Using a contest as a motivational tool can be a challenging but effective way to increase company sales. For companies with adequate cash flow or access to benefits, prizes may be awarded in the form of airline miles, cash bonuses or other large-ticket items. But even if your company is smaller, a sales contest should not be overlooked. It can build camaraderie among staff members and spur competitiveness. It might even be an effective way to boost individual sales numbers.

Sales Per Hour: The Horse Race

Whether your sales staff sits at phone stations or goes out on the road, one idea is to chart sales by the hour. This can by done by staging a mock horse race. Posting sales information to associates throughout the day can spur slower sales staff members to be more productive. Run your contest for three days. The sales associate with the best record wins.

Sales by Day: Monopoly

Charting sales by day is another method of recording. Try a Monopoly-style game. Each day that staff members meet a sales goal, they “pass go” and collect a prize -- phone cards, lottery tickets, gift certificates or free lunch tickets, for example. Use cars or Monopoly pieces to chart progress on a poster. When an associate exceeds a goal, he can “buy” property -- a chance at the final prize. When the contest is over, the player with the most “real estate” wins the grand prize.

Selling Retail

Put up a large poster board with squares marked off and individual items listed in the squares, such as a hat, scarf, mittens, slacks, socks or sweater. Each time an associate sells one of these items, her name is placed in the square. If an associate gets a certain number in a row, she wins a prize. Different rows can signify different levels of prizes. Mix up free-coffee squares with extra-day-off-with-pay squares. The squares should be designed to allow more than one name to be entered so associates are encouraged to keep trying for a win.


Try this every time there is a weather event such as snow or a rain storm. Start your contest with a shortened time period -- say an hour. Start with a money pot containing a large sum of money. Each time someone secures an appointment by phone, award him a dollar and add money to the kitty. At the end of the hour, the person with the most dollars also wins the kitty.