Sales Incentive Contests

Written by Jeremy Horelick
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Sales incentive contests allow managers to extend their reach to members of their staff who may never compete for the top prize. By creating awards other than that of net sales or total volume, it's possible to motivate even the lowest-selling employees. Better still, such awards can give the impression that struggling sales reps are as much a part of the team as the board leaders.

How exactly is this done? Contests for the most improved rep, highest number of leads generated, and greatest number of sales calls placed can open up the competition to everyone. You may wish to include a "Biggest Sale" contest for the single largest deal closed in your office. This tends to be a much more democratic contest than one based on total take alone.

Outside the Box

As a manager, you must constantly come up with new and better ways to motivate your reps without defaulting to the same old tired contests. What's needed is an infusion of new ideas and incentives. Some managers have even resorted to highly unorthodox prizes such as weeklong enrollments in space camp or spy training sessions. Super Bowl tickets are great, but experiencing the feeling of weightlessness or learning to use cutting-edge espionage equipment is wholly unique.

Other executives have resorted to jungle safaris and orienteering trips in lieu of cash, jewelry, and other customary prizes. A week spent in Africa doesn't normally find its way into the batch of traditional vacations to places like the Caribbean or Hawaii. Additionally, your best reps won't expend the same effort if doing so only means going back to Maui for the third or fourth time. Of all the indignities!

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