20 Sales Contest Ideas Guaranteed to Motivate Your Team

Personal Productivity20 Sales Contest Ideas Guaranteed to Motivate Your Team

In order to make more sales, you need to find a way to really motivate your team. If you don’t have a huge budget to work with, that might seem difficult or even impossible to do. But there are some low budget ways you can motivate your team and incentivize great work.

Contests and other fun employee incentives can be a great way to bring your team together and get more done. Here are 20 different sales contest ideas you can use to do just that.

Sales Contest Ideas

Salesperson of the Month

Having an employee or salesperson of the month is a pretty straightforward way of rewarding great work on an ongoing basis. You simply present a designated award to the top salesperson or another employee who meets a certain set of objectives throughout each month.

To get started, you’ll simply need to choose a starting month, outline a specific prize and then alert your employees. Prizes can range from time off to money or even something more creative.

Raffle Prizes

If you want to make sure that all of your employees have a chance to receive awards while still getting recognized for their work throughout the month, you can set up a raffle type system.

Each salesperson or employee can obtain raffle tickets for every sale or specific objective that they reach throughout the month. Then at the end of the month or quarter, you can have a drawing to award a large prize or a few smaller prizes. This ensures that the people who do the best work have a great chance of receiving awards, while still ensuring that every small achievement receives recognition.

Winner’s Choice

Coming up with prizes can be one of the most difficult parts of running a sales contest. But there is a way to make it a bit easier. Just let the winners decide.

To do this, just pledge to give an award to the person who makes the most sales each month or quarter, then outline a selection of potential awards. The winner can then decide what they want to win, or even choose a potential prize for the next month’s winner if you want to make it more interesting.

Win a Favor From the Boss

Or you can even offer a more personalized prize for the person who makes the most sales. Let them win a favor from you!

Set up a specific timeline for the contest. Then at the end, the winner or winners can choose a favor from you as their prize. Maybe they want you to wash their car. Maybe they want to pick your brain over lunch one day. Leave it up to them — within reason, of course.

Boss for a Day

Or you could set up a sales contest where the winner actually gets to take your place for a day.

At the end of each month or quarter, the person with the most sales or points will get to run things their way for a day. Let them run a meeting, choose where to take the team for lunch and even set up shop in your corner office.

Team-Wide Goals

If you want to start a sales contest that doesn’t pit each of your team members against one another, you can instead ask them to work together to reach certain objectives.

To do this, set a team goal like a dollar amount for total sales or a number of products sold. Then keep track of your progress throughout the month and have your team members encourage each other to work toward that goal.

Daily Prizes

Not every contest has to go on for a long period of time to be effective. Instead, you can have smaller daily contests that give more people a chance to win.

For this, you’ll need some ideas for smaller prizes to offer your team, like gift cards or free snack items in the break room. Then give those prizes to the people who make the most sales each day.

Sales Madness

A la March Madness, you can set up a bracket style contest that creates friendly competitions between your salespeople throughout the month.

This one can take a bit more planning. You’ll need to create a bracket that includes all of your sales staff. Then at the end of each day or week, whoever has the most sales in each individual competition will move onto the next round. At the end of the month or quarter, depending on the size of your team, you should have a final round and an eventual winner.

Conversion Contest

When you get a list of new leads, you can start a new contest where each salesperson has the same opportunity to win no matter what their sales history looks like.

For this type of contest, you’ll need to distribute the leads evenly throughout your team so everyone has an equal opportunity. Then the person who converts the most sales within that group wins a prize.

Top This

You can also set up a sales contest where your team is awarded for making the largest individual sale, rather than the most sales overall.

This would be fairly similar logistically to other contests, but would just encourage your team to try and upsell or sell multiple items to individual customers. At the end of each month or quarter, award a prize to the person who has made the largest individual sale. You can even keep track of who’s in the lead throughout the month so that the rest of the team knows the number to beat.

Floating Prizes

You can also offer prizes or awards that go from person to person as the winner changes. This type of contest can award the largest sale throughout the month or even go from person to person at the end of each month.

To do this, you just need to identify a prize that your team members can enjoy even if they don’t get to keep it permanently. It could be a simple desk decoration or even a privilege — like the ability to choose meeting snacks. Then ensure that the prize goes from person to person when someone breaks the monthly sales record.

Team Scavenger Hunt

Each member of your sales staff likely has his or her own specialty. So you can set up a scavenger hunt style contest where your staff works in teams — pooling  their various skill sets –to complete various tasks.

