Getting Results Magazine Getting Results Magazine Fall 2017 - Page 10

SALES CONTESTS Sales Contests Increasing Revenues and Profits I ’ve been selling for six decades and this much I know: Sales people love competing and companies can tie sales-incentive prizes to desired revenue and margin goals. Let me say that another way. Done with thought, sales contests are not expenses but rather investments. Before digging into the contests directly, let’s step back and look at compensation for salespeople. All too often, companies will tweak one or two components of the overall “comp” plan, which is not the best approach. Here are the component parts of a comp plan: salary and benefits, reimbursement of out- of-pocket expenses, target incentive pay, over-target incentive pay, contests and recognition. When looking at restructuring your salesperson compensation plan, we recommend each component be reviewed and cobbled together in a comprehensive approach which reinforces the overall desired goal. This article will address the contest component. “All in all, recognizing successful salespeople may be the single most critical way to boost sales results,” says Nancy Grden-Ellison. Here are five benefits a company derives from sales contests: a) Growth of revenues from both existing customers and new customers; b) Profits, derived from encouraging the desired mix and margins; c) Customer satisfaction; d) Attracting and retaining sales talent; and e) Improving sales productivity. Here are some Reward guidelines to be considered: Program a) Match the reward to the person b) Match the reward to the achievement 10 | FALL 2017 c) Be timely e) Design the contests to be both creative and fun. d) Short lifespan/change frequently e) Variety in both time and content f) Make it public Recognition and rewards provide an effective low- to no-cost way of generating high levels of performance in both good times and tight times. Let’s look at some basics in constructing sales contests. “ALL IN ALL, RECOGNIZING SUCCESSFUL SALESPEOPLE MAY BE THE SINGLE MOST CRITICAL WAY TO BOOST SALES RESULTS.” a) I like saying it this way: Daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual contests, each as an overlay on one another. This keeps more and more of the salespeople “in the game” and provides an air of excitement and enthusiasm throughout the team. Passion sells! b) Structured properly, most, if not all, of the contest payouts can be directly tied to sales and margin results. When the salespeople perform and de