Driving Salesforce.com Adoption with Sales Contests [Case Studies]

I recently wrote a blog article where one of the points was how sales contests and gamification can improve adoption of Salesforce.com. Since the sales competition leaderboard reports on on pre-defined actions in your sales CRM system, it requires that the sales team log things correctly to participate. Plus, it can make work more fun! Check out this recent blog post by Mario Herger from SAP Labs about using “enterprise gamification” to make work fun.

At the fundamental level, adoption is driven by your sales team valuing the use of Salesforce.com, and that your business processes are setup correctly. Once that’s done though, sometimes you just need to give people a little nudge. Changing behaviors and habits is hard, and creating friendly competition is a great way to motivate your sales team.

Our company has been using Salesforce for about 18 months. As I talk to other Salesforce.com customers and consulting firms, the adoption of Salesforce as a complete sales CRM tool is one of the most common challenges I hear about. To help with that, I thought I would share a few real world examples of how our clients have used sales contests to drive adoption. These are also great examples of how Salesforce.com adoption empowers you with better information to grow your business.

Creating Sales Coaching Moments

Salesforce Adoption Pandora runs sales competitions regularly to motivate salespeople around key selling activities, new products, or targeted accounts. They recently launched a competition to motivate its team to increase sales of their mobile advertising products. Following are comments from Camille Miras, Sales Operations Specialist at Pandora:

“We started using Sales Contest Builder mostly to make our contests more impactful and easier to manage, especially with the automatic leaderboard updates. That’s been great, but what also struck us was how it helped with Salesforce adoption.

We recently launched a contest, and within just the first few days there were several salespeople who started approaching their managers asking why their entries weren’t on the leaderboard. What they jointly uncovered was that the salespeople weren’t entering in the opportunities in the right way. This created a coaching moment between the salesperson and the manager, which has been a huge help. Now the salespeople understand how to enter opportunities correctly, which will last well beyond the timeline of this contest.”

Creating Cross Selling Opportunities

Stewart Agency is an insurance agency in Elmira, New York, and had been using Salesforce.com for about 9 months. Greg Stewart, President of Stewart Agency, had been asking his reps to collect their clients’ email addresses so he could easily contact clients with new products to consider and send an e-newsletter. Following are some comments from Greg:

“Having so few emails is lost opportunity because many of our customers want to hear from us, but trying to do that only via phone or snail mail is time consuming and expensive. My reps are focused on customer relationships mostly via phone and in person, so don’t they always think about asking clients for their emails, let alone log them into Salesforce.

I launched a really simple contest called ‘Get That Email!’ which awarded salespeople based on how many emails they could collect over the course of a couple months. I launched the contest and the impact was immediate. I had one employee who went from getting no emails from clients to getting 83 in 2 days. In less than 2 months we almost DOUBLED the number of emails we had collected over 3 years.”

Improve Targeted Marketing Efforts

GraphePrize‘s VP of Marketing was having trouble getting the sales team to enter in the industry field into their Account records in Salesforce.com, and decided to create a competition to make it a litlte more interesting. Here are some comments from ePrize’s VP of Marketing, Jen Gray:

We had only about 50% of Accounts with an industry field defined in Salesforce.com which made it difficult to share relevant products and case studies with our clients. The sales team is so focused on working with clients one-on-one that they weren’t finding the time to go in and make multiple updates in their Account records. It takes seconds per record, but people needed a nudge to go do it.

So we decided to launch a 2-week contest called ‘Industry Quest’. Every time someone completed the industry field they would get a point. The sales region with the most points would get $10 Starbucks gift cards for everyone (20-25 people/region). In the first 2 hours we got over 100 accounts updated. Then the automatic leaderboard email went out the next morning and it really took off – almost 400 were updated by the end of day 2. By the end of the contest, over 1,400 accounts got updated and about 90% of all the accounts had the industry field defined.”


Adding some competition can drive significant increases in adoption by making things a litlte more fun and interesting. Plus, motivating with “carrots” feels a heck of a lot better than motivating with “sticks.”

Now let’s hear from you

Salesforce adoption is a big topic so I’m sure there are many other ideas out there. What have you done that motivates your sales team to use Salesforce.com?

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