1.) The playing field is not level - How many times have you looked at your salesleaderboard and noticed the usual suspects at the top? Then as you scroll down to the bottom of the leaderboard you see mostly newer reps either going through their ramp up period or just starting to have a decent sales pipeline to sell to. Ask yourself, how can you implement a sales contest that gives everyone a fair shot at success? I do have a suggestion. Keep the metrics, goals and parameters of the contest exactly the same for all reps. Then, take the reps who have been selling for you less than 6 months and place them in a separate contest or leaderboard. Let the more senior guys and gals duke it out and give your newer reps a chance to showcase their skills and earn some positive public recognition. Trust me, once they feel the joy of winning it will pay huge dividends down the road. The way I would summarize this approach is the minor leagues vs. the major leagues. Asking a rep who has been selling for you for 3 months to compete in a sales contest with a rep who has been with you for 2 years is a tough feat to take on. More importantly, it's deflating and can make a rep feel like they are losing before the game even begins.
2. The prize is the same old same old: A gift card for Best Buy! Sweet. If this was 2008. Gift cards are great and all, but is that really enough to get the competitive juices flowing? Doesn't a Friday off in February with a free lift ticket to ski Killington, VT sound so much better? Quick tip: survey your reps. Ask them what they do when they are not selling for you. Get to know your team! If Janet likes sushi and doing Yoga, do you think a gift card to Best Buy is really going resonate with her? The end game of a sales contest is the same for all, but the motivational drivers within the contest that will deem it a success must vary rep to rep.
Good luck with your next sales contest!