorecard format)
Duration: One week long, Monday - Friday
The Prize: Varies
Why it works: Competing on activity helps keep remote sales reps engaged each day. It is especially great for new hires who are still ramping to feel like they are contributing to the overall company goals-- even if they aren't booking meetings as the highest rates or closing deals just yet. It shows managers who is on task day-to-day with the competition factor helping to earn more discretionary effort from sales reps.
15. SQL BOSS CHALLENGE
Description: A week long contest that awards points based on Sales Qualified Leads
The setup: 1 point per deal that enters SQL stage
Duration: One week long, Monday - Friday
The Prize: Threshold: 5 SQLs = Leave at 4pm, 6 SQLs = Leave at 3:30pm, 7 SQLs + = Leave at 3pm (Any Friday of your choice)
Why it works: Competing on objectives like SQLs in a "threshold" prize format motivates the entire team for the duration of the contest. This helps build team culture and reps cheer each other on from all their remote destinations to help the whole team earn time off on Fridays if possible. Even if a rep may not finish top 3, they are motivated to try and earn the minimum threshold prize.
4 sales contest ideas from our favorite sales thought leaders on LinkedIn
1. Sales Poker
Sales leader: Drew Woodcock at Brightwheel
Description: Each day someone hits 100 activity score (in Ambition) they get to pick a card. Person with the best 5 card poker hand at end of the month wins.
The Prize: staycation, prize wheel, or other prizes
Why it works: This contest is great for giving incentives in a cost effective way. Each weekly prize (the card) is free, but the desire to win each week is fueled by one larger prize at the end.
>>>Not an Ambition customer? Get the Sales Poker Contest Template here to try it at your own company<<<
2. March Madness 🏀
Description: Points based game where points are assigned for each positive outcome (mtg scheduled, mtg held, deal closed)
The Prize: The prize can vary on this one (see some ideas below! 👀)
Why it works: Bracket style competitions over a few weeks in duration really work to drive total behavior change. They are less about the spikely blitzes and more about building healthier sales habits that turn into predictable revenue for your organization. Theming the contest to the Masters or March Madness builds great culture around the contest and amps up the competitive spirit.
3. SKO HairKutz
Description: Objective style competition around SDRs hitting outbound annual pipeline goals
The Prize: VP has to have his head shaved on stage at SKO
Why it works: When the stakes are big, your sales team is likely to deliver. Setting a team based competition for hitting annual SDR driven outbound pipeline goals works to build team culture, but also adds a layer of accountability on the team. No rep wants to be the one that keeps the team from seeing the hair cut!
4 Shakespeare award
Description: best email (voted on by team in peer coaching reviews or role plays) wins
The Prize: Praise-a-thon works great here. The praise-a-thon is free and every losing rep has to take 30 seconds to say nice things about the winner on the all-hands company call
Why it works: When you force a rep to really focus on writing a converting email, you help get them out of the repetition where creativity may be lost and focus on the quality to get more sets.
2 Sales competitions and contests for your outbound SDR team
1. WHEEL TO WIN
The Wheel to Win keeps your whole team engaged and competing with each other. The more achievements you hit and tickets you earn, the better your chance of winning. But there's still an element of luck involved, which means everyone (not just your top performers!) have a shot at the prize on any given week — including the championship.
- 75+ outbound dials in a day earns 1 ticket
- Meeting sets earn 2 tickets
- Meetings that hit pipeline earn 2 tickets
- Each week you draw a ticket from the pot of tickets earned and that person gets to spin the prize wheel
- Gift card for house cleaning services
- Coffee maker
- Electric scooter
- TV Streaming subscription
- Snack box subscription
Best for: Teams that need to keep contests on a budget. The raffle + wheel element allows you to offer big ticket prizes in an affordable way.
2. OBJECTION BINGO
Description: This one is great for SDRs who know that they are going to get rejected far more times than not. It rewards putting yourself out there and being prepared for the objections. It also allows your team to find ones they haven't practiced handling yet to improve
The setup: Simple bingo board loaded with typical objections for your business. Everytime an SDR encouters one, they mark it off on the bingo board. Each rep should have a slightly different variation of the placements of rejections to make it less likely you'll have a tie.
