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Why sales contests really work

Sales force compensation takes up the single biggest portion of marketing spend for most B2B companies, according to the HBR.

Together, US corporates spend more than $800 billion on motivating their sales teams each year – that’s three times their advertising spend. Contests buck that trend by offering tangible, meaningful rewards that may, in some cases, beat cold hard cash.

Whether it’s simply to drive revenue growth, encouraging new software adoption, or getting buy-in on changing processes, competition always breeds results. But the world of sales is changing. Now, managers need to look beyond motivating the individual, and devise contests that boost problem-solving and collaboration: the hallmarks of modern sales representatives.

Keeping sales teams inspired, not just informed

Where do you rank motivation in your list of factors that impact sales? Are raw sales skills more important?

The truth is, motivation is the driving force behind all of your team’s wider skills. Core sales techniques – whatever an individual’s processes, approaches and selling styles – remain the same. Keeping them inspired, engaged and uplifted takes far more effort than teaching them about product developments, or coaching their communications with customers. That’s what makes sales contests so powerful.

How they work

There are plenty of examples of this in action. Global consultancy PwC ran a ‘fantasy football’-style contest among their North American sales staff, dubbed the ‘Culture of Hustle’. By combining some of the traditional elements of game-playing (such as point-scoring, levels, intermediate rewards and leaderboards), they were able to incorporate wider elements, including urgency, a sense of autonomy and the element of surprise. The result: a highly psychologically and physically rewarding, engaging contest that drove sales and changed behavior.

Doing them well

A well-run, immersive contest can make all the difference.

Aimed at IT providers, sales professionals and their customers, Simulcation Datacenter provides a way to experience leading architecture, software and services in action – all in a highly engaging, competitive, fun environment. We’re also running sales contests to encourage users to start and continue their journey, through ten weeks of exciting prizes centered around a ‘mission’ – where users compete to achieve a specific goal.

We’ve been running contests as part of IBM TSS Champion education to great success with Business Partners, where they empowered collaboration and increased engagement.

Grow your sales through Simulcation Datacenter – contact us to find out more about our contests.


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