Level The Playing Field For A Great Sales Contest

It is easy to spend a small fortune on sales contests and incentive programs designed to motivate, stimulate and reinvigorate the sales team. However, you may have found that such programs meant to motive, can end up having the reverse affect and deflate, berate and de-motivate instead.

Sometimes the problem is not the structure of the contest in itself, but the manner in which you set up the playing ground.

The Starting Line
When designing a competitive sales contest, you have to take into consideration the starting point of each individual sales person. By that, I mean that you have to consider the experience, skills, closing averages and client-base of each sales person to design a contest that is equitable.

If you base the contest purely on bottom-line closed sales, then sales people who have more experience and clients, from whom they can get referrals, have an unfair advantage over newer, less experienced team members.

Over Before It Starts
For many of those less experienced sales people, such a disadvantage can seem insurmountable. When this happens, it creates a situation where some sales team members do not attempt to win or even compete in the contest. In fact, they feel shunned which causes an anti-productive mentality. Simultaneously, due to the lax competition, the top sales people also operate at less than peek performance.

A Handicapping System
Come up with a method to make all sales people equal, for the purposes of the contest. Perhaps you consider the closing averages of each sales person and design the contest so that those with a lower closing percentage can compete.

As an example, for the sales person who has a 20% closing average, perhaps to win or place high in the contest, they have to close 4 sales.

Then, for the sales rep with a higher closing average, like 25%; perhaps he or she must close 5 sales to place in the same bracket.

A Win Win
With such a method, both levels of sales people compete hard, and get better. The sales person with the 20% closing average would have to complete 20 sales presentations or closing attempt to get the 4 sales.

However, the sales person with the higher closing rate of 25% would also have to complete 20 closing attempts!

This creates an incentive for all sales people to put forth a greater effort regardless of their skill level. In addition, it gives the newer sales people an equal opportunity if they work hard enough.

One Step Further
If you decide to use such a system for the long term, then also create a bonus system, award or incentive to give to the sales people who maintain the lowest handicap.

Level the playing field with a handicap system and watch more sales people come in under par!

Happy Selling!


Sean McPheat
MTD Sales Training

(Image by Salvatore Vuono)

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5 Steps to Making Monday Your Best Day

I’m delighted to introduce a guest blogger for today, my friend and colleague, Mark Hunter. Mark is known as “The Sales Hunter”, and offers some good advice on how to start your working week on the run. Enjoy!

Want to begin your week with good momentum and sales motivation? Here are 5 ways to do it:

1. Contact your best customers Monday morning.

Yes, prospecting Monday morning can be difficult due to people being in meetings. However, just because Monday morning may pose some prospecting challenges doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be on the phone. Monday is a great time to contact your best customers to make sure things are going well with them.

Contacting current customers will motivate you, because they’ll share with you what they like about you and what you sell. They will give you ideas you can then use with other customers. The customers you call will appreciate you reaching out – you benefit and they benefit. Starting Monday morning with this approach can set such a positive tone for your week.

2. Be prepared for Monday before Monday starts.

Far too many salespeople wait until Monday morning to figure out what they want to do. By the time they figure out what they want to do, the day is half gone. Worse than waiting until Monday morning to set a game plan is not having the weekend to mentally prepare yourself for not just a great Monday, but a great week.

Use late Friday afternoon to organize for Monday. This includes taking time to think through the successes you had in the week that is wrapping up. By reflecting back on your successes, you’ll be in a much better frame of mind to set your goals for the coming week.

After you’ve set your goals, you can then begin to organize your customer contact list and how you want to approach each contact. By taking the time to do this Friday afternoon (or Saturday if need be), you’ll have time to think through what you want to accomplish. Plus, you will feel relaxed and in a much better frame of mind to visualize success.

This is similar to the approach excellent athletes take before a major game or match. They prepare their strategy and then spend time reflecting on it and visualizing success.

3. Make your “selling time” truly “selling time.”

Be deliberate with your calendar or journal as to what times of the day you will be selling. Don’t deviate from it. If you start to deviate on Monday from your schedule, you’ll be more likely to deviate again Tuesday and throughout the week. The best performers in anything are those who are most disciplined in how they use their time.

4. Don’t make excuses on Monday as to why you can’t make sales calls.

Salespeople can be famous for making excuses as to why something doesn’t get done. Don’t establish this pattern. Don’t start each week with “reasons” you can delay making sales calls. Be honest with yourself and don’t justify in your mind that “preparing to make a sales call” is the same thing as “making the call.” If left unchecked, “preparing” is an excuse that quickly will overtake everything else.

It’s not that preparation isn’t essential. It’s just that you should be doing it at the end of the day or another non-selling time. Block out an hour at the end of the day for organizing, so that you can focus your energy during the day to actually sell.

5. Avoid the “weekend re-cappers” when you come to the office on Monday.

Monday mornings are hard for a lot of people. You know the type I’m describing. They’re the ones who always want to share one more story about their weekend or complain about how hard of a week they’re going to have. Avoid these people at all costs!

The only thing they will do is drag you down, and the last thing you need at the start of your week is someone dragging you down. The way to avoid this is by finding two people who share your desire to make Mondays great. Connect with these two people with the objective to share your goals for the week and for them to share theirs. Challenge each other toward excellence.

Start incorporating these 5 steps into your weekly routine and the results will astound you. Be the type of person who is always looking forward, scanning the horizon for ways you can improve your individual skills, strengthen your sales motivation and maximize your bottom line.

Mark Hunter, “The Sales Hunter,” helps individuals and companies identify better prospects, close more sales, and profitably build more long-term customer relationships. He is known for his ability to motivate organizations through his high-energy presentations. To find out more and to read his blog, visit http://www.TheSalesHunter.com.

Happy Selling!


Sean McPheat
The UK’s #1 Authority On Modern Day Selling
MTD Sales Training

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