Sales Leaders find ample, confusing, and self-contradictory advice at every turn. So, you may want to chase these 4 effective employee engagement ideas and techniques.

Sales contests can contribute to employee engagement and motivation. Competitions provide a game experience where theory and outcome integrate. If structure and process are logical and left-brained, gamification is creative and right-brained. Integration is the sales leader’s challenge – and responsibility.

4 effective employee engagement ideas and techniques that work:

Employee engagement ideas#1 – Find out what drives employee engagement and motivation!

Too often, bosses just do not know their employees. They make terribly risky assumptions that, just because a reward is meaningful to them, it will also appeal to the employee. Everyone likes restaurant gift certificates, cash prizes, company t-shirts, and so on – right?

A typical sales manager makes at least 30% more than the sales staff, so his/her values differ from their salespeople. Those salespeople might be more motivated by three days of housecleaning service, a full car detailing, or a day at the spa.

This takes some repeated and well-fashioned surveys of interest. But, the tip would run these assessments along with whole company promotions through postings, slogans, and promotional items. The surveys and feedback serve a larger purpose of linking individual performance goals with identification and definition of corporate goals. The specific rewards become the nexus for individual and corporate interests.

#2 – Make it about people!

  • Design sales contests around the contestants more than the prize. You can set a dollar value that lets employee design his/her own reward within that budget. For example, a $5,000 top prize might let the winning salesperson choose a vacation option, a college tuition break, or home renovation project.
  • Choose rewards for their status value. Salespeople tend to have strong egos. They boast self-confidence and drive. Status may be their strongest motivation. For example, including an inside sales rep in a lunch with the client or inviting the salesperson to travel to your next trade show.
  • Recognition is its own reward. A low budget reward can motivate if presented well. So, attach as much genuine hoopla to the presentation as possible. Ceremonies reward winners and encourage others.

#3 – Participation is always productive and boost team engagement

  • Involving salespeople in the goal setting, prize-selection, and contest rules recognize their strength and value. Its one of the best best effective employee engagement ideas that work. You can assign participative tasks according to the last sales performance measures.
  • Proven sales leaders can mentor and train more junior staff. Structured well, it pays respect to both parties. Mentoring also strengthens teams, sustains values, and creates legacy.
  • Encourage mentors to innovate with old sales scripts. Let them rewrite the models and prove that the rewrites work.
  • Structure the process to reward multiple winners and/or recognize tiered performance. You want to respect the core performers as well as the rainmakers. The past performance of sales units and individuals structures a future as well as describes its past. It uses data to schedule contest process and flow to prompt performance in weak performers at their weakest times.

#4 – Make it a game!Employee engagement ideas techniques

  • Sales gamification capitalizes on the momentum spurred by video gaming and related skills. There is visual acuity and focus, digital dexterity, and eye-hand coordination. More important to this development is a checklist of motivators: individual autonomy, drive to mastery of sequential skill levels, peer competition, and social interaction. Using it properly is one of the best employee engagement ideas results in great performance increase.
  • Evolving from the history are games techniques, including target signage, streaming performance feedback, accumulative prizing, and mastery levels. It is a world salespeople know and enjoy. It keeps team members involved, collaborative, and engaged. By rewarding players in real time, games train and reinforce.


Motivating people: Getting beyond money  byMartin Dewhurst, Matthew Guthridge, and Elizabeth Mohr, McKinsey Quarterly

Top Intrinsic Motivation Techniques for Employees by Lisa McQuerrey, Demand Media

5 Effective & Genuine Techniques to Motivate Employees BY VANESSA MERIT NORNBERG Inc.

Techniques for Motivating Employees in the Banking Industry: 5 Tips for Financial Managers, Dale Carnegie Training

Motivating Salespeople: What Really Works by Thomas Steenburgh and Michael Ahearne, Harvard Business Review

Fun Sales Contest Ideas for Work by Elizabeth Smith, Demand Media

Image courtesy of bplanet / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Sales Leaders run sales contests to increase employee engagement and performance with regard to a specific task. Prizes are merely incidental. You must know what performance you want to change, how you will measure it, and what it means to your employees. Sales contests involve more than the budget behind them; they decide the future of individuals and sales units. They are, therefore, integral to corporate success. Motivation techniques, such as those examined here, are keys to effective sales contests. Please feel free to share our employee engagement ideas that work for small and bigger companies.