Hit It & Get It vs Chance to Win Contests

Hit It & Get It vs. Chance to Win

How do you structure your contests? Do your sales representatives earn chances to win or do you put up a goal and reward them with cash or prizes for achieving the goal? Each sales contest structure has it’s place but how and when do you decide which to go with? There are advantages with each one. With “hit it & get it” contests, everyone knows what they need to do in order to receive the prize. With “chance to win” contests, everyone who accomplishes certain tasks knows that they are in the running to receive the big prize.

The big question is, how do you decide which type of contest to run?

Hit it & Get It

If your guys have had a bad go of it for the last few weeks, a “hit it & get it” is definitely in order. Put yourself in their shoes. They haven’t had any success lately. Their numbers are down. They are embarrassed in the sales meetings. Now is the perfect time to put up a “hit it & get it” so they can win a prize and get that sense of accomplishment. As the old saying goes, “a little success breeds a lot of confidence”.

Confident sales people make more sales. That is a fact. There is no easier way to instill confidence in your sales people than to have them win a contest. In a “hit it & get it” contest, I rarely contest sales. Usually, I contest the activity that results in a sale. This will be different for every industry but for us, it is contacting prospects and cold calling. Look at what it takes in your sales company to generate sales. Is it phone calls? Do personal visits to potential clients lead up to a sale? Whatever the tasks are, make those things the requirement to earn the “hit it & get it” contests.

With this type of contest, you want to keep your contest budget very reasonable. By reasonable, I mean cheap. I’m not one to advocate cheap sales contests but in this case, you want to make sure the budget allows for EVERYONE to win! For us, our salespeople use their personal vehicles to make sales calls. A gas card or free oil change is a big hit with our sales personnel. Even something simple like company t-shirts or ball caps work! You want to have your payout $50.00 or less in order for it to be a successful sales campaign.

Chance to Win

These contests are geared towards the more competitive sales people in your organization. Most sales people are competitive by nature so this will cater to their egos and make them strive to have the most chances in the contest. With “chance to win” contests, you can contest several aspects of the sales process and give your representatives tickets (or chances) for each aspect of the process. In the sales business, leads generate sales calls which generate sales. For a “chance to win” contest, we may give 5 tickets for 10 leads, 5 tickets for each sales call and another 5 tickets for a completed sale.

The way we typically pay out on the contest is your name has to be pulled at least 5 times to win the big prize.

The sales reps can qualify to win in several different categories and oftentimes, we stack the odds for the things that really need improvement (bonus tickets for activity that the company needs). These contests usually run on a monthly basis. While running a “hit it & get it” contest, make sure that your guys don’t rule themselves out as winners.

You may find that some of your sales representatives rule themselves out before the contest even begins if you make the qualifications to difficult to achieve. Make sure that it is relatively easy to qualify to enter but the producers have the most chances to actually win. The great thing about sales contests is that they give you and your sales team an opportunity to fix whatever problems you are having regarding the marketing of the products you are selling and everyone has a fun (and profitable) time doing it.

The most important thing about a contest is to have one! Remember to always have fun!!

The Power of a Punch Card to Increase Sales

The Power of a Punch Card to Increase Sales

Have you ever been to a barber shop or a smoothie place and they offer you a punch card for repeat business?  I don’t know about you, but I keep quite a few of them in my wallet.  I have one for a local nail salon, another for a make-up store, yet another for an oil change spot and I keep coming back again and again to get another punch on my card so I can save a nominal amount the next time I spend money with them!

Punch cards are tangible objects that your sales force can use to measure results!  Use them!  They work!

We just recently implemented punch cards again (we discontinued them for a few years) and within two weeks we saw measurable increases in sales and sales calls!  The results were virtually instantaneous!  It was amazing to see our sales representatives doing the things they needed to do in order to earn a punch on their card.

 Make qualifications relatively easy to achieve so they will be excited about completing all of the punches!  

For our company, we had three different ways to earn a punch.  You may be surprised that NONE of them involved actually making a sale.  I am a firm believer in the theory that if you do what it takes to make the sale (generate leads, phone calls, etc) the sales will happen.  With that in mind, we concentrated on activity required to make the sale.

You may want to make your qualifications to earn a punch phone calls or appointments scheduled. 

Our particular qualifications are:

  1. 10 qualified leads gained from a prospect
  2. 10 cold calls to potential prospects
  3. 1 appointment completed that was gained from either of the above

In our case, it is just a matter of getting qualified sales leads or completing qualified appointments.  We know that these things will ultimately results in sales and revenue for the company.  Knowing that, the qualifications for earning a punch card will result in more sales and more revenue.

Our punch cards take ten punches to pay out.  The reward is roughly $25 of product they can use to sweeten the deal on sales calls or to use personally.  This makes this a win/win for us! Not only are our guys trying just a bit harder to do the things that it takes to make sales happen, they are given “free” products that help make even more sales happen!  Not only that, the customers like to help the sales people earn more punches on their cards!

