5 Reasons You Need Sales Contests in the New Year

digital sales transformationSales contests aren’t new but they’re not going away anytime soon. In fact, competitions are becoming increasingly ingrained in a successful sales culture. Not only do they help motivate your team, they can do a lot of good for your organization beyond the competition itself, for a variety of reasons. Looking to kick off a sales contest in the new year? Here are 5 benefits you can expect to see as a result…

1. Tap into your team’s desire for competition & recognition.

There are three primary motivators when it comes to salespeople: Competition, recognition, and compensation. Oftentimes, comp plans take care of the compensation part, but what about the other two? Fortunately, this is where sales contests help — especially if there are publicly displayed sales leaderboards involved. Technologies such as LevelEleven allow your team to see exactly where they’re ranked in relation to their team, spiking activity naturally as reps are exposed to leaderboards and healthy competition with their peers. 

2. Elevate results around your most important selling activity.

This is usually the primary reason for any sales contest; spiking behaviors that will lead to results. When you know what you need to move the needle, focusing the team around those activities can really drive results. A lot of sales managers think they understand what behaviors move the needle for them, but without clear data, they run the risk of focusing on behaviors that may not lead to the most desired outcomes. Our Sales KPI Report can help you decide which key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure, but even if you’re unsure or need to learn more about what KPIs most impact your sales outcomes, sales contests will help as you refine your KPIs.

3. Engage your team from the very start of the year.

We all know the start of the year can be slow momentum wise. Q4 is done and last minute deals are either closed or in limbo — your reps are unsure of what to focus on or where to focus. Spark productivity and kick off the new year strong with contests. This will help your team focus on the now, not what deals they lost. It can also help light a fire for reps to push to reconnect with deals that might have gone dark over the holidays. Run contests around behaviors such as live-connects or meetings booked to ensure your team is doing the right activities.

4. Create coaching opportunities.

Contests are a great way to gain visibility into each individual contributor’s performance. Seeing the stack ranking of your team allows you to easily identify your top, middle, and bottom tier employees, making it easy to understand which members you should focus your coaching sessions on. Most managers focus on the top and bottom 20% of their performers where the gain for time invested is minimal, as opposed to the middle 60% where their coaching would be most appreciated and effective. Contests allow you to break your team into tiers visually and then focus on coaching those who can benefit most. For example, if you know that face-to-face meetings are an important part of your process, you can work with your reps to improve how they approach asking for meetings. Then use contests to measure the team’s improvement.

5. Clean your CRM data.

This one’s typically an under-utilized use for sales contests, despite the fact that most companies struggle with data quality. CRMs like Salesforce are incredibly powerful, but poor data can really get in the way as you attempt to use those platforms to maximum potential and to measure KPIs or create accurate forecasts. Running a few contests that give points for cleaning or updating CRM fields can instill good data habits among your sales team.

This is easy to do within LevelEleven. Run a contest surrounding a certain object in Salesforce that you want to be cleaned such as pipeline stage. The contest can then trigger off of any updates to that field, as long as it’s during the period of the contest.

When it comes down to it, you’re the leader responsible for results. Executing the sales strategy falls on you, which is why sales contests are one of your most important tactics for success. Using sales contests to motivate the right behaviors at the right times can give your team the boost they need to spike key metrics and turn in record-setting performance.

Looking for ways to incentivize your contests? Check out our whitepaper, 102 Inexpensive Sales Incentive Ideas!



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