Some sales leaders love to run contests and can make good use of them. Contests that create value are generally focused on behavior change, motivating because they’re fun and different, and help to pull people out of their comfort zone. So generally that means they need to change frequently (at least every few months). There can be a stable budget/spend for contests, but the contests themselves are most effective if they are ever-changing in terms of WHAT people have to do to win. Any long-term “contest” focused on a core ongoing job responsibility usually points to a flaw in the core sales compensation plan or the goals.
Donya Rose, CSCP, is Managing Principal of The Cygnal Group. She is a recognized expert in sales compensation plan design, regularly speaking at conferences and writing published articles. She serves clients from F500 to growth-stage businesses, and advises WorldatWork on sales compensation hot topics and best practices.