 Your representatives can use the punch cards to entice our customers to help!

If done properly, your sales representatives can use the punch cards to get your customers to help them earn more credits!  Train your sales people to show your customers your punch cards.  If your sales people have made friends with their clients (lets hope they have!), your clients will want to help your sales people earn bonuses and punch cards are the perfect way for them to help!

The cards are very affordable.  You don’t have to spend a ton for them to look top-notch.  Personally, I use Vista Print for our cards at the office.  For $20 plus shipping, we have earned literally THOUSANDS in the first two weeks!

You will be surprised at how well the punch cards work and how excited your sales team will be to participate in the promotion provided that the prize they win once the punch card is complete is good enough.  You don’t have to spend an arm and a leg for this to be a success!  Just think of how little the payout is for the ones you carry in your wallet (free oil change, free smoothie).  Are you as shocked as I was when I realized how much I value those cards for how little they are actually worth when cashed in?

Vista Print has a very user friendly interface to create your own cards.  Within 10 minutes, my order was completed and the cards were on the way.  Within a week, I had them in my hand (I am not affiliated with Visa Print in any way, I just highly recommend them).

Give it a try and share your results!

Good luck and have fun!


Pencil vs. a Porche – Finding the Middle Ground

Pencil vs. a Porche  – Finding the Middle Ground

You’re probably wondering what in the world I mean when I say a pencil versus a Porche.  The concept is this:  How hard would your sales team work to earn a pencil?  How hard would they work to earn a Porche?  Well, we all know they are not going to do Jack to earn a pencil and they would think the Porche was unreachable.  Neither of those contests would be effective.  What’s the middle ground?

 That middle ground is where sales are made and your team develops into winners!

It is going to take a bit of experimenting but you need to find out how much money you need to spend in order to motivate your people.  The good news is, you have to spend less money than you  probably think!

 Before you even start to analyze this, you must remember to have fun. 

Sales are supposed to be fun!  If  YOU as the leader are not  having fun, your sales team will quit having fun also.  That is really bad for business since when they quit having a good time making sales (and doing all the things that lead up to a sale), they quit selling.

In order to properly test what the budget needs to be to motivate your sales team, start out with two contests.  Make one a cheap sales contest and one that is almost too expensive.  For example, you could have a weekly contest to win a free company tee shirt or a couple of tickets to the movies and then put up a monthly contest to win a trip for two to Paris.  Make sure that your “big” contest isn’t too over budget that you couldn’t pay out on it if someone actually won it.

You will be shocked to see more people trying to win the “easy” contest than the big one! 

This is a huge insight into the minds of salespeople!  Use it to their (and ultimately your) advantage!  You don’t have to give away the sun and moon in order to motivate your people!  The sweet spot is somewhere in between.

During the next week, up the ante on the “cheap” contest.  Make it a bit harder to achieve.  Make it more worth it too!  The goal of any contest is to motivate and propel your sales force into action.  See how much more productivity you gain by making the pot a bit sweeter.

Continue over the course of a few weeks to make the “easy” contest a bit harder and a bit more expensive.  You will come to a point when you see that they no longer are very excited or enthusiastic about the contest and just don’t think that it is something they can achieve.

 This is the magic spot you have been aiming for!  You have found the perfect middle ground!

Whatever your budget is for that sweet spot is your ideal budget for your contests.   Now just find prizes that your sales people would like to win that is in that budget.  I have found that $20-$50 is enough for a daily contest, $200-$300 is good for a weekly contest and $800-$1,000 does it for a monthly contest.

Those are my numbers that are specific to my industry and the local economy.  It has taken quite a few months of testing and doing it all wrong to discover what works for my company but the knowledge and insight has paid for itself time and again with happy, productive sales people who have a goal in mind.

Just remember, happy sales people make sales!

Have fun!


Boost Your Sales Contest With Bonus Entries

Boost Your Sales Contest With “Bonus Entries”!

This is an easy and, best of all, free way to give your sales contests a proverbial shot in the arm when the initial excitement has worn off.  You can also use bonus entries to get your sales representatives to do a little extra that they normally wouldn’t do.

This simple contest booster will not only help you generate more sales, it makes it more fun for everyone!

There are many ways to use “bonus” entries into any contest but for now, we are going to  focus on the two I use most often and with the most results.

  1. Mid-stream bonus tickets
  2. Extra effort bonus tickets

Mid-stream bonus tickets:

Maybe you have a quarterly sales contest in where your sales representatives have the chance to win a cruise for two.  You’ve done all the groundwork to make sure the contest kick-off went well.  You decorated your sales meeting room with fabulous posters explaining the contest and each of your sales representatives has a contest flier that tracks their progress.  You even have your contest board up and update it daily so everyone can see their progress.  Slowly, you start to notice that your sales team isn’t as excited as they were when you first kicked off the contest.  What do you do?  That’s when bonus entries come into play!

