1. Sales Leadership

sales competitions and rituals: Easy strategies to keep the sales team motivated

Reading time:  3 min  |  Time to finish this chapter: 3 min

For many sales leaders, sales rewarding is about rewarding people for hitting their sales target - monthly, quarterly, or even annually. In our experience, companies usually celebrate big wins.

But if leaders want to keep their sales team happy, motivated, and avoid burnout, they need to reward also small things, and on a more frequent basis. Recognition works well only if you serve it regularly.

Sales rewarding and celebrations should be rooted in your culture and should also be aligned with it. There are different types of sales competitions for each company type (maturity, size of the sales team, etc.).

Sales departments are generally filled with a competitive atmosphere, so why not generate extra excitement by holding competitions. To the sales team, it will feel natural. If established on a fun sales culture and recognition, gamification works excellent. To any celebration, you can attach a sales ritual. 

Remember, any kind of appraisal absolutely must be authentic, so it truly shows that you notice and appreciate your sales team and the hard work they do. After all, sales departments are the core of all business. No sales = no company, however great your product is.

Keep reading to find out when and how to celebrate sales successes to keep your high-performing sales team motivated. 

Keep your sales team motivated
in 3 complex steps

Magic of moments

THE RIGHT reasons to celebrate

Reasons to celebrate can be connected to everyday work; the essential duties of every sales representative. Although we strongly agree that hitting goals excites people, they still perceive and expect it as a part of their salary, use it to pay bills, and probably forget about it soon. It’s the extra things, extra prizes, and rewards that take it up a notch.

To sum it up, the reasons to celebrate are for example:

  • hitting the sales target (individuals and teams, too)

  • closing a new deal or upsell (usually a big one)

  • keeping up an outstanding performance

  • going above and beyond

  • mastering new techniques, methodologies, or tools

  • winning a sales competition

  • the company reaching a sales milestone, getting an award or certification

Let's start

simple sales competitions to try in your sales team

Avoid competitions that take too long. The ideal length is about a week or two, as the excitement fades over time.

Sales competitions can be:

  • the best lead conversion

  • the best email open ratio

  • the best email outreach 

  • most “no’s” (aka deals closed - yes, you want this, it’ll clean your pipeline)

  • double commission day

  • sales bingo - we use this one by Zoho CRM:

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Party hard

Easy celebrations, rewards, and rituals to do in your company

When choosing a reward to give, you have to consider your company culture, your sales team, and the individuals in it.

Not everyone wants the same things. Generally, experiences are remembered longer than money. Praise a sales representative in front of others, and that the rest of the team joins. 

Ways to celebrate success:

  • Gamification - like leaderboards on the office wall, employee of the month, etc.

  • Appreciation - the sales representative of the month picture on the office wall

  • Actual award on the table - to be passed around

  • Stike a gong or blow air horn when something big happens - as a sales success sales ritual

Gift suggestions for individuals

  • Great sales book

  • Gift certificate (trips, events, restaurant vouchers, massages)

  • Extra afternoon/day off

  • Higher tech-gadget budget

  • Extracurricular courses or training

Gift suggestions for teams

  • Team dinner with families

  • Early leave Friday

  • Fun office equipment - a punching bag, a scooter

  • Teambuilding

  • Party, BBQ

Wrap up

If your sales team wins, you win. Not only in hard times, people need and love some cheer and positive motivation, so celebrate as often as you can. If your team sees other team members succeed and receive rewards, it’ll create a diligent sales culture.

Mix it up between individual and group competitions to support the team spirit. The grouping creates a sense of unity, plus the winning team learns that teamwork pays off and will make an even stronger bond over a shared dinner or drinks.  

Stick to our tips, and learn how to keep the sales team motivated.

After all, the most motivated people are those who want to stay with your company the longest.


All about headhunting: How to hire the best salespeople

Headhunting salespeople is specific when compared to other business sectors. Read on to find out valuable advice on where to search for the best salespeople, what tools to use, and how to approach potential candidates.


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