Create a dynamic sales incentive program


John Ryerson
Sales Training Columnist

It’s the same old story – you have implemented a monthly sales competition and it is over in less than two weeks.

Your top salesman has once again produced and created an insurmountable lead. Any incentive and buzz you wished to create has all but fizzled. You need a way to create a sales program that keeps everyone vying for the top position for as long as possible. There needs to be a way to make sure all your sales people are competing to the final day for the final deal. The only way to do this is by making the sales competition more dynamic.

Most sales competitions are one dimensional. Many have a singular focus on unit sales. However, there are other metrics which can be used to find out who really deserves the first place prize in a sales competition.

Total gross profit for the month may tell an entirely different story than total units sold. It is time to start rewarding the sales people who are earning the most money on their deals. The salesperson who is selling extended warranties and protection packages should be recognized. Those who are moving the oldest vehicles should also be acknowledged.

By creating these new criteria for the sales contests, it pushes your entire sales team to do more.

Technology makes the new dynamic sales competition a possibility. A software program can crunch the numbers so sales managers don’t have to.

The new criteria can be synthesized easily, meaning the sales manager can implement new criteria and actually do less work.  

One such program only requires the input of data (four clicks of a mouse and in most cases is done by whoever posts the deal) and the system does the rest.

The program will automatically display a leader board for the entire sales team to see. Since the program is web-based, sales managers and staff can view the leader board from anywhere. They can even use their smartphones to track progress.

Judging the contest with new criteria aside from volume will keep everyone in the competition longer, meaning your sales staff will be engaged and motivated.

Technology can also make the average sales competition smarter. Usually a sales manager sets an arbitrary prize for a sales contest. The prize may not always reflect the sales that actually occur during the month. With software, the prize can be determined on a progressive basis. As units are sold, the jackpot steadily increases.

The prize can also be customized to increase based on all the criteria used to determine a winner. The result is a prize that reflects the effort of the staff and something that is manageable for the business.

It is important to change the way a dealership looks at a sales competition. As the industry evolves, so must its processes. Creating a dynamic program for rewarding good salesmanship moves the sales competition into the 21st century. The results of this new method are clear: motivated sales staff; representative rewards; less work for sales managers and ultimately an increase in the bottom line.

John Ryerson is the president of Canadian Automotive Training & Technology Ltd. with offices Nova Scotia and Ontario.  You can contact him at 289-668-7676 or