Have you launched a sales contest and generated no lift or a meager increase in results? Well you are not alone! Putting together an effective sales contest takes time, money and a concentrated effort.
The following tips can help enhance the overall effectiveness of your next campaign.
1. Measurement. It is imperative that you have measurable results. Far too many times contests are developed that have no defined objectives. It’s like making up a game but not telling anyone the rules. To assure your team knows what and how they need to perform, set specific goals with a measurable outcome.
2. Stale. Often we get lazy as contest administrators and we try to extend the life a contest for as long as we can. Unless you have a very long sales cycle, you should not run a program more than 90 days. Employees will lose focus and the contest will lose steam. If you want to keep a creative theme for long periods of time, you can – just make sure to refresh the goals or measurement window at least every quarter.
3. In the money! Many contests fail because the team already knows who is going to win. The best sales reps continue to be ranked 1, 2 and 3. To avoid discounting the majority of the team, set objectives where at least 60% of the staff can win something. You can tier your prizes and rewards according to performance but engage as many participants as you can. A little bit from everyone is a lot better than a lot from one or two people.
4. Time. Quick contests are nice to kick start results. However be careful that you allot enough time for the behavior to change. If your sales cycle is 6 months, a 1 day contest is somewhat pointless. A call center may be a great place to run a one day campaign but keep in mind that habits take a while to form. If you want to drive good behavior (with good repeatable habits) it is important to allow the time necessary for the team to adjust.
5. Creative. I know it is a pain to come up with creative themes and games. However if the management team fails to put much energy into a program, you are pretty much guaranteed that the team will not put much energy into the program either. Be creative; try something new. Make it fun and interesting!
6. Prizes. The good contest should construct the payout as a true pay-for-performance campaign. This means you don’t pay anyone unless you get results. However often we find managers trying to move mountains and then not offering enough compensation to show true thanks to the team for their contribution. Bottom line – handing out company pens for a 10% lift in quota is not enough to get the job done and vice versa handing out a new car for showing up to work is too much.
7. ROI. Throwing good money at bad is the worst mistake we sales managers make. When a revenue gap exists, we are often pressed to “do” something to try and make up the revenue. However before you spend more company money or take away your valuable time, be sure to review the ROI of such a program. Sometimes an alternate plan such as adding a sales channel or investing in a marketing campaign is far more effective and can help augment your selling efforts.
A contest is a great way to motivate short term results. Used effectively you can see up to a 20% increase in your sales results.