Expert advice on how to supercharge your sales contest.
Of course, the short-term boost in numbers achieved by a sales contest is great! But let’s look beyond that, shall we? How do you go from a short-term boost to long-term brand ambassadors?
First, some backstory:
– Sure, I’ve done sales contests that resulted in a 20 to 30% increase in sales – even more. Back in the days when I worked in retail distribution, numbers like that could often be the case after a successful campaign period, says Kent R. Bråthen.
The Mevo co-founder and CEO has organized his fair share of sales contests. Even prior to starting Mevo. Kent’s experience with sales contests was actually what gave him the idea to start Mevo in the first place. He has also seen some common mistakes and experienced first-hand which triggers to push to ensure success.
Kent is the first to point out that it’s easy to get blinded by the short-term boost that a sales contest could achieve.
– But you should also ask yourself what a 3-5% long-term increase would mean to your brand.Kent R. Bråthen
Kent is not encouraging you to aim lower – on the contrary: Aim wider and longer.
If you have organized a sales contest, you have almost certainly seen an increase in numbers for that time period. That’s the whole point, right? You put the spotlight on something you want your sales teams to focus on, add incentives to make sure they are extra motivated, and voilà, results on the table.
– There’s absolutely a great and a less than great way to go about organizing a sales contest.Kent R. Bråthen
One of Kent’s most important points, in order to maximize results, is to prepare well. If you have a strategy for reaching wide, engaging as many salespeople as possible, you will boost your numbers accordingly.
Add some creative touches and a solid execution plan, and the results will go through the roof.
Read on to get all of Kent’s top tips for organizing a successful sales contest.
Raise the floor!
A well-executed sales contest can raise the floor forever, explains Kent.
– Salespeople who truly know and love your brand and products will keep selling them even when there’s no prize involved. Confidence and solid product knowledge make selling easy and fun. That’s what we aim to achieve through our sales engagement software, he says.
Let’s say you increase your sales by 20 percent during a campaign period. That’s a great boost that adds a lot of value. But let’s say your sales go down to the same level as before the week after your campaign is over. You will still have the numbers from the 2 weeks your campaign lasted. But what about the 50 other weeks of that year?
– The reason why we are so into ambassadors is that they give you a significant and long-lasting boost in sales. In retail distribution having just one or two ambassadors in one single store can really turn the numbers, says Kent, and gives an example from his old job:
– Let’s say you normally sell about 500 jeans a month. Pushing that number to 750, an increase of 50%, during a one month sales contest is definitely possible. If you can raise the floor long term with an increase of 50 jeans a month, that’s another 550 jeans the upcoming 11 months. And a yearly increase of 800 jeans, close to 14%.
Let’s look at Kent’s best tips to make this happen:
Best sales contest tips during the campaign
- Prepare. Make sure you know the group you are activating and have a solid execution plan from invitation to finish line.
- Reach wide. Include as many people as possible. Engaging the top performers is not your main challenge – everyone else is.
- Make it fun! Add elements of gamification to help get the dopamine flowing. It really boosts motivation and learning.
- Be personal. Stay close throughout the campaign period and make sure to celebrate great achievements. This can of course be done digitally.
- Choose the right incentives. A big fat prize will boost motivation, for sure. But don’t spend your whole budget on one top prize. Make sure to include a prize opportunity for everyone. Sprinkle your campaign with small prizes to keep momentum.
- Follow-up. This is not the time to lose touch and get sloppy. Make sure you wrap up in a good way. That means thanking everyone for their effort, celebrate the winners, and sending out the prizes in due time.
Best tips to ensure a long-lasting sales contest effect
- Make the experience memorable, by following the tips above. This will make sure you stay top of mind for a while.
- Include some brand and product knowledge in your campaign. Key knowledge and fun facts will stick and make selling easier. Forever. Or at least for a long, long time. This is the way to create brand ambassadors.
The last point is a very important one: How do you put a value on a brand ambassador? Someone who will preach the excellence of your brand and products at a dinner party, without getting paid for it, and with no incentives insight. Of course, this value is, as someone else once said, priceless.