At Ambition, we know the power of a good sales contest. SPIFFs or SPIFs (stand for Sales Performance Incentive Funding) have been used in sales for a long time to incent certain sales initiatives like selling different product lines or any objective outside of regular selling commissions.

As sales teams and leaders have gotten more savvy thanks to data visibility, SPIFFs are changing. Managers aren’t just handing out prizes to the same top seller every month. Behavior changes are being rewarded, and this is proving to be the key for creating world-class sellers across the team. 

If you are only awarding prizes for results or outcomes, you likely won’t drive some of the behavior changes that actually improve quota attainment for the long haul. You’ll see short spikes or blitzes in numbers, but that is more of the classic “dangling the carrot” approach of days past. Here are a few ideas and considerations to help take your SPIFFs into modern day, data-driven sales contests.

How to run a sales SPIFF

Set your SPIFF to reward activity or objectives, not just results,

When you reward the daily sales activities and objectives that actually produce the results you’re after, the SPIF helps teach reps the right correlation and dial in their activities and productivity. Highspot ran a successful contest all around setting more sales meetings. They got a 31% increase in meetings set, which actually yielded a 43% increase in their SQLs further down the funnel. It worked to show the reps that more meetings means more pipeline and more deals sold. Check out the Highspot sales gamification template to see the contests they run. 


Tie your SPIFF to your company culture

The Atlanta Braves run a spring training contest every year, because of course they would. Play ball! The contest is based around activity (not outcomes!) and rewards the hustle of the team. Leadership there knows that if the reps can learn to appreciate the grind, the outcomes will follow. A little “if you build it, they will come” you know? Ok, that was probably a terrible joke, but the Braves gamification, scorecard, and coaching templates are great. You can get the full braves playbook here. 

>>>Get the Atlanta Braves gamification and scorecard template here<<<

Sales SPIFF ideas for remote sales teams

When looking for a way to build culture and drive performance for your remote sales team, a combination of sales alerts that work with Slack and sales SPIFFs are a no brainer. We have several remote sales teams that use contests for remote or distributed sales teams, and you can grab 5 templated contest setups here. And if these examples aren’t enough for you, find 15 more sales contest ideas to help you run your most successful sales SPIFF of all time. 

Why you should run a sales SPIFF

We’ve given you the setup for how to run a sales contest or SPIFF, but what if you still aren’t sure why you should be running it? If the fact that over 3,000 sales managers are using Ambition to power sales SPIFFs, doesn’t have you sold, then check out or Winners Guide to Gamification e-book that will give you a full run down of the hows and whys gamification is a necessary tool for your team. 


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