Sales Leaders love sales contests – when sales performance increases productivity and revenues.
Salespeople love to compete and win – when rules are clear and prizes certain.
Making everyone happy depends on the structure of the Sales Contest. Sales contests do promote short-term improvement, but when they are clear, achievable, well-organized, and fun, they can establish and develop self-perpetuating skills and values.
The whole purpose of sales contests is to hit a clearly identified statistical target (a 15% increase in sales of a recently introduce product) or achieve a specific result (10% increase in bundled sales).
Sales competitions might challenge salespeople:
But, meeting any target depends on sales management’s ability to identify, quantify, and communicate the target, the prize, and the means to compete for it. It requires them to weigh and budget the incentive and to monitor the sales performance towards the contest goals.
Any Sales Leader wants to maximize sales revenues in direct and indirect ways. Sales contests must:
But, broader purposes reward salespeople and sales leaders in ways that continue to improve motivation, morale, and teamwork by:
Sales Contests rules
Competition can destroy the plan and purpose when the rules are not firm and clear.
Using a sales contest to identify and discipline losers is counter-productive. Someone has to come in last in any competition. Using the contest as a punitive tool sacrifices morale.
The choice of contest prizes optimizes sales contest results and sustains future performance. Not surprisingly, cash does not mean much to salespeople who are already well paid. They do not need cash for financial or self-esteem fulfillment. However:
The prize becomes the theme and medium for the sales contest promotion. Promotion elevates the event, broadens its appeal, and universalizes the involvement. Win or no win, every employee takes interest in the outcome.
Sales Contests as a game
Gamification has a way of engaging employees and making competition more fun. The assumption that happy employees produce more. Gamification makes competition its own reward and makes the promotion a shared experience. Using game mechanics and vivid vicarious experience create and stimulate a new work environment where performance is witnessed and shared.
Maximizing results of sales contest is time- and talent- intensive. It is not a project for amateurs. Sales leaders need advice and innovative software based on motivational science, actual business data, and gamification fun to motivate success and reward model sales behaviors.
Additional sales contests resources:
Assessing The Impact of Sales Incentive Programs: A Business Process Perspective research conducted by Srinath Gopalakrishna, Associate Professor of Marketing, University of Missouri-Columbia
Thoughts about gamification, technology and stuff blog by Andrzej Marczewski
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles&bplanet at FreeDigitalPhotos.net