Sales Contests: 6 Planning Questions to Consider

Sales contests can be excellent ways to motivate your team members, add some excitement to the office environment and, ultimately, boost revenue.

Here, Lauri Flaquer, owner of Saltar Solutions, a business consultancy based in St. Paul, Minn., offers her top questions small business owners should ask themselves when launching a contest.

#1: What is the objective of the contest?

While increasing revenue could be one objective, contests can also be effective ways to retain former customers and to build a more cohesive team. Establish a clear objective before diving in, recommends Flaquer.

#2: What prizes will you offer?

“Figure out what specific prizes motivates your group. Not everyone will be motivated by money, so consider offering days off, trips or merchandise,” she advises.

Not sure what motivates your employees? Just ask them. The more involved they feel, the more excited they will be to perform.

#3: How will you structure your teams?

Team sales contests are far more effective than individual sales contents, says Flaquer, adding that three-person teams can create the best scenario.

“Engagement is really important with these situations, so if you pit one person against another and the same person wins all the time, the other person will just think, ‘why bother?’” she says. “I recommend pairing strong staff members with weaker ones to allow them to learn from each other.”

 #4: How will you track results?

Visible results make the greatest impact. Post results daily in your break room or on your company’s intranet homepage. Share a link to the results page with your whole team so people know where they stand at any given time.

#5: How will you keep participants engaged along the way?

Consider giving out incremental prizes to help keep your employees excited about the contest, recommend Flaquer. Gas cards and silly gifts from the dollar store can suffice.

Keep the grand prize top of mind in your office by making it visible. “Put the prize in a case in your lobby or keep a photo of it sitting in an entryway,” she says. “It will keep people subconsciously thinking about the contest and the prize at the end.”

#6: What is your post-contest celebration plan?

Organize a fun event for the final day of the celebration—be it a pizza party or a picnic at a nearby park.

“Be sure to celebrate the entire contest, not just the winner,” Flaquer suggests. “Everyone should feel good about having participated.” 

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