4 Sales Contest Ideas to Strengthen Your Sales Process

DSales Processetermining which competitions and leaderboards to run can be a daunting task. There are so many options, thanks to all of the data you’re able to track in your CRM. So where do you start?

Well, you can take a look at your sales process and identify the key points where you should insert a little extra sales motivation. For example, check out these four categories of sales contest ideas:


1. Generating initial interest/building pipeline


Opportunities for running contests around initial interest/building pipeline are pretty much endless. For instance, one competition frequently run on our sales team is called “Power Hour.”  During this hour-long contest, reps earn one point for each outbound dial and five points for each meeting scheduled.  This helps reps to get rallied around cold calling for an hour in the morning, and the prize is a Macho Man Figurine. (Get more details on this contest here.)

Cardinal Health offers another example of pipeline-building competition. They recently created a competition-driven campaign to get a small group of new reps on the right track. The sales manager running the contest selected face-to-face presentations as a behavior to motivate for two weeks. The result? Three new sales reps created 570 qualified sales opportunities. (Get the full story here.)

2. Determining competitors

It’s challenging for salespeople to know which direction to steer the customer conversation when they don’t which competitors they’re up against. Ensure that’s not the case on your team, by keeping them focused on uncovering the competitors in their opportunities.

Herff Jones did just that, running a two-week competition around having reps identify the competitors on opportunities and log that information in Salesforce, their CRM. They saw a 6,000% increase (yes, you read that correctly) in the activity as a result. And the prize? A $25 Amazon gift card!

3. Managing pipeline

How will reps know where to focus if they are chasing opportunities that will never happen? They won’t.

Lawley Insurance realized this and wanted to get their reps in the habit of keeping realistic and qualified opportunities in the funnel. When reps didn’t know what to do with an opportunity, they would put it in the “nurture” sales stage.  Team leaders ran a two-week contest where reps were rewarded 50 points every time the sales stage advanced to anything except “nurture” – even closed/lost. The point was to get reps in the habit of moving opportunities out of the funnel that would never happen. The result was a 110% increase in sales stage updates, in comparison to the prior 7.5 months. (Get the full story here.)

4. Winning the sale

We’ve shared ideas on motivating the behaviors that lead to sales, but now it’s time to talk about that win.

Varsity Spirit used two motivation campaigns for this one. First, they ran a contest early in their customer buying cycle around appointments set, to get reps focused on capturing as many opportunities as possible. They saw a huge spike in appointments set – a 137% increase!  Then, to get reps focused on closing as many of those new sales opportunities as possible, they ran a three-week contest where every time a rep closed a sale that rep received 15 points. The result was $1.6 million in incremental revenue.

It’s worth noting that each of the companies in these examples relied on more than sales contests alone – that was only part of the campaign. Components like recognition, collaboration and real-time leaderboards worked alongside competition, surrounding the reps involved with motivation, to keep them rallied, focused and closing deals.


Sales Contest Ideas

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