Sales leaders in industries with long sales cycles are oftentimes plagued with dramatic swings in forecasts, months in between progressing sales stages and sizable competitors. Here are a couple of sales contest ideas to address each of these challenges and help break up that sales cycle, optimizing key points along the way.
1. Forecast Swings
Do you have a “Probability” field on opportunity records where reps are asked to score opportunities forecasted for the quarter? If so, this one’s great for sales contests.
One idea that works well is to build out a contest around sales wins. Before the contest, reps will ensure that each one of their opportunities has a score, which is the probability that it’ll close. Each rep will then be given a set number of positive points that align with their total probability score. Then, once the contest launches, every time a rep moves an opportunity to Closed/Won, probability points are deducted from their score. The rep with the lowest score wins. [Hubspot ran a similar contest to help improve their forecasting. Get the full story here.]
2. “Stuck” Sales Stages
Last month, we at LevelEleven ran a quick campaign to speed up our sales cycle. We rewarded our team with points for completing any of these two behaviors:
- Logging activities related to open sales opportunities
- Progressing opportunities to greater sales stages
In one hour — and with two fewer people than normal — our sales team made contact with 51 opportunities total and progressed 7 of those to a later stage in Salesforce. This was a 104% increase in the amount of opportunities we’d usually contact over that timeframe, and we were 17x more productive that day. [Get further details on that competition here.]
3. Tough Competitors
Knowing where the blind spots are as your opportunities evaluate you can be the difference between winning and losing to one of those competitors.
Like many of us do, Varsity Spirit reached a point where they were having a tough time getting reps to identify “At Risk”opportunities. They ran a simple contest, where reps got points for identifying the competitors being evaluated by their opportunities and logging that information in Salesforce, their CRM. The result was a 9500% increase in competitor data. [Learn more about Varsity’s other sales contest ideas here.]
Longer sales cycles present their own unique set of challenges. Turning each of those challenges into a sales contest idea can help you to ensure that you’re optimizing your team’s performance and getting the most out of that sales cycle as you move deals along.