Top 10 Sales Contest Ideas

We’ve all heard the term “sales gamification” floating around the internet. Sales managers across the globe swear by it. They say it boosts sales motivation. And sure, there are obvious benefits to using positive reinforcement. But how do you do it in the workplace?

As a sales manager, you must ensure your team reaches their sales targets. At the same time, you also have to maintain a proper work environment. After all, you can’t turn the office into a zoo. Hence, your sales contests must do three things:

  • They need to be fun so that your team participates enthusiastically, not out of obligation.
  • They need to respect the workplace; no paintball games, for instance.
  • The contests must boost sales.

How do you achieve all this? That’s what we’re here to discuss. First, I’ll tell you how you can make your own sales contest. Second, I’ll give you ten sales contest ideas that you can implement tomorrow. 

How to design a sales contest?

You have to keep a few things in mind when designing a contest. First and foremost, remember that the goal is to create healthy competition, not a toxic situation. Here are four basic tenets of a good sales contest

1. Actions over outcomes

Reward actions. Often your team will be doing their best, but the people on the other end of the phone will be in a foul mood. That isn’t their fault. So, reward effort before the result. 

2. Public recognition

Do you know what drives people even more than a reward? It’s showing them the finish line and exactly where they stand. Display the numbers, in bold and rainbow colors if you want. This will always motivate your workers. 

3. Avoid always using contests with first-place winners

Engage all workers, not just your best worker. Fantasy and team contests work well for this.

4. Get people fired up

The games must get your reps excited. Things like giving rewards in real-time keep them motivated to participate in future games.

Sales contest ideas

Different games have different endpoints. Pick the one best suited to your needs. 

Head-to-head competition

1. Ransom Daily Raffle

For this game, you give a raffle ticket for every 50 outbound calls, for example. At the end of the game, you draw a raffle number. The person with the winning ticket gets the prize. Since having more tickets means a greater chance of winning, people will work to get as many as possible. The game also keeps the full team engaged, even if they do not win first place.

Best for outbound sales teams.

2. Flash Contest 

Pick a couple of activities: calls and emails, for instance. Then set a time period. Whoever has the highest number of actions at the end wins. You then offer the rest of the evening off. People want to go home early and will be motivated to complete whatever task you give them. It helps the company because you push reps to focus on all their responsibilities instead of just one. 

Best for inside sales teams.

3. East Coast vs. West Coast

Split your team in two by territory. Whichever team books the most meetings in a set period wins. A short timeframe, like a day or a week, avoids fatigue. Focusing on goals that they have control over boosts morale while benefiting your business. 

Best for sales teams who utilize territory.

4. Snooze Buttons

All businesses see their work volume go up and down, and you need your reps to put in their all when it goes up. Try offering teams a ‘snooze button’ for a late start on low-volume days. This won’t cost the company any money but will boost sales motivation when you need it the most.

Fantasy-style competition

5. Shark Week 

Pair AEs and SDRs into teams and give them a list of accounts to work. Award one point for every call, one for every email, and ten for every meeting booked. The list means you’re booking ideal clients, and the sales contest keeps your reps motivated.

Best for AE/SDR teams.

6. Pair Selling

Pair an old rep with a new one and set up a sales contest. Use efficiency metrics such as connects or meeting sets. You’ll help less experienced reps learn from a senior who is motivated to get them to do well because they want to win. Set it up for 3-4 weeks.

Best for fast-growing sales teams.

7. A+ Activity Score

Push your reps to meet their scorecard’s targets with fantasy competitions. Have new ones every week. Have cards display the most crucial task for the day/week. You can build habits and boost sales motivation.

Since the scorecards are role-specific, anyone can use this game!

Firing up your remote team 

8. Monday Morning Rush

Set up a 1-hour contest on Monday mornings to start the week strong. Remote workers often laze around after the weekend, but this should push them into work mode. Award one point per dial, two per voicemail, ten per conversation, and fifty per SQL made. 

9. Talk Time

This is a weekly sales contest that awards points based on the total minutes of active talk time. It makes reps think about quality and dialing for ICP connections. Every minute gets one point, and the winner gets credit on the sales TV that runs in laptop browsers for your remote workers.

10. The Green Coat

For this game, you give points based on activity scores. Each activity gets one score point, and you can calculate the total in a multi-metric scorecard format. Since The Green Coat lasts a week, you can keep remote sales reps engaged each day. 

It is particularly helpful for new hires who want to feel like they are contributing to the company. Even if they aren’t booking meetings, they complete day-to-day tasks.


Sales gamification can be a powerful tool. Over 70% of companies either use this technique right now or plan to soon. If used correctly, gamification can double or even triple your sales. But if done poorly, it will turn off buyers and your reps. I hope you found a game suited to your needs on this list. And if not, I hope you’ve been inspired to create your own. Good luck!

106, 2021

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About the Author:

Serial entrepreneur who loves a deep dive into technology and applying it to solve business problems. Matt recognized that gamification of business activity processes would lead to greater staff engagement, increase productivity and motivate the team to do more, so that businesses sell more and grow more.