Sales Contests Do’s and Don’ts: How to Create an Awesome Competition to Encourage Your Sales Team

Alejandro Morales
4 min readAug 9, 2018


When used effectively, sales contests are a great tool to inspire the team, boost productivity and achieve new levels of employee satisfaction. In the following post, we’ll openly share our knowledge of the subject. Ready to learn all the do’s and don’ts of sales contests?

A recent study conducted by Deloitte illustrates the importance of using competition strategically, specially when it comes to stimulating the always elusive millennial generation.

According to these results, in organizations with high levels of employee satisfaction, millennials have a great tendency to report a culture of mutual support. Also, these same millennials report a friendly fun environment and a strong sense of purpose beyond financial reward.

But let’s cut to the chase and discover the best and worst practices for organizing successful sales contests.

1 — Align Metrics with Business Objectives

One of the main reasons why badly designed sales contests usually go stale is because of misaligned metrics. Any sales contest you create must have 2 to 4 high-level goals that coincide with the organization’s executive strategy.

Thanks to gamification driven software like Hurrah!, it is easy to leverage multiple KPIs that include both activity metrics. Metrics such as calls made and emails sent, as well as objective metrics like new meetings set, contracts sent and deals won.

2 — Use Social Media to Your Advantage

If your last few sales competitions have failed to inspire your team, it’s highly possible that communication mistakes were made along the way.

One of the best solutions to this problem is using social media to your advantage. After all, what makes a millennial tick more than a bunch of likes on an Instagram post?

Get creative and share all the great progress and celebrate the contest winners through social media channels.

3 — Think About Real Incentives

It’s essential to consider the expectations of the sales team that participates in the contest. Like we said before, it’s not all about the cash or bonuses.

Take the time to survey your sales team and find out which incentives are more attractive and why. Be creative and think about days off, vacations or even fun group activities that the whole team might enjoy.

4 — Run a Team Contest

Forget the “everyman for himself” ideology. Studies have demonstrated that, when organized in teams, individuals tend to bring out the very best of themselves and even discover new skills in order to achieve the group’s greater goals.

1 — Don’t Run Simultaneous Contests

Sure contests are great but don’t get carried away with contest fever. Overlapping contests will completely defeat the purpose of this friendly competition.

Make sure that the sales team keeps interested and focused in participating and testing their own limits in order to win one tournament at a time.

2 — Don’t Make It Complicated

Following up with the previous point, good communication and organization are the key elements of every successful contest.

Make it simple by establishing clear rules and choosing the contest time frame wisely. It’s vital that at least once a day updates are published for the entire sales team.

You can also use Hurrah! as the ultimate tool to announce everything related to the contest: goals, rules, score charts, prizes, and winners.

3 — Don’t Reward Only Top Performers

Management loves top performers but to think they’re the obvious winners in any competition is a mistake.

As a matter of fact, it’s been proven over and over that those who apparently are at the top of their game are less likely to up the ante when a sales contest is in progress.

Give the rest of the crew a chance to earn their own laurels.

4 — Don’t Overlook Underachievers

Much like we already pointed out, overlooking underachievers is one of the worst mistakes you need to avoid at all cost. It’s estimated that only about 40% of the bump you get from sales contests comes from the efforts of the top 20% sales reps.

Everybody needs to be included and every member of the team must feel like a superstar regardless of their scores in the charts.

On that note, don’t forget that leaderboards are great tools to recognize achievements in a clear, customized and visually appealing style that can run continuously to keep showcasing individual or team contributions toward one big business goal.

Think collaboration beyond competition and take profit of the fun and games to build trust and empathy among your people.

Ready to begin?

Did you find this post useful? Let me know how you feel in the comments below!

This article was originally posted on our company’s blog, here: Sales Contests Do’s and Don’ts: How to Create an Awesome Competition to Encourage Your Sales Team



Alejandro Morales

CEO at CRM Gamified, where we aim to help companies recognize, reward and motivate their people by using gamification techniques.