When you think about sales competition, most people immediately imagine the greatest rewards will go to those with the highest sales. While that mindset is understandable, it may be somewhat shortsighted.
Rewarding top performers will motivate them, but what about the rest of the team? What about those who work hard but know they won’t be able to sell more than the top performers?
Engaging the entire team is important, and there are a variety of sales contests to do just that. Many contests reward “different types of increased action that align with your organization’s Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).” These can motivate and increase the confidence of everyone on your team — keeping every member engaged.
A Gallup study found that disengaged and unmotivated employees “cost companies $300 billion in lost productivity each year.”
That statistic should be an excellent motivator to get you to think outside the box on creating sales contest ideas that inspire the entire team to increase their sales numbers!
Let’s discuss some sales contest ideas that you can use to motivate and improve your team.
Sales Contest Tips
Creating an environment that excites everyone on your team is important when planning a sales contest. One way to achieve this is to ensure that no one has the upper hand from the start.
By doing this, every team member is on an even playing field and has a fair chance of winning. Here are two mechanisms you can use to guarantee this level of fairness.
1. Incorporate chance into the contest. Random elements can provide a sense of excitement and encourage team members to participate. For example, a raffle or drawing can be used to determine which team members are assigned to specific groups.
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Alternatively, consider using dice to assign specific goals to different team members. This way, everyone has an equal chance of achieving their objectives.
2. Secondly, measure the activity rather than just the results. It’s easy for top-performing reps to gain an early lead and dominate the contest from the beginning. To prevent this, create a contest that measures activity rather than results.
For instance, you can set up a contest that rewards reps for the number of calls they make, the number of appointments they book, or the number of proposals they submit. This method ensures everyone has an equal chance to win, regardless of their past performance.
Remember, nobody is thrilled to compete in or win a game when the outcome is predetermined. So, take the time to plan a contest that provides a level playing field for all team members. This will help to create a healthy competition that motivates your team to work hard and achieve great results.
18 Sales Contest Ideas and Names
Below you’ll find 18 ideas for sales contests, along with some catchy names to grab your team’s attention. We’ll show you the name and description, the goal, and how the contest works.
Description: This contest involves small daily prizes that won’t break the company budget and work by setting up a sales tracker that gets reset each day, allowing for a wider range of winners. The goal is to keep sales reps engaged on a daily basis and motivate them to continue pushing for sales.
Sales reps will be awarded points based on their daily sales performance, and the person with the most points will be awarded a prize at the end of the day. This type of sales contest is perfect for teams with daily sales goals, as it creates healthy competition among team members.
The Most “No’s”
Description: The goal of this contest is to increase the amount of sales calls made, but the twist is that the winner isn’t the person who makes the most sales. Instead, the sales rep gets the most “no’s” or rejections from their customers in a week.
To make the contest more competitive, set a timeframe for a week. Longer periods can make the contest less exciting, so a week should be sufficient. Additionally, establish clear rules and guidelines so that everyone knows what counts as a “no” and what doesn’t.
Description: If your sales team meets or exceeds their weekly goals, they get to leave early on Friday afternoon.
At the beginning of each week, set clear sales goals for your team that are challenging but achievable. Post a countdown clock in the office to build anticipation throughout the week. Winners enjoy a healthy work-life balance.
Sales Scavenger Hunt
Description: Divide your sales team into teams of 2-4 people and create a list of items or tasks related to your sales goals. For example, suppose your goal is to increase customer engagement. In that case, your list might include things like “get a customer to leave a positive review on social media” or “schedule a meeting with a customer for a product demonstration.”
Assign a point value to each item or task on the list based on its level of difficulty or importance to your sales goals. Set a time limit for the scavenger hunt (usually 1-2 weeks), and provide a deadline for teams to submit their completed lists.
Fantasy Football Team
Description: Create teams within your sales department and track each team’s progress throughout the contest period. Give each team a fun and unique name related to your industry or company.
Think outside the box and come up with creative names like “The Cold Call Crushers” or “The Sales Sharks.” Don’t forget to provide updates and rankings throughout the contest to keep the energy high and motivation going.
Boss’s “I Owe You”
Description: In this contest, the sales reps are vying for the chance to receive an “I owe you” from their boss. This can be anything from a small favor to a big reward, but it’s usually something that the boss is willing to do for the winner.
Before the contest begins, it’s a good idea to ask each sales rep to submit their request for what they’d like the boss to do for them. This way, the boss can plan ahead and ensure that they can fulfill all of the requests for the winner.
Boss For A Day
Description: As the boss for a day, the winner can choose to sit at the boss’s desk, run a meeting, or even pick the location for the next company lunch. This fun contest allows your sales team to experience what it’s like to be in charge while still being part of a team.
The Boss for a Day sales contest is an excellent way to motivate your sales team by giving them a chance to take charge and feel like leaders for a day. With this unique prize on the line, your team will be motivated to push themselves harder than ever before to earn the title of “Boss for a Day.”
