When done right, LevelEleven sales contests garner notoriety from the executive table to the bullpen. But, to create a sales contest that wins the hearts of your salespeople, sales managers and executive team, you need to consider all of the factors that impact its success. If you’re a front line Sales Manager looking to build the perfect sales contest, here’s a step-by-step guide to show you how:
Step 1: Establish Goals
First and foremost, any sales contest you create should have 2 to 4 high-level goals that coincide with your organization’s overarching executive strategy. Each goal should be written clearly, concisely and with value-driven verbiage (e.g., generate more early-stage leads or accelerate onboarding time), making them easier to share and gain buy-in when seeking executive approvals. It will also provide you with the necessary guidance to select the behaviors you want to motivate within your contest.
Step 2: Choose the Key Behaviors
Once you have your strategy in place, you’re ready to establish the key behaviors for the contest, which will be what determines the leaderboard rankings. Remember, each behavior should align with one of the high-level goals you established in Step 1. So, if one of your goals is to “increase daily touchpoints,” then “calls per day” or “emails per week” would be logical behaviors to choose.
Lastly, each single sales contest can have up to 4 key behaviors, so if you want to have more, you’re going to need to format it as a parent-child sales contest. While technically you can reward many different behaviors, don’t let it get too complicated. The more focused you can keep it the better – you can’t tell your salespeople to “focus on these 7 things.” Keep it to no more than 2 or 3 if you can.
Step 3: Select the Contest Type
Once you’ve chosen the behaviors, you need to pick one of two sales contest types: single or parent-child. Single sales contests are one-off contests with no connection to other contests, while parent-child sales contests take numerous sales contests and combine them into one cohesive contest. If you’re building a contest for the first time, single sales contests are a good starting point. But, if you’re orchestrating a quarter-long sales contest, the larger parent-child format may be the key to keeping contest engagement high.
Step 4: Pick the Contest Format
Next, you need to select one of two LevelEleven sales contest formats: individual or team. Individual sales contests are ideal if part of your strategy is to assess the individual performance metrics of each member of your sales team. On the other hand, team sales contests are a great way to build comradery and cohesiveness among your team, while rewarding a larger group of people. Either way, make sure the contest is formatted so it’s easy for your team to understand, as a poorly structured sales contest will lead to confused and unengaged participants.
Step 5: Choose a Time-frame
Another critical variable for your contest is the length, as sales contest can last as long as an entire quarter or as short as an hour (think about a quick burst call blitz at the end of the day). If you’re building this contest around an immediate internal need, like a push to move excess product or close the quarter strong, then a short contest might be best. But, if your contest is created organically, you’ll likely want to make it last at least a few weeks so that you can have a solid baseline to measure the results afterward.
Step 6: Create a Theme
Now that you’ve structured your contest, it’s time to put on your creative thinking cap and choose a theme. Remember, your contest’s theme is also its brand, and you want that brand to create buzz around the office! As such, create a theme that’s R.I.T.E. (Relevant, Interesting, Timely and Entertaining). For example, if your office is jam-packed with Game of Thrones fans, you could build a contest around the show when a new season is coming up. Or, if your team is full of hoops fans, consider creating a bracket-themed contest during March Madness. Whatever you do, make sure your theme is legitimately fun and relevant to the contest participants.
Step 7: Pick the Prize(s)
Sales contests allow you to select custom prize options to reward the contest winners. While sales contests tap into the competitive nature of sales teams, prizes are great for added motivation. Get creative, and keep in mind, prizes don’t have to blow the budget. If you need some inspiration, take a look at this e-book. Just as you did with the theme in Step 5, ensure the prize will motivate all the personality types on your team. If possible, make the prize coincide with the theme of the sales contest. After all, the more cohesive this contest is, the more engaged your team will be!
Step 8: Take it Live!
Now that you’ve mapped out a well thought through sales contest, it’s time to schedule it, and present it to your team! Remember first impressions are huge and if you want this contest to be a rallying point for your team, you need to pitch it with enthusiasm. Consider setting up a meeting or drafting a compelling launch message to your team. With the right approach, your employees will be motivated well beyond the end of the contest and the results will garner notoriety at the executive table.
Looking for ways to motivate your sales team without breaking the bank? Follow the link below to download our e-book containing 102 low-budget ideas!