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5 Epic Sales Contest Ideas for 2015

The average sales contest doesn't have to involve one performance metric and a leaderboard. In fact, we're firm believers that it shouldn't. These are 5 sales contest ideas that can shake up your usual approach to motivating your sales force.

Lack of motivation should never be what's holding back your salesforce -- but at varying times of the year, they're going to hit a wall or settle into a lull. One of the best ways to proactively combat this inevitable problem is by running engaging sales contests with some regularity. 

The question is: How to get the most out of each sales contest? We advise running contests that are 1) based around multiple metrics and 2) set up to keep as much of the salesforce engaged for the longest possible time.

With that said, let's take a look at 5 sales contest ideas that can pull your sales force out of a rut and inspire them to attack the phones, push themselves the extra mile, and close more deals.

5 Innovative Sales Contest Ideas To Crush 2015

To invoke the GZA, the same old sales contest often becomes played out, "like zodiac signs on sweatshirts." (Wait, that was once a thing?) 

The following five sales contest ideas are haymakers to employee complacency. The scourge of sales rep apathy. Use one or more of them to help your sales team crush 2015.

Idea 1) Fantasy Football for Sales

This might shock you, but we fully support running with Fantasy Football as a sales contest idea. Our current users at long-time customers like Dropbox, Coyote Logistics, and Clayton Homes run weekly team vs. team competitions where their sales reps receive benchmark-based performance scores. Typically, they compete over a multi-week regular season, with the top teams making the playoffs to compete for the company championship.

Does everyone who uses Ambition run Fantasy Football-style contests? Hardly -- we offer a ton of features well beyond just team competitions). But if you have a large salesforce of 20+ reps, this is a compelling way of driving self-perpetuating salesforce motivation.

Idea 2) March Madness for Sales

Again, works best with a bigger sales force (16+ being optimal) but a March Madness style competition where employees compete in daily  (or if you have a smaller salesforce, weekly) head-to-head matchups can be a thrilling way to inject creativity and an extra dose of sales motivation, especially if it's run during basketball season.

Whether you choose to run a daily or weekly March Madness contest, when you put that bracket up on the wall or office TV, you're bringing at least a bit of the energy, passion and Cinderella-appeal of March Madness into your sales bullpen.

Idea 3) European Futbol for Sales

In Europe, professional soccer is played at varying levels -- the Champions League, the Premiere League, and the Relegation League.

A big obstacle with sales contests is that they only motivate your top performers. That being the case, another way for large sales teams to incentive performance is to set up 3 different leagues so that people of comparable performance levels will be the ones competing against one another for a shot at the title.

If you want to take this contest to the next level, have a preliminary round where that you'll use to divide your performers into each league. How well they perform during the preliminaries determines the level at which they compete. 

Idea 4) Sales Capture the Flag

Two teams, one objective (ideally a set of different performance metrics to hit). Capture the Flag is a compelling sales contest idea for smaller sales teams (sub-20 reps), especially if it comes with quality incentive for the first team to get to the flag.

The great thing about this contest is that you can run it intermittently, with the winning team getting to retain possession of the flag (if you're not using the American Flag, you're doing this wrong) until the next contest. Stagger them by placing a few weeks between each contest, subtly encourage winner trash talk, and watch the intensity grow withe each passing contest. 

Idea 5) Contest Using a Blueboard-Approved Incentive

A throwback, leaderboard-style sales contest (Ambition has that, too) can be made epic through next-level incentives. Check out Blueboard.co and see what we mean. No matter what kind of sales contest you're running, we recommend deploying a memorable, experiential award to the winner, if economically feasible.

Pro sports tickets, concert passes, a tour of a famous attraction nearby -- the idea here is that by giving your winner something that is an event or experience, you're creating a unique, lasting memory that will be 10x as impactful as another Amazon gift card. 

Jeremy Boudinet is the Director of Marketing for Ambition -- the world's #1 sales productivity and analytics platform and preferred solution for Dropbox, Coyote Logistics and Clayton Homes. Check out our Demo site or contact us to discuss bringing Ambition to your sales force.

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