Typically, for a quarterly contest, the first month and sometimes even through most of the second, I find the excitement level of the guys to be pretty good.  Usually, by the third month, the majority of them have lost the “oomph”.  It is easy to get it back up just by giving them double credit for the last month of the contest.  You can also have certain days that are usually not big producers and give them triple credit for those!  Make a big deal out of those bonus entries and be sure to point out that this gives the ones who had fallen behind a little bit a way to catch up quickly!

Not only do you have newly motivated sales people, you have more sales!

 Extra effort bonus tickets:

Every sales company is different but they always have the same problems (and usually the same solutions!).  I don’t know what your particular industry is, but I do know that there is that one thing that your sales people just don’t like to do.  For my industry, it is what we call “customer follow up”.  They HATE following up with their sales.  They have made their commission and have moved on to the next sale and fail to see the importance of following up with past customers.  For my particular industry, I may put up a regular sales contest but give bonus entries for every prior customer they successfully follow up with.

What is a small, relatively easy thing for your sales representatives to do that they consistently avoid?  How big of an impact would your business have if they did it?  How HUGE of an impact would it be if they were to accomplish it without being told to do it and they did it with a smile on their face and with purpose?

 That one simple thing could have a HUGE impact on your bottom line!

To implement this, add bonus tickets or entries to your regular sales contest.  For maximum impact, use this method only on your short-term contests like daily or weekly.  I have found that they don’t continue to motivate people on a monthly or quarterly contest.

To make those bonus entries even more special, use a different color raffle ticket or some other way to designate that those entries were for the “bonus” efforts.  That way they can see how much those bonus entries really mean to them and their chances of winning the contest.

The great thing about the “extra effort” bonus entries is that you can use it to fix whatever your sales team needs help with NOW.  The effects are immediate!

Always remember, have fun!  Sales is just a game, play to win!


Motivate Your Sales People With Individual Challenges!

Motivate Your Sales People With Individual Challenges!

We all have that salesperson who is amazing when they are motivated and “on” and who just lazes around once they get some money in their pocket.  What can you do to get the guy with all the talent and skill but none of the motivation to get off their butt and DO SOMETHING?  How about an “Individual Challenge”?

 Individual challenges are unique in that not only do they motivate the salesperson, it is also a form of positive recognition. 

Here’s how it works:  Look at what your super star is CAPABLE of…  Don’t look at their best month or their best week but look at your numbers to see what you think that sales person could do if given the right motivation.  Once you have done that, come up with a budget you can live with and a reasonable time frame (I suggest one month).

The next thing to do is meet with that salesperson, one on one.  Make sure this meeting is very light-hearted and friendly, perhaps even a lunch meeting.  Find out what their goals are for the next time frame you have previously decided.  More than likely, they don’t have any goals at all!  Since you just looked at the numbers, you should be able to come up with a reasonable goal that is a bit of a stretch for them but still remains attainable.

Once you both have agreed on what a “reasonable” goal is for the time period, ask him or her what it would take for them to go just a little more and exceed those goals.  At THIS time, let them know you would like to arrange a PERSONAL CHALLENGE just between you and them.  From talking with them, find a prize that is both within your specified budget and something they really want.

Let’s just say your budget for that one person for the month is $300.00.  If you’ve followed my advice, you will know what your budget is before you have even met with your representative.  During your meeting with your potential super-star representative, they mention they would really like to have the latest and greatest gaming system.  Assume that gaming system retails for $250.00.  That leaves you with $50.00 extra dollars to really entice them to carry out the challenge.

The conversation might go like this:

Manager – “Billy, I know you’ve been hitting XYZ numbers but I feel like if you really push yourself, you can exceed that by 10%”

Billy – “You’re right, I probably could”

Manager – “Well, Billy, to be honest, I have thought of putting you in a special personal challenge.  If I were to do that, what would you want to earn as a prize?”

Billy – “You know I’d really love to have a Super Duper Gaming System.  At $250.00, it’s hard to justify spending that kind of money”

Manager – “I tell you what, Billy, if you hit XYZ numbers, not only will I give you that gaming system, I will also throw in a $50.00 gift card to the game store!  That should give you a little extra towards buying the game you want!”

That’s it in a nutshell.  It is simple and easy and your representative gets to pick whatever cash or prizes motivates them!

Make sure you keep the challenge between the two of you.  This is not a contest you want to broadcast until your sales person has earned it.

At the end of the challenge, if your representative has earned the bonus, THAT is when you want to promote it.  At the VERY NEXT sales meeting, make a big deal that you have put “Billy” in a personal challenge and reward that representative in front of everyone.  This way, next month (or time period), you can put a few guys in their own personal challenges and they will work really hard to get the recognition that “Billy” got last month.

If your chosen sales person didn’t reach the goals you put forth, meet with him or her again to reassess their goals and put them in yet another personal challenge.  You’d be surprised at how much activity you will gain from that personal recognition of what each one is capable of.

Good luck and have fun!