Sales managers are always looking for ways to increase sales; that’s what they do. One way to increase sales and motivate your team is to have sales contests. Salespeople are competitive by nature and having a contest enhances that spirit. However, contests must be structured correctly to achieve the desired result. Below are some key factors to focus on while designing a contest.
- The purpose of a contest is to increase sales among both individual salespeople and the business as a whole. Any contest should be viewed as fun and designed to motivate people. A contest should never be used to embarrass a person who does not do as well as his/her peers.
- Run individual contests frequently, team contests occasionally and major contests rarely. It is always better to measure people against themselves and measure improvement that way, rather than against their peers.
- The best contests are the ones that are set up so everyone has a chance to win. That’s why, when possible, a contest should be set up to measure a salesperson against himself. For example, a simple contest could be who had the greatest increase in their sales, based on percentage. That way the salesperson who is still learning can compete with the person in their 20th year.
- Make sure you have the rules of any contests posted and they are easily understood by everyone involved.
- Sales contests should be structured as short bursts of energy. Long term contests lose effectiveness. Contests that last a day or a week are going to be much more effective than ones that last a month or longer.
- Sell the sales contest to your staff. As with any training or coaching, if your staff does not like a contest, the likelihood of it having the desired effect is greatly reduced.
- Play up the contest and post results on a regular basis. Once you have your team excited, keep them excited by posting to results.
- Constantly sell the contest during its run. Talk to people about how they are doing and get excited with them if they are leading or doing well. Assist the ones lagging behind and encourage them to move forward.
We will continue to look at what factors are needed to run a productive contest next time.
Brad Huisken is President of IAS Training and author of I'm a Salesman, Not a Ph.D.! and Munchies for Salespeople
Copyright 2011 Author retains ownership. All Rights Reserved.