12 Effective Sales Contest Ideas to Motivate Employees

Employees are the lifeblood of any business. In the age of Twitter and Facebook, it’s essential to get your personnel to sell the company’s products and services. They’re happy to do it, but you need to inspire them to do it.

The right sales contest can make all the difference in motivating your employees and your bottom line. While it may not be a thing that gets highlighted in a company’s annual report, sales contests are a great way to keep employees motivated at work and ready to go above and beyond.

Sales contests are a low cost way to motivate employees, but not only do they work, they also have a long-term effect on the bottom line.

I’m a huge fan of sales competitions. During my ten years as a sales manager, I’ve had plenty of opportunities to experiment with creating entertaining work contest ideas—some of which have succeeded, and others which have been terrible disasters. In this article, I’ll offer my top tips for organizing sales competitions or motivating sales games that generate enthusiasm and outstanding outcomes. Following that, we’ve compiled a list of some of the finest suggestions.

How to Make a Successful Sales Contest

12 Employee-Motivation Sales Contest Ideas

  1. The game of poker
  2. The most number of no’s
  3. The award for the day
  4. On Fridays, leave early.
  5. The most progressed
  6. The trophy for the team
  7. The snooze button is a useful tool.
  8. Scavenger hunt / Bingo for sales
  9. The “above and beyond” award is given to the person who goes above and beyond.
  10. Shakespeare’s plays
  11. The football fantasy team
  12. The chance encounter

Using Workplace Contests and Sales Games to Motivate Employees

How to Make a Successful Sales Contest

According to research, fostering healthy rivalry among sales teams may significantly improve outcomes, and contest ideas for motivating workers are a fantastic method to do it.

You don’t need me to prove that salesmen are competitive, do you?

Sales competitions are the most apparent method to stoke that competitive spirit, but they shouldn’t be used to promote one person over another.

Running successful sales competitions is all about motivating your whole team to achieve new heights together. To do so, bear in mind that a sales contest’s three primary objectives are to:

  1. Improve the performance of those who are below average.
  2. Team activities should be increased overall.
  3. Boost team morale

It’s worth noting that none of these objectives are directly related to increasing sales. In reality, sales competitions based on “who can sell the most” typically have a detrimental impact on all three of the objectives listed above.


The Bizzabo AE and BDR teams collaborated on a short project.

Don’t base your sales competition on the top-selling salesperson.

The most common misunderstanding regarding team motivation competitions is that the objective is to reward the top-selling rep. Indeed, the worst sales games are based on the concept of “highest revenue in a month wins X.”

Put yourself in the position of a novice salesperson or someone who is having difficulty producing consistently. It’s the first day of the month, and your boss is clearly looking forward to introducing the new workplace contest concept. As is customary, the criteria for winning revolve on selling more than everyone else. The manager believes that the reward, a new 4K TV, will encourage everyone to work hard, and that the representatives’ competitive spirit will result in a record-breaking sales month.

It’s more probable that the top reps, who consistently perform well, will move ahead in the first week. When they understand they have no chance of winning, the remaining representatives, whose output you really need to increase, will fall hopelessly behind.

The wealthy grow wealthier, and you just handed a big reward to a sales person who was already going to have a fantastic month. Why bother holding a sales contest at all if this happens?

You should already have systems in place to reward achievement, such as a “BDR of the Month” award or a medal for “Account Executive of the Quarter.”

You should save the recognition of outstanding sales performance for those kinds of incentives.

Front-end activity should be rewarded.

To begin with, sales competitions should almost entirely be focused on rewarding front-end activities. The great equalizer is activity. Hard effort, not ability, is rewarded, and anybody can work hard. It’s far simpler to remain in contention in a workplace competition if you’re evaluated on scheduling demos, dialing a lot of numbers, or forwarding quality leads to account executives if you’re new or struggling (or any other top-of-the-funnel activity).

7 Steps to a Successful Cold Calling Sales Contest for SDRs (Case Study)

Activity-based competitions “shake the tree” of your top-performing representatives, which is an additional advantage of organizing workplace games this way. Elite salespeople with large pipelines and a thorough understanding of your sales process may be tempted to ignore some of their more fundamental duties. They’ve forgotten what it is to hustle because they’re so efficient. Unfortunately for them, they’ll have to put in the effort if they want to compete in an activity-based sales competition.

