Contests Motivation

3 Proven Sales Contest Ideas That Won’t Alienate Anyone On Your Team


Remember middle school dodgeball? Your experience says a lot about the person you were back then… For some, it was a lot of throwing, a lot of winning, and probably a lot of laughing.

For others, it was mostly the business end of a rubber ball to the face.

And when it came to picking teams, you knew which category of person you fell into long before the whistle blew. What resulted for either side was probably not a recipe for growth or change. Instead, the underperforming kids tended to feel like… well, the underperformers.

But good team competition doesn’t have to be alienating. In fact, with a good coach—or here in the adult world, a good manager—team sports can be the tide that raises every ship.

Here are Hoopla, we believe whole-heartedly in the power of sales gamification and are constantly looking for great sales contest ideas. But sometimes the prospect of competition can translate to rewarding the best and alienating the worst.

Instead, we’ve come up with three sales contest ideas that can keep everyone in your office engaged, motivated, and chasing after new levels of growth.


The raffle concept is simple: hold a weeklong or monthlong competition, where every time someone hits a benchmark (new client, new lead, 10 cold calls, etc.) they’re awarded a raffle ticket. At the end of the competition, hold the raffle.

The genius is that you’re giving everyone the opportunity to be recognized for small wins, without having someone be “first” or “last.” But at the end of the day, folks with more raffle tickets have a better chance of winning—so the “fair police” won’t be out for blood.

Chris Sams, sales executive and revenue growth specialist says it perfectly when outlining how to build a high-performance sales team: “Success is contagious. People who pursue careers in sales are almost always motivated by recognition. Recognizing wins early and often is one of the fastest ways to rapidly get the flywheel going.

Team Tournaments

Alternatively, if you are a little more interested in clear winners, you can elect to host a team-based tournament. This allows the opportunity for inter-team encouragement, with high performers encouraging their teammates—no one person wins or loses—while still having some of that intra-team competitiveness.

Ultimately, what we’ve found that these types of competitions do really well is create a sense of team-oriented goal setting. Get your employees focused on your organization’s larger goals, and they’ll have a more acute sense of their role in carrying them out.

Timed Challenges

Speaking of goals: timed challenges, similar to raffles, allow your employees to focus on simple benchmarks—but here, they’re competing with themselves rather than each other. Can you reach your individual goal? This way, no one’s checking another person’s score, they’re just set on meeting their own goals and being the best version of themselves. Here, recognition isn’t about showing who’s the best, but rather celebrating everyone for hitting new marks along their personal path.

Gamification and sales competition doesn’t have to mean isolation, losing, or feeling left behind. In the end, there’s enough pie to go around for everyone. Need more sales contest ideas? Feel free to let us know in the comments!