Sales Contest Ideas to Motivate your Team

Use your Sales CRM to run sales contests in order to introduce an element of gamification to the sales process, spicing things up with the potential for a valuable price and tapping into the naturally-competitive nature of many salespeople. Sales competitions are limited only by the imagination of the manager running them, but some formats have proven both extremely effective and extremely popular with sales teams. The following represent ten of the sales contest formats that are most likely to generate strong engagement and motivate salespeople to strive a little harder for excellence. 


Fantasy Football Sales Contests

Fantasy sports are huge all over the world, and in the U.S., fantasy football and baseball are the undisputed kings. A fantasy football-style sales competition works in much the same way the game itself does. Multiple stats categories – in this case, measurable sales KPIs – are tracked using your sales CRM and combined to create an overall score. The “team” is a group of salespeople. Fantasy teams can be office-vs-office, split up from within a single sales group, or any other composition. Each “player’s” score is combined and the team with the highest overall score wins. 

Fantasy-style sales contests are great because they really drive home the gamification aspect that makes sales contests so effective. However, they’re also complex. So, while a management team can try and create their own fantasy scoring system, it’s much simpler and a much better idea to go with a service like the one offered by Ambition.


March Madness Sales Contests

Staying with the sports angle, another great contest option is a “March Madness”-style bracket challenge. In a bracket challenge, an even number of salespeople are placed into a bracket system – say 32 or 64 to start. A single sales metric is chosen and contestants are paired up head-to-head. At the end of a given period, the salesperson with the higher score from each group moves on, narrowing the field by 50% each round until a single head-to-head match is left to determine the winner. 

A bracket challenge is a great choice for a few different reasons. First of all, the head-to-head nature creates a friendly competitive atmosphere, but because a single loss results in elimination, people that aren’t enthusiastic about the contest won’t have to participate for long. Bracket competitions are also highly flexible and can be run with just about any performance indicator from your sales CRM, and each round ranges anywhere from a single hour for metrics like calls dialed through a power dialer to days or even weeks for more intensive KPIs like deals closed. 


Personal Best Sales Contests

While sales is a game that requires thick skin, an ability to handle rejection, and a high competitive drive, not all salespeople thrive when competing against each other. Sometimes, an equally productive but more private and low-key option is to run a personal best contest, where the goal is simply for each salesperson to exceed their own previous highs in a specified sales metric. 

Personal best contests are effective because they’re less public and tap into a sales professional’s desire to improve and grow personally, in addition to just winning a prize or financial incentive. And because personal best competitions are personal, the performance indicator chosen can be different for each participant. That allows sales managers to tailor the competition to the training needs of each member of their team while still keeping things fair for everyone. 


Referral Generation Sales Contests

Good lead generation and management are key to a healthy sales environment, and everyone in sales knows that referrals are often the best source of new prospects. But, while referrals are often thought of as a passive lead source, they don’t have to be. Referral sales contests reward the employee that can personally drive the most new referral leads in a given time period, and they mix things up in two big ways. First, they make the target the very top of the sales funnel – an aspect of sales that is almost always overlooked in competitions and where your sales CRM can be most effective at driving sales. Second, they open up the competition to participants outside of sales, allowing customer service reps, account managers, admin staff, and anyone else in a company to have a chance to win while helping enable the sales side of the organization. 


Target Account Sales Contests

Target account contests identify a set of key accounts that a company is eager to land and set the sales team loose on them. At the end of a defined period, the salesperson that has closed the most targets wins. There are two key considerations when running this type of contest. The first is that the target accounts are viable leads. If a sales team is given an impossible goal as part of a contest, they’ll lose motivation very quickly. The second is that the accounts be divvied up in such a way that leads aren’t inundated with contacts from different members of the same sales team – a quick way to ensure nobody makes any progress. 


Daily Prize Sales Contests

Daily prize contests are extremely straightforward. Each day, a target sales metric is chosen, and the agent that runs up the best numbers in that area wins some type of prize. Because daily contests are so frequent, they work best for sales environments with very short sales processes, like call centers. It’s also important to note that offering up a daily prize means the cost of each prize has to be relatively low, so a reasonable metric should be chosen befitting of the prize. 


Upsell Sales Contests

Upsell contests focus on rewarding salespeople for finding ways to generate new revenue from existing clients or extending new sales with add-on products or services. Upsells and cross-sells are of utmost importance in almost all sales environments, as they maximize revenues while introducing little extra work for the sales team. Running a contest focusing on upsells represents an ideal way to drive home their importance and remind salespeople how beneficial upsells and cross-sells can be to their commissions.


Most Rejections Sales Contests

Rejections are an unavoidable part of life for a salesperson, but even the most road-worn sales professionals can occasionally get worn down when they’re on a cold streak. A contest to see who can rack up the most rejections is a great way to remind a sales team to embrace rejection as a normal part of their work. Instead of rewarding closes, a rejection-based contest rewards contacts in a fun way, which can be a big motivating factor for salespeople, especially when they’re suffering through slumps. 


Choose-Your-Own-Incentive Sales Contests 

Choose-your-own-incentive contests tap into the power of choice to motivate salespeople while offering up a reward for the winner that isn’t just a stack of cash – a good precedent to set and reinforce in any sales environment. Choose-your-own-incentive contests work because they recognize that not everyone has the same wants. For instance, a nice bottle of scotch might be a great prize for some, but how will it motivate a salesperson that doesn’t drink? Allowing salespeople to choose their own prize within a certain budget is a great way to get them to buy in and work hard to win.  


Team vs. Team Sales Contests

Team vs. team contests are effective because they tap into the social dynamic experienced by effectively all humans that drives us to want to rally around our own groups and best those we perceive ourselves to be in competition with. Team vs. team contests can be run intraoffice or across multiple offices, and in addition to providing motivation to sell more, they can also be a great way to build social connections between teams, assuming the competition can be kept friendly. A good sales CRM will allow you to track KPIs and report on them by user or team to easily facilitate a team vs team sales contest. 


Accurate Data Tracking is the Key to All Good Sales Contests

A well-run contest can be a huge motivator for a sales team, but a contest they perceive to be unfair has the exact opposite impact, generating disengagement and resentment. The key to ensuring contests are fair, transparent, and fun, is to ensure the sales data being measured can be tracked as accurately as possible, and a CRM is the ideal tool for the job.

A top CRM, like CRMDialer, will offer an advanced sales analytics suite that will provide management with in-depth data on all the most important sales metrics, from call volume through the power dialer, to appointments set, to emails sent, to deals closed, and far beyond.


To find out all about the full set of analytics CRMDialer can offer your sales organization and the many ways the platform can take your sales contests to the next level, start your no-commitment free trial today.