Launching a Sales Contest? Communicate it Effectively.

How To Communicate Sales Contests Effectively

Every good salesperson knows the importance of communication when it comes to making a sale. But how about the importance of internal communication? Effective communication with your team is critical to success – both your own, and theirs.

A recent article from the LinkedIn Sales Blog reminds us that “our methods of business communication have grown vastly more complex and intricate.” As we evolve in this digital-first world, the technology and solutions available to us are helpful, of course. But they can also be a hindrance.

With all the methods of communication available, it can be hard to keep track of everything in Slack, Microsoft Teams, email, phone, Zoom, and so on. This can easily lead to miscommunication and confusion in your internal messaging, a critical factor in a sales team’s success.

One place we find effective communication sorely lacking is the announcement of sales contests and accompanying messages. Some leaders fall into the trap of simply starting a contest on a whim if sales are down, thinking that will magically improve the numbers, and failing to effectively communicate their vision.

But numbers alone don’t work. Salespeople aren’t motivated by numbers. What they are motivated by is a purpose. If you give them a purpose, they will engage.

This is why it’s so crucial that you communicate the launch of a sales contest clearly and thoroughly. For one, you need to make sure you clearly explain the sales contest rules. But you also need more than just an automated Slack message to announce and really explain the “why?” behind the sales contest.

Equally important: make it fun. If you can’t get engaged and excited about the contest yourself (even a little bit) how can you expect your team to? Lead by example, because culture needs to come from the top down. People mimic the behavior of others, especially when it’s a leader they look up to for guidance. Plus, you may even find yourself having fun with your team and relieving a little stress.

Best practices for announcing your sales contest launch

Everyone is familiar with the frustrating feeling that “this meeting could have been an email.” Rather than filling up your sales reps’ calendars with yet another meeting, communicate the contest details in an email.

But don’t forget the importance of fostering a culture of engagement and excitement. A standard corporate email isn’t going to cut it here – there is a way to communicate clearly and still infuse some excitement into your message.

If you give them a purpose and make it enjoyable, you’ll have a solid foundation for success.

That’s not to say you have to completely reinvent the wheel every time you launch a new contest. An email template can speed the process along, leaving little work for you to do, but still giving you room to personalize a bit. Once you find a good format, continue to use it as a template for your future sales contest communications. We’ll help you get started with our own contest announcement sample.

Sales contest examples and templates

So you’re planning to implement a sales contest? At a minimum, you’ll need to follow these three critical tips:

1. Stay consistent in your communications, so the competition is always top of mind for your team.
2. Clearly define the contest’s purpose and rules so your team clearly understands it.
3. Make the contest engaging and fun!

Use these sales contest email templates to launch, update, and finish your next contest, and you’ll be tackling all three…

Template for the sales contest launch email:

Subject: It’s here! Sales Contest for [Month competition will occur] / [Behavior competition will focus on]

Body:

Big news!

Today, we’re thrilled to kick off a [department name] initiative called [contest name]! The goal is to [contest goal].

[Explain the purpose behind the contest – how will it contribute to the larger picture?]

Are you ready for it? I don’t know if you are. Now let me answer your burning questions:

Q: When can I start dominating the competition?
A: The contest will run from [date] through [date].

Q: When I win, how will I know I’m the champion?
A: The winning [team/employee] will have the [metrics for winning, i.e., highest percentage of appointments, quickest turnaround in service cases, etc.] for [time period of competition]. Of course, all percentages and goals are tracked within [name your CRM].

Q: But what do I get when I win?
A:  The winning [team/employee] will get [prize/incentive].

Q: So who’s my competition?
A: Most people receiving this email are eligible, with the only exception being the management team, who will keep an eye on the sales leaderboard. Attached is a full list of participants, if you’re interested. [Don’t forget to attach the participant list.]

Q: How can I keep track of the competition (and know who to trash talk)?
A: I’ll be sending leaderboard updates via email 2x a week. Don’t forget, you can also see real-time results by going to our leaderboard report here [Link “here” to your report in Salesforce].

Reach out if you have any lingering questions.