Description: Pop-up sales contests are great for generating a sense of urgency and getting your sales team to focus on a specific metric or goal. To run a pop-up sales contest, announce the competition in the morning and let your team know what metric they’ll be judged on.
For example, you could challenge them to make the most sales in a certain category or to close the highest-value deals of the day. At the end of the day, announce the winner and reward them with a prize.
Description: Challenge your team to sell the most difficult-to-sell products or activities. Make a list of the company’s or department’s most challenging products or services. This could include products with low margins, a difficult market, or time-consuming or less popular activities.
The challenge is for each rep to check everything off the list by selling these products or activities. The first rep to sell everything wins the contest!
Description: When an account executive takes a demo into their pipeline, they get to spin a roulette wheel. The number they land on is then converted into poker chips.
Reps are driven to book demos just to spin the wheel, and the excitement of not knowing what number they land adds an element of chance to the sales process. At the end of the specified time, all the sales reps take their chips to a no-limit poker table, and the person left standing wins.
Description: In this sales contest, reward your reps for cleaning up old opportunities by updating the sales stage to “Closed Lost” with a reason for the closed opportunity. This will help keep your data clean and give you valuable insights into why certain opportunities didn’t work out.
Aside from this, there are other ways to make this sales contest interesting and challenging. You can encourage your reps to update the status of current contacts, add account websites, and/or add competitive presence at an account (if applicable).
Cold Calling Killer
Description: Set a daily quota for the number of answered cold calls and award a prize to the first representative who hits the target. The key to this incentive is the element of competition.
By setting a quota and creating a sense of urgency, your team will be motivated to pick up the phone and make as many calls as possible. One way to increase the intensity of this contest is to allow the winner to leave for the day as soon as they hit the quota. This adds an extra layer of motivation for the rest of the team, as they will see the winner packing up their things and heading home early, leaving them behind to continue making calls.
Description: Management creates a “hit list” of competitor accounts for the sales reps to penetrate these accounts and steal business away from the competition. Awards are given based on account penetration, and bonuses are given if the competition is completely replaced for a given time frame.
This contest not only motivates sales reps to be proactive in seeking new business opportunities but also provides an added incentive to take business away from competitors.
You’re My Favorite
Description: This unique sales contest idea is where the Sales Person of the Month is voted on solely by receptionists, CSRs, and warehouse staff. This creates a level playing field where every sales team member has an equal opportunity to win, regardless of their personal sales figures.
This contest is unique because it encourages the sales team to develop relationships within the entire company, not just with their direct superiors or colleagues. It promotes a positive work environment where everyone is recognized for their hard work and contributions to the company’s success.
Description: To participate in The Shakespeare, staff submits their best emails, tactics for closing, or anything else that they think will help their colleagues improve. Other staff members then vote on what they think is the most effective example of personalized email, persuasive pitch, or another metric.
The goal is to identify the staff member with the most “golden tongue.” The winner of The Shakespeare competition gets to wear Shakespeare’s doublet or gets the golden quill.
Close Now, Wine Later
Description: This is a six-month contest for your sales team to see who can close the most deals. The prize for winning can be a weekend trip to a vineyard with your spouse or a friend.
To make this contest work, you’ll need to establish clear guidelines and expectations for the contest. You’ll want to track each salesperson’s progress and keep a running tally of their wins in order to keep the contest fair and transparent.
The Art of the Sale
Description: One way to encourage the development of a good sales pitch is to set aside time for each team member to deliver their pitch to the rest of the team. Creating a supportive environment where each team member can present their pitch without fear of criticism is important.
Once everyone has had a chance to present their pitch, it’s a good idea to put it to a vote to see who had the best pitch. This not only motivates team members to work harder on their sales pitch, but it also provides valuable feedback for improvement. It’s a win-win situation that can only improve the skills and performance of your sales team.
Customer Satisfaction Guaranteed
Description: One way to motivate your sales team to prioritize customer satisfaction is by holding a sales contest centered around positive Google reviews. This contest rewards the sales team members who generate the most positive reviews for the company.
Not only does this incentivize your team to provide excellent customer service, but it also encourages them to ask customers to leave a review. To take this contest to the next level, consider awarding prizes to the salesperson with the most positive reviews each month.
When it comes to sales contests, we like how Sales Hacker puts it:
“Contests that revolve around playing games with top-of-the-funnel activity are a high tide that raises all boats – everyone is engaged throughout the competition, team morale soars, and most importantly, you’ll get a noticeable bump in results.”
Let us know your favorite sales contest ideas and how you use them to motivate your teams — that’s exactly what we at Level 6 are about. We wrote the book on incentives and believe our service sets us apart as we work with our clients to design and implement an effective incentive program.
Claudine is the Chief Relationship Officer at Level 6. She holds a master’s degree in industrial/organizational psychology. Her experience includes working as a certified conflict mediator for the United States Postal Service, a human performance analyst for Accenture, an Academic Dean, and a College Director. She is currently an adjunct Professor of Psychology at Southern New Hampshire University. With over 20 years of experience, she joined Level 6 to guide clients seeking effective ways to change behavior and, ultimately, their bottom line.