sales team trophy celebrating

How to Create a Sales Competition that Works

Some studies into employee motivation have found incentive programs can increase worker performance by 25-44%, while other studies have concluded rivalry and competition — especially among people who know each other — enhances performance. Winning competitions causes dopamine — the “the feel-good hormone” — to be released in the hypothalamus in the brain.

Competition, incentives and rewards in a sales contest can make your employees happy and can improve performance for your sales team. Here’s how to make sales awards work for your organization:

1. Set the Right Goals

It’s easy to make a contest to reward the employee with the most sales, but this is not the only metric to track. It may not even be the most useful, since the largest number of sales does not always translate to the biggest impact on the bottom line. Instead, you may want to track:

  • Number of closes
  • Frequency of sales calls made
  • Number of Sales Qualified Leads

It may even be beneficial to switch the goal up after a specific amount of time. Each member of the sales team is going to have different strengths. It is important to recognize different people instead of the same person for the same metrics.

The goal of this type of contest is to reward the sales professionals who are making the biggest impact and to provide others with a benchmark to hit and overcome. Setting up the contest is simple. On a whiteboard, poster board or online, create a graph showing all your employees and the metric to be tracked. Employees can fill out the graph as they accomplish new sales. At the end of the process, designate an award or prize for the winner.

This type of content works for employee motivation because it combines public accountability and a tracking system. Everyone can see where they stand and how far they have to go to stay in the running. The daily possibility of being tops on the list — and the motivation to win — will fuel employees.

2. Create Engaging Games to Increase Sales

The goal of a contest is to get everyone competing for small accomplishments. A common trait of a salesman is competitiveness. Play to that trait and create games that get your sales team motivated.

Example of a Selling Game

How to Play: Take a deck of cards — or two, for a large team — and write down a task or accomplishment on each card. During a week or a day, hand out the cards to anyone who accomplishes that task. At the end of the day, tally up the cards and announce a winner.

The Set-Up: To set up the contest, you will only need cards and a pen. You also need to define the rules. How much are queens, aces and kings worth? Is everyone trying to put together the best poker hand, or are they tallying up the total value of cards? Decide what task goes on each card.

Why It Works: This game works because it gamifies tasks and accomplishments, which research has proven encourages motivation and accomplishment. You can set this game up to meet your needs. For example, you can have teams compete against each other, with the first “winning” poker hand to “win.” You can also make this game longer-term by asking people to add up their cards.

Motivation is not a zero-sum game. Get creative and find ways to encourage your employees. If you want your team members to have permanent, quality recognition of their achievements, contact DIY Awards to put together personalized sales trophies. You get to customize every part, from positioning to etching — ensuring a one-of-a-kind award.