For instance, you can set up a set of objectives like a sale that’s over a certain dollar amount, a sale to a brand new customer or a sale of a certain amount of different products. Then split your staff into teams and challenge them to complete every objective on the list.

Fantasy Sales Team

Think fantasy sports leagues here. This type of contest is intended to create an environment where all of your staff supports and encourages one another.

In a draft-style format, your sales people form teams. Then each “player” is awarded points for sales or other objectives reached. And the person whose team gets the most points at the end of the month or quarter wins.

Slump Buster Contest

Contests can be a great way to spur more activity from your sales team when times are slow. What you can do during those slow times is challenge your team to contact old or existing customers to try to sell repeat or upgraded products.

To do this, you’ll need a start and end date and an objective for your team to reach. This can be the most sales, the highest volume or even the largest single transaction. Then challenge your team to reach out to their existing contacts and see who comes out on top.

“Most Wanted” Clients

Within your industry, there are probably a few big players who you’d love to have as clients. And you can even make this goal into a contest.

Outline a few “most wanted” clients and divide them up among your team so each member knows who should reach out to whom. Then reward whoever is able to make the biggest sale.

Visualizing Progress Contests

Sometimes, contests are most effective when your team is able to actually see the progress they’re making right in front of them. So you can create a visual to put up in your office to keep track of how close your team or individual salespeople are getting to their goals.

You can make it a team competition, where you set a numerical goal for your whole sales team for the month. Then all of your reps can encourage each other and update the chart or graph visualization every time they make a new sale. Or you can have a chart that depicts how many sales each individual has made throughout the month so you can keep a friendly competition going.

Trade Show Objectives

If your business does any selling at trade shows or events, that can be a great opportunity for you to foster some healthy competition amongst members of your team. So you can start a day or weeklong competition where you award the person who makes the most sales just during the event.

All you need to do is alert your event staff of the competition and then create a way for them to easily track their sales during the event. At the end, offer a simple prize to the winner.

Customer’s Choice

Not every sales competition has to be just about the volume of sales made. Instead, you can create a contest where you encourage better customer service by offering an award to the person with the best customer reviews.

For this type of contest, you need to make sure that you have a way to survey your customers after they’ve completed purchases, or just periodically. Then you can present awards to the sales reps who get the highest marks from their clients or customers.

Surprise Prizes

Sometimes, sales contests are less about the actual prize and more about simply recognizing your employees. And you can also add a little bit of fun into the mix by making each prize a surprise.

To do this, you’ll need to collect some small prizes like gift cards or tiny trinkets. Then place them in small gift boxes or bags. And outline some objectives that your staff must reach in order to get a prize. Then when someone achieves one of those objectives, they can choose a box or bag without knowing what’s inside, and it’s a fun surprise for them and your whole staff.

Sales Bingo

You can also reward those little everyday tasks your team completes by creating a bingo-like game. This type of game can help you encourage your team to do all of the little things, since every box they can check off gives them a better chance of winning a prize.

For this type of game, you’ll need to create bingo cards that include different types of sales or tasks in each of the squares. One could be a sale of a certain amount. One could be getting a brand new account, and so on. Then have each of your reps keep track of their accomplishments, and then award them when they fill in a whole row or card.

For more, check out these small business sales strategies and tips.

The Winner Is … Photo via Shutterstock

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Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends, covering entrepreneur profiles, interviews, feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. When she’s not writing she can be found exploring all that her home state of Michigan has to offer.

8 Reactions
  1. This will make working a little bit fun. Just make sure that the competition doesn’t turn ugly from over competitiveness. The competition should be light and fun.

  2. Great post! I’m already familiar with a few of these blogs but looking forward to discover the rest.

  3. Hey, Annie

    These 20 ideas are really cool! I learned a lot.

    Thank you so much 🙂

  4. Getting surprise prizes such as small gift cards or tiny trinkets is an idea that I really like. If I had a business, I would try to have sales incentive programs that were fun and meaningful for employees. Perhaps getting some professional help in setting up the programs would also be something that I would do.

  5. Good one. Some motivational quotes can check out here https://sandeshlive.com/customer-satisfaction-quotes/ to strive harder, carries a deep significance, and helps to boost employee morale and customer satisfaction.

  6. Awesome post!! When it comes to small businesses the small things count. Having fun and keeping your employees happy has to be a priority. Most small businesses are family-owned businesses so they have to depend on each other already. I learned a lot from this article!

  7. I read this wonderful article of yours and want to thank you!
    I definitely enjoyed each and every one of them.
    I’ve bookmarked you to check out new things you’ve published.

  8. Very Helpful Information. God bless you, always be happy