Sales Contest Mistakes to Avoid

sales people running a race

Sales contests are a key motivational support deployed by smart companies who want their sales team to stay “lit”.

They can take a lot of time to plan and implement, so avoiding some errors that can inadvertently derail them is a best practice.  But some are not conscious of the pitfalls extent in inspiring sales staff, so this blog points you at some of the big ones.

Here are some sales contest mistakes to avoid, so your sales contests will do exactly what you need them to do.

Believing that money is everything.

We know that everybody likes a little extra money in their pocket.  We’re living in a consumer society, so it’s natural that we like money.

But money isn’t everything.  (Tell your friends.)

In fact, money as a sales incentive is fading in popularity, as employers become aware that other types of incentives are much more effective.  Travel incentives, especially, are highly desired by employees.  The experience economy has reached everyone on the planet at this point.  Your employees are no exception.

The won’t remember the money.  They’ll remember a travel incentive, because it provides an experience.

Coddling top performers.

Top performers bring in a lot of bacon.  That much is indisputable.  All the same, it takes a crew to row a boat and those holding the oars in the back of the boat are working hard, too.

And here’s a shocking truth – those top performers are less likely to up the ante when a sales contest is in progress.  Who steps up?  The 80% of your sales force that isn’t at the top of the pyramid.  Only about 40% of the bump you get from sales contests derives from the efforts of your top 20%.

They’re already superstars.  They’ve already earned their laurels.  Give the rest of the crew a chance to row to victory.

Busy?  Sales contest time!

Conventional wisdom tells many managers that prime time for sales contests is during the slumps.  But running a sales contest during peak selling periods takes advantage of the riper conditions that such periods offer.

Why wouldn’t you strike while the iron is hot?  Run your sales contest when prospects are plentiful and watch your sales team close like champions.

Mono-goals don’t work.

More conventional wisdom:  offering one incentive the entire team competes for provides more motivation.

Not so!

98% of sales people want to work to individual goals.  What’s more, when given freedom of choice in the matter, they’ll choose higher goals at a rate of over 40%.

Never underestimate the power of personalization.  Using individual sales reps’ historical numbers as a baseline is a much more effective tool to push your sales figures.  There’s nothing like personal achievement to fire people up.

Incentive Travel Group can help.

ITG has been in the business of quality incentives for over 20 years.  When it comes to sales contests and what makes them effective, we’ve got the professional insight you need.

These sales contest mistakes to avoid are just a taste of our incentives acumen.  Contact us for more.

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