Keep your whole team engaged by asking them to come up with fun work contest ideas.

You want everyone to feel like they have a chance to participate throughout the process, but you also want superior performance to be recognized. You should also promote cooperation and mentorship. Can you motivate top performers to coach more junior representatives by rewarding them for how well other members of their group do in these motivating workplace contests?

You may also sell lottery tickets. Better performers are given more tickets, but everyone is given the opportunity to perform. Because no one knows who will win until the event is over, everyone is eager to get started.

12 Employee-Motivation Sales Contest Ideas

So, with all of that in mind, what exactly does a good contest entail? I’ll start with a recent real-life example, then we’ll go through some additional possibilities.

1. The game of poker

For my BDR team, I recently created a contest based on the number of eligible offers accepted by account executives. I went online and purchased an inexpensive plastic roulette wheel to add luck. Every time an account executive accepts a demo into their pipe, I explained to the representatives, they got to spin the roulette wheel. The number they chose was then multiplied by the amount of poker chips they received.

When each activity was accompanied by a “game of chance,” the BDRs were particularly motivated to schedule demonstrations simply so they could spin the wheel. While they were having a good time, I was enjoying a rush of activity that led to additional transactions.

The BDRs then brought their chips to a no-limit poker table at the conclusion of the month, and the last person remaining won (and I can assure you, they were not my best rep).

When everyone was watching me deal the final hand and rooting for the underdog, it had a huge impact on corporate morale. One successful contest is all it takes to get everyone interested about what you’ll do next.

2. The most number of no’s

The concept is straightforward. The game is won by the rep who receives the most no’s throughout the month.

This is a game that anybody can play since it rewards rejection and aids representatives who get discouraged when things go wrong. As a bonus, it may assist get rid of some of those transactions cluttering up the funnel which were never going anywhere.

3. The Prize of the Day

The beauty of everyday contests is that they are completely unpredictable. Anyone can win the competition for the most dials in a day if they put in the effort. You may use them to boost your motivation throughout the days and weeks when things are beginning to wane. Simply purchase some random gifts, place them in a pile, and the person who receives the most bargains on a particular day gets to open them. Nobody knows what’s in any of the boxes. It might be a fantastic present. It may be a waste of time.

Allow reps to pick whether to retain the present or take yesterday’s reward from one of their colleagues for added competition.

4. On Fridays, leave early.

This is best done as a whole-team competition, and it’s a terrific incentive for slow days when sales are low. Your employees are likely to be pretending to work by 3 p.m. on Fridays anyhow, so you may not be losing anything.

The concept is straightforward. If you meet a set goal for a team or a department, you get to clock off early and go out for a drink. With any hope, your representatives will be egging one another on to cross the finish line and accomplish superhuman feats as a group, so they may be the first ones out the door.

5. The most progressed

This one is geared at the less successful salespeople. It’s a really basic concept. The winner is the rep who moves up the most positions in the league standings or outscores their PB by the most points.

6. The Trophy for the Team

Reps should be done in pairs or groups, like in the previous example. Combine high achievers with newcomers or representatives who have struggled. Give out incentives for better performance rather than total performance. Reps are rewarded with points for helping a teammate develop. However, since the best reps can’t improve much, they’ll have to rely on their teammate to climb up the league table to win. With any luck, your senior representatives will share their knowledge and talents with more junior employees, and you’ll watch the new hires develop new skills.

The Snooze Button is number seven.

This isn’t so much a competition as it is a goal. It’s ideal for companies who have a lot of high-volume days. We realize that many individuals strive to meet their monthly quota. Even though it is easier to earn money when it is raining, New York cab drivers work longer hours on bright days.

Allow employees to save time off during periods of heavy traffic. If they meet specific goals during this time, they will be given a snooze button and will be able to go into the workplace at 10.30 a.m. the next time there is a quiet period.

Scavenger Hunt / Bingo for Sales

Another way to keep teams interested for a longer period of time. Set a number of distinct goals for your employees to meet, rather than just awarding the most sales or dials.

This is especially useful if you want to get your representatives out of their comfort zones and into new territory. They need a transaction in California, or from a business of a particular size, you might say. You may also create a variety of goals so that everyone needs to broaden their horizons.

9. The “beyond and beyond” award

There’s a case to be made for not informing representatives that a contest is taking place at all. Telling them there’s a contest but no rules is another option. Alternatively, have the representatives nominate each other for “above and beyond” awards that recognize someone who went above and beyond.

