Being in the business of sales contests, we’ve seen the good, the bad and…you guessed it. Of course, all kinds of happenings fall into the latter category; among them sit four crucial mistakes that happen way too often. Don’t stress, though. We wrote an eBook so that whole “way too often” thing won’t happen on your watch.
In the meantime, here’s a glimpse at the first two mistakes:
#1: You don’t follow through immediately on contest prizes.
You had good intentions. You didn’t mean to not follow through. But when the contest ended you had other priorities. Now you just have to get around to picking up that gift card. You swear you’ll do it this week.
We understand you’re busy. You still need to prioritize the delivery of any prizes or additional incentives, though, or else you shouldn’t be offering them at all.
Think of it this way: If you don’t follow up immediately with your prize today, you could offer a downright incredible one tomorrow, but if your team doesn’t really believe they’ll ever get it how’s that going to motivate them? (Hint: It’s not.)
A few tips here so it doesn’t come to that:
- When possible, make time before a contest to order the prize online. Have it at the office before the competition even ends. (Or begins, if you’re really on your game.)
- If time really is the big issue here, stick to offering incentives like bragging rights and extra vacation days, which don’t really depend on you for delivery.
- Make it a habit to send an email immediately after each contest that congratulates the winner and tells them when their prize will be delivered.
#2: Participants don’t know that leadership is paying attention.
You set up a contest, tell your team about it and even send out a few reminders as it runs. But are you really paying attention? Is anyone in leadership really paying attention? If there’s even a chance your sales team could be asking these questions, you’re doing it wrong.
Of course, direct managers should provide recognition throughout contests. They should post comments to shared communication platforms, like Salesforce’s Chatter, and send out company-wide emails when someone makes a big move in a competition.
But halfway through the contest, senior leadership should get involved, too. A note from the CEO to “All” with recognition for contest leaders will go a long way in terms of fueling participant motivation.
As for what senior leadership says? It can be as simple as this: “Hey gang – thanks for putting your attention around this key initiative for our business. Kudos to Jen, Dave and Jessica who are off to a fast start here! Who’s going to give them a run for their money?”