How to Create Competitions That Motivate Your Whole Team

Running a sales competition to increase focus on KPIs is an essential part of driving activity on your funnel and motivating the sales floor… but competitions are not always easy to implement. Here are some quick tips to help energize, motivate and incentivize sales success.

How to Create Competitions That Motivate Your Whole Team

First, ask yourself a few quick questions:

  • Which metrics are most important for increasing revenue?
  • How do you measure the effectiveness of the competition?
  • What rules should be implemented?
  • How many winners should be allowed and what should the incentives be?
  • How do we keep the reps engaged throughout the entire competition period?

Rule 1: KISS - Keep it Simple, Sales

Make it easy for reps to understand the purpose of the competition, what goals they need to focus on and how they can win. Clarity is key.

You should strive to clearly explain the value of the competition–both to the company and to the reps involved.

Rule 2: Personal Incentives Matter

People work best when they see the reward at the finish line as satisfying and worth the effort. However, there is no “one-size-fits-all” that works for motivating sales reps. Everyone has unique tastes and interests. So, it is important to find something that will motivate each person or team.

Giving away a bottle of red wine or champagne or even a new Sonos Speaker may work for some people, but those prizes are unlikely to appeal to everyone. Having 1-1 chats is a good way to figure out what motivates each rep and it’s a good chance for relationship building.

Make it easy for the reps to pick their personal prizes.

Rule 3: Multiple Winners

Competitions are only motivating if everyone has a chance of winning. We've seen it a million times - 'Best sales rep of the month - winner gets a bonus'. When creating competitions like this most of your reps will know who is going to win it before it even starts. This will most likely disengage them and ruin the entire purpose of the competition.

How do they do this in an industry where all they do is compete? Look at Formula 1. 20 guys risking their life to come in 1st to 10th place–and why is that? 1st place gives 25 points, 2nd place 18, 3rd place 15 down to 10th place who gets 1 point.

This makes each driver (sales rep) give it their all, just to end up in 6th place. Why? Because 6th place gives more points than 7th place, and at the end of the season, this counts.

Rule 4: A Chance of Luck

Being able to get 1st place is something everyone loves, but not many can achieve. Sales reps have this natural competitive instinct, but in a 20 man sales team it's most likely the same 4 reps going away with the 1st prize–every single time.

Try running a competition where they get tickets for each desired activity. In the end, pick one random winner. More tickets = higher probability, but one more ticket is all you need. This ensures that your reps will not stop performing mid-competition because one rep has outperformed the rest.

Rule 5: KPI Competitions That Are up to the Reps

In the end sales is about one thing–closing deals and making money for themselves and the company.

Sometimes we need to run a 'closing deals competition', but more often than not competitions should be created to increase our pipeline and do more activities, which ultimately leads to more deals. It’s important to focus on the activity that underlies your desired result.

Try running competitions on the first steps of your pipeline - calls completed, meetings booked, or new opportunities. This is something each rep can impact based on outbound activities and it's easy for you to do these types of competitions on a regular basis.

How to Create Competitions That Motivate Your Whole Team


Keep your contests simple. Allow for multiple winners. Make the goal, the purpose and the incentives crystal clear. Get feedback on the desired incentives. Implement a bit of luck and randomness so everyone has a chance to win. Focus on the KPIs that really lead to results. Mix it up often. Most importantly, have fun!

If you want to know more about how SalesScreen facilitates sales competitions, feel free to drop us a line at

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