Shakespeare’s Sonnets

This is a competition to encourage employees to share their best practices. It does reward exceptional achievers, but in a manner that also helps others. Staff members contribute their finest emails, closing strategies, or anything else that may promote peer learning. The other members of the team vote on whether customized email, compelling pitch, or other statistic you’re interested in is the most successful. Whoever receives the most votes for having the most golden tongue receives Shakespeare’s doublet or the golden quill.

The fantasy football squad is number eleven.

In fantasy football, your reps are drafted into teams in the same way as they are in fantasy football. Depending on their employment function, they are given various metrics, such as yards, receptions, and interceptions. The teams should be organized in such a way that they have as equal a weighting as feasible, and then they should be paired together once a week. Sure, the winner receives a reward, but the true prize is beating their friends. Because everyone on the team is reliant on the others, they all have to work very hard.

12. The random number generator

This is quite similar to the poker prize at the beginning. You have a chance to play the fortunate dip every time your team achieves a specific amount of sales. There are many prizes to be won. A couple of them are utter nonsense. A few of them are really excellent. The squad has no clue what they’ll be getting.


Yes, in the name of improved sales success and morale, we are spinning a roulette wheel.

Motivate your employees by using sales contest ideas.

When I first started my job as an independent contributor, I participated in a lot of “sell the most” competitions. I saw firsthand how unproductive they were and swore that if I ever led a team of my own, I would never make the same errors.

When I was promoted to management, I stopped holding competitions based on the final result — why reward the best representatives by demotivating the rest of the team?

Contests that center on playing games with top-of-the-funnel activity, in my experience, are a high tide that lifts all boats — everyone is engaged throughout the competition, team morale rises, and, most crucially, outcomes improve noticeably.

This is why I don’t create competitions that just reward top producers since it hasn’t worked for me. Do you agree with me? Awesome. Do you disagree vehemently? It gets even better. Let me know what creative contest ideas have worked for you in the comments!

Also available on Medium.

Don’t you wish you could grab a colleague or an annoying co-worker and tell them, “Hey, we’re going to run a contest at work to win X prizes, and everyone will win, (in fact you’ll actually be rewarded for coming up with the best idea!”?. Read more about fun contest ideas for work and let us know what you think.

{“@context”:”https://schema.org”,”@type”:”FAQPage”,”mainEntity”:[{“@type”:”Question”,”name”:”How do I create a sales contest?”,”acceptedAnswer”:{“@type”:”Answer”,”text”:”
To create a sales contest, you must first decide what prize you want to give away. You can choose anything from a gift card to an iPad. Next, you need to decide how many winners there will be in the contest. For example, if your prize is an iPad and you want 10 people to win it, then your contest will have 10 winners. The last step is deciding on how long the contest will last for. This is usually anywhere from one day to one month.”}},{“@type”:”Question”,”name”:”What are the types of sales contest?”,”acceptedAnswer”:{“@type”:”Answer”,”text”:”
There are two types of sales contests. One is a door prize type, where the winner will receive a gift card or other small prize. The other type is an auction-style contest, where the winner will get to choose one item from a list of items that have been donated by various companies and organizations.”}},{“@type”:”Question”,”name”:”What are sales force contests?”,”acceptedAnswer”:{“@type”:”Answer”,”text”:”
Salesforce contests are a type of contest that is used by companies to reward their employees for reaching certain milestones.”}}]}

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I create a sales contest?

To create a sales contest, you must first decide what prize you want to give away. You can choose anything from a gift card to an iPad. Next, you need to decide how many winners there will be in the contest. For example, if your prize is an iPad and you want 10 people to win it, then your contest will have 10 winners. The last step is deciding on how long the contest will last for. This is usually anywhere from one day to one month.

What are the types of sales contest?

There are two types of sales contests. One is a door prize type, where the winner will receive a gift card or other small prize. The other type is an auction-style contest, where the winner will get to choose one item from a list of items that have been donated by various companies and organizations.

What are sales force contests?

Salesforce contests are a type of contest that is used by companies to reward their employees for reaching certain milestones.

Related Tags

This article broadly covered the following related topics:

  • contest ideas to motivate employees
  • sales contest prize ideas
  • sales contest ideas
  • sales contest themes
  • sales contest ideas for sales team