Female retail worker getting points from a sales contest on a digital device

How to get started with sales contests

Some basic info and our top strategic advice to get started with sales contests, motivate and educate retail sales people!

First of all: What is a sales contest? 
Well, it’s when a group of people competes to see who can sell the most of something over a given period of time. A sales contest can be organized internally in an organization to engage the sales teams or externally to engage frontline salespeople in retail or elsewhere. 

To organize a sales contest you need:

  • A product or service to sell.
  • A group of people selling this product/service. 
  • A way to reach out to them with information about the contest.
  • A way for them to reach you with information about their sales.
  • A prize. 
  • Bonus: A smart strategy to make your sales contest run smoothly and maximize results (read on for tips on how).

The idea behind a sales contest is to incentivize sales. That means giving the salespeople an even better reason to sell than the fact that it’s their job. When they have the chance of winning something extra, they put in the extra effort to get there. 

A sales contest could be organized simply by adding a line behind your name on a whiteboard, signaling another sale. Whoever has the most lines at the end of the day wins a reasonably prized bottle of wine. That’s a sales contest in its simplest form, and it works well if you have your sales team all in one room. In most businesses, though, that’s not the case. And if you’re dealing with external partners, your operation needs to be a bit less … analog. Although the concept is the same: Sell the most to win a prize. 

With digital tools you can register sales and learn when it fits the user!

Here are our top tips for a successful sales contest strategy to get started with sales contests at your brand:

  • Reach wide. Make sure to include as many people as possible. Everyone should feel like they have a chance of winning something. If you’re only engaging the top sellers in your teams, you are not getting the most out of your contest. A way to reach wide could be to include some prizes that incentivize participation on a weekly basis. 
  • Make it fun. A sales contest shouldn’t feel like another boring task on your to-do-list. On the contrary, it should be something that adds a bit of fun and action to your day. A way to make this happens is to use gamification.
  • Be personal. Follow-up throughout the contest and make sure individual efforts and results are properly praised and celebrated. A pat on the back from the bosses makes all the difference. 
  • Incentivize the right stuff. What are you most interested in selling – right now? Make sure the contestants are awarded the most points for the products you want them to sell. A car dealership can compete by selling cars, but they can get even more points in the contest for adding a sale of insurance if that’s something you want them to pay extra attention to. 
  • Be on it. Don’t just press play on your contest and lean back. Stay close and see how people are doing. Maybe someone needs a little push to get started? And remember: Your job as the organizer does not end before everyone has got their prize. 
Try for yourself!

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