Best for: Teams that want to boost SDR confidence and moral
Bonus material: 5 sales incentives you might not have tried before
1️⃣ Professional development. Stats show your reps are craving it, and bonus for you...it makes them better at their jobs!
2️⃣Balloon pop: Each balloon is stuffed with a piece of paper stating the prize (ranging from high end to low end). They pop the balloon to see what they get. Why it works: there's an allure of a high-end prize that gets your team fired up to sell and you never know which week you end up handing it out. It's a good way to keep luxury prizes affordable by making them more a game of chance.
3️⃣Raffle tickets: handing out tickets for, say, every 25 calls, every 75 emails, every 3 meetings booked — then choosing the raffle winner at the end is a way to keep your entire team engaged even if they know they won't finish first. There's still a chance to win!
4️⃣LinkedIn ads. As an incentive, do a small, targeted run of ads on LinkedIn where the rep gets all the leads! Territory, enterprise. Doesn't matter. Any leads that your ad brings in, you get to work. You'll want to partner with your marketing team on this one, but it is a great test to run and gets your rep sleuthing groups and conversations to be a part of on LinkedIn that they can followup target with their ads.
5️⃣ Lunch Bunch: Set 2 meetings today, and your manager takes you to lunch on them. This one is easy for "everybody to win" which motivates more of your team. You don't want productivity killed if a rep knows they won't finish first, so setting a threshold prize like this helps prevent that.
Want to be the competition expert-in-residence on your team? Download our free playbook: Winners Guide to Sales Contests!
8 sales incentive ideas for remote sales teams everywhere
For remote sales teams, catering incentives that make sense in a work from home environment help fuel the competitive desire to win. When the global pandemic forced sales reps around the globe to work from home, savvy sales managers stepped in with creative ideas to prevent work-from-home burnout and keep sales productivity high. Here are 10 sales incentive ideas for remote sales reps:
1️⃣ Kitchen swag! Shoutout to a stellar sales manager, Adam Khan for this one. His team is awarding reps kitchen swag that everyone wants but doesn't seem to buy themselves. Vitamix blenders, espresso machines, Le Creuset cookware and more!
2️⃣ Coffee themed prizes work great for work-from-home incentives. Keurigs, coffee pods, fancy boutique coffee are all fun prize perks. When you work in an office, the coffee is free. Reward your reps by supplying the office coffee but leveled up quite a bit.
3️⃣ Wine down Wednesday prize pack. Award reps a sommelier-guided virtual wine tasting. They can gather friends or family to join them making it a perfect prize!
4️⃣ Tiger King themed contests work great with the incentive to be an animal adopted in your sales rep's honor. Sea turtle, elephant, or tiger adoptions are great prizes that do good in the world all in your sales reps names. Depending on where you choose to adopt through, some of the animals "send quarterly letters" making it a prize that keeps on giving long after winning.
5️⃣ Subscription TV services make perfect remote sales incentives because people need new things to do! Consider a TV show themed contest (Fresh Prince, anyone?!) and all the reps can set their sales alert gifs to be themed from the show. The prize can be a 6 month or year long subscription to HBO Max or some other streaming service.
6️⃣ Some remote sales incentives also happen to be free sales incentives! Let the winning sales rep choose the zoom virtual background for the manager, director or other sales reps as the prize. The virtual background has to stay up for a week!
7️⃣ Open up your network for the winning sales rep. One remote sales incentive that works great when teams are home is setting up a virtual video chat coffee with sales leaders outside of your org. It lets your rep get some mentorship and networking opportunites while still forced remote.
8️⃣ Haircut time. With bosses being stuck at home in the pandemic, one sales incentive we used for our remote sales team at Ambition was to give the CRO any haircut the winning rep wanted. Jared's wife did the cutting on a company-wide zoom as Josiah did the creative direction.