5 Sales Contest Ideas to Motivate Your Sales Team
Sales contests can be helpful ways to motivate your sales force to perform even better than previously. Here are five new ways to encourage sales your company might otherwise miss out on:
- Reward all revenue generating sales
- Reward sales assists
- Reward new discoveries for existing products
- Reward salespeople who identify losing efforts early on
- Reward salespeople who close sales early on
It is often tempting to reward only the salespeople who close completely new accounts. However, it is equally important to recognize the salespeople who generate more revenue by selling more to existing customers, as well as those salespeople who are able to re-activate previous customers who have not done business with your company in a while. While these can be easier sales to make, they are nonetheless vital as they can mean the difference between your firm making the expected number of sales, or not. A contest which encourages these other forms of sales can therefore be quite valuable, especially if your firm has overlooked these sales in the past.
Sometimes, a salesperson can not make the sale alone (for whatever reason). Perhaps the salesperson is new and needs some outside guidance, or just has been stuck for a while with a particular customer and would benefit from a fresh perspective. If some of your other salespeople can help to get the deal done, isn’t it worth tracking and rewarding how well these salespeople work to help each other? A sales contest which emphasizes group efforts can be worth considering if your salespeople have always worked separately in the past.
Salespeople who discover new ways to use existing products and services generate completely new revenue streams which otherwise would not exist. Consider the example of the humble Post-It note: it began as a failed glue product at 3M. Only when someone considered an alternative usage which utilized the lack of stickiness as an advantage (rather than the disadvantage of being a weak glue) did the product become a success. How many existing products and services does your firm have whose weaknesses can be turned into strengths? Contests which reward salespeople for these insights can profitably make use of salespeople’s untapped creative skills to generate more sales.
Unfortunately, some sales prospects are just not going to buy from your firm. The salespeople who are able to identify these suspects have saved you time and money, which can be spent on better qualified prospects and higher likelihood sales opportunities. A sales contest which establishes criteria for when opportunities are unlikely to close, and recognizes salespeople who get out early is valuable if your firm spends too much time on these prospects who knew relatively quickly that they would never buy from you.
One of the biggest dangers for most companies is when salespeople wait until the end of a quarter or year to pursue sales opportunities. The reason for this is that most customers are well aware that the sales department is then under a lot of pressure to close sales right before business results must be reported. These savvy customers then use the opportunity to create price breaks for themselves through tough negotiating. Contests which encourage salespeople to close business well in advance of the end of the quarter, month, or year are definitely worth exploring if your business has struggled with these issues previously.
In summary, sales contests can be used in five ways which they are often not currently. They can help encourage sales to existing/inactive customers, cause assistance on sales efforts, eliminate unlikely sales possibilities, provoke thought on new uses for products, and close early sales. By using sales contests in these new ways, your business will be in a much stronger position to make more sales and profits.
Copyright 2010, by Marc Mays