Now, are you all ready to get started? Let’s go!

Example of the sales contest launch template in action:

Subject: It’s here! Sales Contest for April Meeting Bookings

Body:

Big news!

Today, we’re thrilled to kick off a sales initiative called the April Bookings Competition! The goal is to create some fun around beating our bookings goal in April.

We know that more bookings means more open opportunities, and more opportunities means more sales. The more bookings you can secure, the better chance we have of meeting our sales goals for the quarter! Plus, practice makes perfect – so take this opportunity to hone your skills and find the perfect formula to convince those prospects to book a meeting.

Are you ready for it? I don’t know if you are. Now let me answer your burning questions:

Q: When can my team start dominating the competition?
A: The contest will run from April 1st through April 30.

Q: When I win, how will I know I’m the champion?
A: The winning team will have the highest percentage of bookings to their target for April. Of course, all percentages and goals are tracked in Salesforce.

Q: But what do we get when our team wins?
A: The winning team will get a team lunch (and bragging rights). Approximate value: $250.

Q: So who’s my competition?
A: Most people receiving this email are eligible, with the only exception being the management team, who will keep an eye on the leaderboard. Attached is a full list of participants, if you’re interested.

Q: How can I keep track of the competition (you know, for trash talking purposes)?
A: I’ll be sending leaderboard updates via email 2x a week. Don’t forget, you can also see up-to-the-minute results by going to our leaderboard report here.

Reach out if you have any lingering questions.

Now, are you all ready to get started? Let’s go!

Keep up the momentum with consistent communication

Of course, once you announce a sales contest you’ll need to provide consistent communication throughout the contest. In the name of transparency and open communication, be sure to inform your sales reps how the contest is going so they keep it top-of-mind.

Finally, when the contest is over and the winner has been determined, be sure to be transparent and announce the winner to all participants – not just the winner. Only notifying the winner leaves everyone else in the dark and has the potential to cause distrust. Plus, a public acknowledgement can really boost morale and present an opportunity for everyone to show their support and congratulate the winner.

One final tip, however, is to make sure the sales contest winner announcement doesn’t leave others feeling too defeated. Be sure to congratulate everyone on a job well done, and keep up the momentum from the contest by hinting at future opportunities for others to win. A little bit of hope can go a long way.

We’ve provided some bonus templates for the sales contest update and winner announcements below. Enjoy!

Also, if you’re struggling to plan out a contest for your sales team, check out our collection of sales contest templates! We have plenty of sales contest templates available for free here.

Email template for updating team on sales contest progress:

Subject: [Contest name] Update – Where does your team stand?

Body:

Hi all,

It’s the final countdown!

In case you forgot, there are only [number] of days left in our sales contest! Who’s gonna finish strong – or will we have a last-minute upset?

Right now, it looks like [first place team] is killing it at #1. But we also have [second place team] positioned to catch up!

Keep up the great work everyone, no matter who wins you have all shown some impressive results. I want to take this moment to thank you all and acknowledge your hard work thus far.

Now get back out there and give [first place team] a run for their money!

Email template for the sales contest winner announcement:

Subject: To the victor go the spoils! Congratulations to…

Body:

Hello everyone!

It was a glorious battle, but the fight is over and it’s time to announce our champion.

Give it up for [winning team/employee], the winner of our [contest name] contest!

[Winning team/employee] emerged victorious, despite tough competition from all sides! Be sure to congratulate them for their hard work and success and celebrate properly! The final results were as follows:

[Leaderboard scores]

As promised, [winning team/employee] will receive [prize]. Congratulations and enjoy!

Every one of you put up a fight, and should be proud of your accomplishments. On behalf of the management team, I want to thank you for your hard work and dedication. Well done all of you!

This isn’t the end, however. We’ll be announcing another contest in the near future, so be on the lookout. Start warming up now – you just might be the next winner.

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Launching a Sales Contest? Communicate it Effectively [Email Template]
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Launching a Sales Contest? Communicate it Effectively [Email Template]
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One of the keys to a successful sales contest is maintaining strong communication around it. You can start with these email templates.
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LevelEleven
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