all on the team as each month the contest began again ; and e ) The bonus result was the traveling car became a recruiting tool as friends of each winner inquired how could they get such a job .
Here ’ s another , called “ Caribbean Cruise .” In this company , there were 2,600 salespeople . Historically , the top few percent of performers would win a group trip for two for a week to somewhere exotic . The shortcoming was that each year , most of the winners were the same from the year before . After analyzing the cost and a companion increase in annual sales levels per salesperson , we announced that the ultimate result desired by the company was that all 2,600 would win a cruise for two for the week . All a salesperson had to do was meet / beat the stated sales production . I felt it would be awesome to have to take over a full cruise ship ( or two ) if all won .
Let ’ s review some of the key components : a ) The math was critical , such that the sales production of each winner in effect paid for the cost of the cruise … and then some ; b ) Here we had an annual award , keeping more in the game over an extended period of time ; c ) All can win , not just “ top producers ” winning and everyone else bailing out and the contest being a de-motivator ; d ) Tracking and posting of standings was done monthly and sent to the salespersons ’ homes ( to apply spousal pressure to get out and sell ); e ) The recognition ceremony was held on the ship , where all couples were invited , sharing in the pride ( and where next year ’ s trip would be announced to once again begin that spousal pressure to be sure to win it again ); and f ) Continuous reinforcement that each performer still had an opportunity to win .
The next example we called “ Steak & Beans ,” we would hold this contest from time to time on a surprise basis , often to stimulate selling a new product or going after products with a higher margin or for other reasons . We divided the sales performers into several teams for competitive purposes , and the contest would run for a couple months . The winning team would enjoy a night out together at a fine restaurant and sit on one side of the table . Tablecloths , fine china , wine and steak or lobster would be theirs . On the opposite side of the table would sit the last place team . Newspaper instead of tablecloth , paper plates , plastic cutlery , a dollop of beans , and beer was theirs . The chef would come out with toque on and serve the beans from the pot . For the next month , banners at the office would
“ RECOGNITION AND REWARDS PROVIDE AN EFFECTIVE LOW- TO NO-COST WAY OF GENERATING HIGH LEVELS OF PERFORMANCE IN BOTH GOOD TIMES AND TIGHT TIMES .”
hang above each team : The Dream Team and The Bean Team . We were never sure how hard people fought to be first , but we knew all fought to not be last . Great fun .
Let ’ s review some of the key components : a ) The math was easy , as a small increase in sales more than covered the investment of the evening ; b ) Flexible timing , as the contest could be held anytime for any purpose ; c ) Team concept was reinforced , with folks helping each other get better and sharing best practices ; d ) Tracking and standings posted regularly ; e ) The ceremony was the dinner event ; f ) Continuing reinforcement to the extent that this contest was regularly requested by the salespeople to be run again .
Here ’ s another called “ The Lottery .” This contest would run for a designated period , let ’ s say a business quarter .
For each sale made or dollars of sales made , salespeople would win tickets with their names on them to be included in a lottery at the end of the quarter . More sales equaled more chances to win . Three prizes in total . Third prize might be a $ 200 gift certificate . Second prize , a three-day cruise for two . First prize , a one-week trip for two to Hawaii . At the end of the quarter , the lottery picks would be drawn from a barrel . Third prize was picked first . If a person ’ s name was drawn and the person took the prize , third prize was settled . If the person passed , the person ’ s name was dropped back into the barrel . Top producers would pass on winning third prize , but salespeople with not many entries would take the money and run . Concerning second prize , if a top producer was drawn again , it became a serious debate . If the top producer passed , the group would howl and there were cheers knowing that anyone other than the individual who passed on the cruise would win . Total fun and great competitiveness .
Let ’ s review some of the key components : a ) The math was calculated and prizes determined so that the contest would self-fund ; b ) Flexible timing ; c ) Tracking and posting of standings of entries in the lottery ; d ) Individual competition ; e ) Ceremony with all in attendance and plenty of “ smack talk .” Once again , fun and rewarding .
So , do your sales contests pass the test ? 1 . Increased camaraderie & teamwork ?
2 . Enhanced culture designed to attract and retain winning sales performers ?
3 . Increased sales and profits ?
4 . No cost / expense ( self-fund concept ) recognition / rewards programs ?
5 . Injecting fun into competiveness ? u
Jack Daly is an expert in corporate culture that inspires audiences to take action in customer loyalty and personal motivation . He delivers explosive keynote and general session presentations . Jack brings 30 + years of field proven experience from a starting base with CPA firm Arthur Andersen to the CEO level of several national companies . Jack is a proven CEO / Entrepreneur , having built six companies into national firms , two of which he subsequently sold to the Wall Street firms of Solomon Brothers and First Boston .
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