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5 Sales Contest Mistakes to Avoid

Nov 22, 2017

Sales targets less than they should be? Sales team motivation at an all-time low? Many organizations rely on effective sales contests to motivate their sales team and increase their bottom line. However, sales contests are only as successful if they are executed properly. 

Sales contest programs require significant time, execution, and planning. Sales managers have to lay a solid foundation of introductions and then stay on top of it with strong follow-up along the way.

If done right, sales managers can see their sales shoot through the roof and renew passion among their sales team. If improperly executed or built on faulty assumptions, sales managers can be left with sagging sales and a demotivated sales team.

Here are five sales contest mistakes you might be making right now:

1. “My Cash Compensation Plan Motivates my Sales Reps to Perform at their Highest Level”

The truth is, cash isn’t always the key motivator and we have lots of evidence to prove this. A study by BI WORLDWIDE found that merchandise rewards led to a 300% increase in sales over cash rewards.

2. “I Get the Best Performance When All of my Sales Reps Work Towards the Same Contest Goal”

Nothing can be further from the truth. When given the chance to select their own sales goals, 98% of salespeople will select a goal and interestingly, 42% will aim for the highest sales goal offered.

3. “Most of My Lift Comes from the Top 20% of my Sales Force”

We all love top performers, so much so. that we often overestimate their actual impact. The truth is, most sales contest lift comes from the lower 80%, with only 35 – 40% of sales uplift coming from the top 20.

4. “The Best Time to Run Sales Contests is During Slow Periods”

This might sound like common sense, but actually, the opposite is true. Don’t neglect the busy sales periods. Sales uplift runs 5-10% higher during busy periods because the opportunity to sell is greater. When salespeople are putting in maximum effort, they increase their closing rate.

5. “I Know What Motivates my Sales Team to Reach their Goals”

If that were true, then most contests would be highly successful.  But they’re not. The reality is 75% fail to reach their goals.

So, maybe it’s time to take a closer look at what really inspires better performance and base your next contest on science, not speculation. At BI WORLDWIDE Canada, we believe there is in fact science involved in building sales incentives. By understanding human behaviour and what really motivates us through behavioural economics studies, we have data evidence from over 600 client programs that prove what works and what doesn’t. There’s no guesswork about our solutions.

Take your sales contest strategy to the next level with BI WORLDWIDE Canada.

The best way to get started is to get in touch.

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