Last updateWed, 01 Jul 2020 1pm

Sales Contests


Sales contests are a means by which you can increase sales and/or profits while at the same time making the job fun for your salespeople.  Salespeople overall are very competitive by nature and it is to your advantage to make the most of this competitive spirit.

If you structure your sales contests correctly, you will have no problems getting people involved and striving to win. The following are some important points to remember when designing a sales contest:

The purpose of sales contests is to increase a statistic or improve the result of tasks.  There is no need to give away free money or incentives just to give it away.  A contest must be designed to improve some statistic.

Run individual sales contests frequently, team contests occasionally, and major contests once a year.  There should always be some type of contest or action happening on the floor.  In order to increase team spirit, run a team contest.  Run major contests during slow times as opposed to your busiest time of year.

The best sales contests are structured so everyone can win.  I want people competing with themselves rather than with other salespeople. When people compete against themselves, you avoid a lot of over aggressive, internal turmoil.

Have the sales contest rules written and posted.  When the rules are written and posted, you avoid any misunderstanding about specifics of the contest.

Sales contests should be structured as short bursts of energy.  Run several contests during the course of your busiest day or a daily contest and keep the ideas fresh and updated.

Sell the sales contest to your staff.  You will have to sell the contest to the staff and remind them of the contest through its run.

Play up the contest with posted tracking of progress.  With contests that run for more than a day, have visual progress posted.  Using a poster with a thermometer, pie chart, or graph works just fine.

The prize or award for the sales contest must be of value to the individual.  How do you find out what would be of value to your people?  Ask them.  Cash? Paid time off? Merchandise? Lottery tickets?

The prize or award doesn’t always have to cost a large amount.  You might be surprised at how little you really need to spend on a contest.  A car wash, lunch, verbal praise, written recognition, added responsibility, preferred schedule, additional store discount etc. all cost very little, but will go a long way in rewarding your staff.

Change the teams for every contest.  If you run team contests make sure you change the teams up on a regular basis.  This will increase your total teamwork and get everybody working together.

Statistics, competition, contests, rewards, and positive feedback make the job fun.

Contest/Game Ideas

Cash Box - Put equal denominations of bills in a box.  For example, $300 worth of each denomination.  Each time a salesperson sells an add-on, converts a turnover, converts a repair or service customer to a sale, sells a piece of obsolete merchandise, receives back a referral business card, etc. they will be allowed one pull from the cash box. The pulls should be done as a group at the end of each day.  Other options would be to give people a spin of a wheel or roll of the dice with prices or monetary rewards attached to the spin or the roll.

Pass the Buck - The first person making a sale on a given day will be given a certain denomination of money.  When a larger sale is made during the day, the person with the money will then pass it to the person making the larger sale.  The process continues until the end of the day at which time the person with the largest sale for the day retains the money.

Know Your Customers - Each salesperson will receive a certain denomination of money for each completed Customer Profile Card.  A completed profile card will contain the following information: Name, Address, Telephone, Birth date, Anniversary, with permission for a follow-up call or e-mail for a future appointment

Recruit a Customer - Each salesperson will be given a certain reward for each new customer that comes into the store with his or her business card.  Cards handed out in the store will not apply.  Only cards passed out off-site will qualify.

Get Rid of It - Give a prize for each X number of pieces of obsolete merchandise that they have sold during a week or month.

Record Breakers – Determine and post the store records for largest dollar: day, week and month, along with the same for an individual salesperson with the addition of the single largest dollar sale.  Each time a store record is broken the entire team shares in a predetermined amount of money divided based on the hours worked in the given time period.  For example, if the store record for the largest single day were broken then each person that worked that day would receive his or her share based on dividing the total man hours of the store for that day by the individual’s hours.  If an individual record were broken, then the individual that broke the record would receive a predetermined amount for breaking the record. 

Darts – Set-up a dartboard or a dartboard wall with pieces of paper or balloons with prizes in the balloons.  Each time a salesperson accomplishes certain pre-determined tasks or levels of productivity they throw a dart to determine the prize or award.

Race Track – Set-up a racetrack where each salesperson is given a horse, car, dog, etc to race.  Divide the racetrack into sections.  Each time a salesperson accomplishes a certain pre-determined task or level of productivity they are awarded a certain number of sections of the track.  For example, a sale over $1000 would be worth two sections, while selling two items on one ticket may receive one section.  Prizes or rewards are given for a certain number of laps or winning of the race etc. depending on the rules of the contest.  Again, the best contests are set up so that everyone can win.   

Author, trainer, consultant, and speaker Brad Huisken is President of IAS Training. Huisken has authored several books and training manuals on sales and  produces a Weekly Sales Training Meeting video series along with Aptitude Tests and Proficiency Exams for new hires, current sales staff and sales managers. In addition, he publishes a free weekly newsletter called “Sales Insight” For a free subscription or more information contact IAS Training at 800-248-7703 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Visit his website at www.iastraining.com.