Motivating your sales employees can feel impossible during a sales slump. Sales teams thrive on performance and progress, so it’s easy for the whole team to get into a rut when sales are down. That’s why experienced sales managers leverage sales games and contests — to inspire their sales teams and freshen up their sales approach.
Still, coming up with great sales contest ideas is a challenge. The wrong game can leave sales reps rolling their eyes and feeling even less driven to contact leads. However, with a little thought and intention, you can create unique sales contests that inspire your team and turn their numbers around in no time.
Why Does Gamification Work for Sales Teams?
Naturally, most people like to be recognized and rewarded for their work. Still, many of the rewards sales teams get aren’t immediate. After an afternoon of rejections, it’s difficult to find the intrinsic motivation to keep pushing for the sale.
Goal-oriented, ambitious, and competitive salespeople often find gamification taps into their natural instincts and offers satisfaction for completing everyday tasks. By bolstering their intrinsic motivation to succeed with extrinsic motivators like cash, prizes, or bragging rights, gamification helps sales teams conquer boredom, strengthen performance, and bring excitement into their daily tasks.
According to Scientific American, the best sales contest ideas also incorporate these three gamification elements to boost motivation:
Autonomy: Give sales professionals a choice to participate, or choose how to participate, while reinforcing that they are in control of their own success.
Value: Assigning value to an action can encourage ongoing motivation for completing that task.
Competence: Consider the capability, skills, and resources necessary to complete a task.
Top 3 Creative Sales Games & Contest Ideas
Here are three unique sales contest ideas that are certain to inspire your team today.
1. Perfect Pair
Contests can feel unfair when new hires are competing against experienced veterans. Knowing who the best performers are can often demotivate other sales people from participating in contests, knowing that their efforts won’t be recognized.
Instead of pitting all sales people against one another, pair up each newbie with a veteran and allow them to compete as a team. This encourages your motivated veterans to offer mentorship and guidance to their newbie partner, so your whole team improves vital skills.
Make a list of your sales team based on when they joined the team. Then, pair up more experienced employees with less experienced employees they may not have regular contact with. Encourage veterans to listen in on newbie’s calls and provide coaching. Then, offer to buy lunch for the winning team to reinforce the new connection.
Even beyond the day’s contest, this setup will help your team members build relationships with each other and foster feelings of teamwork and higher morale. Plus, it can help you identify which of your veterans are ready for more responsibility or a promotion.
2. School the Trainer
Learning new sales skills is a must for your team, and a contest is the perfect way to help your team flex their new abilities.
Prepare your team for upcoming training by announcing a School the Trainer contest. In this contest, you’ll have salespeople focus on taking and practicing new actions they’ve learned in their workshop. Start by setting up a points system that celebrates each step of their new skill.
For example, if your team is learning about cross-selling, you can use this point system:
1 point for mentioning another product on a phone call or email
3 points for connecting the lead to another department for more information on that product
5 points for a successful cross-sell order
Throughout the contest, have trainers and coaches review sales calls to offer extra tips and learning opportunities. This can help your team integrate new skills like upselling, gaining SQLs, or building rapport more quickly and effectively. As your trainers and coaches review calls, tally up points and surprise the top three performers with a prize.
3. For a Favor
Selling relies on making the ask, and asking customers for a favor is a great way to improve relationships. Rather than focusing solely on making the sale, create a contest where the goal is to make multiple asks on every call. Assign one point to every request your salesperson makes, including micro-commitments like asking to send a follow-up email, scheduling a call for another time, or asking for a referral.
Research has found that when salespeople ask customers for a favor, customers are more likely to feel there’s a reciprocal relationship — and they’re more inclined to move forward with a negotiation. This supports other research indicating that asking for favors increases likeability and can be disarming in personal relationships.
As coaches listen to your team’s calls, encourage them to showcase when salespeople do a great job in gaining a micro-commitment. Then, tally up the points and reward the winner with a favor from their boss.
Encourage Your Sales team to Succeed With Sales Contests
For ambitious salespeople, motivation can wane when sales are down or no one is picking up the phone. Sometimes, extrinsic motivation can revitalize their intrinsic motivation and bring fresh energy to your office. One of the best ways to boost motivation for sales teams is by gamifying their tasks with a sales contest.
Thankfully, you don’t have to spend hours coming up with your own sales contest ideas. Try out these awesome contests to inspire your team. If you are looking for sales competition software platforms, check out our Product Selection Tool for the right sales competition platform. The results could yield more than better numbers; they could lead to better collaboration and a more engaged team.