Winning in sales is not based solely on ‘goals scored’

When such a winner is being selected, both his performance and its impact on the business are considered. 

Whereas the importance of sales contests cannot be gainsaid, It’s not always the seller with the most sales at the end of the sales contest period who wins -much unlike football, where only scores hold sway. This revelation sometimes, inadvertently, ignites feelings of unfairness in the team and disappointment , the ‘winner’. The more when the business decides to award the top seller with, say, a 7-day fully paid trip to the Mara. After all, isn’t closing (getting payment for the sale) what ultimately matters in selling, he reasons? Yes, and no.  When such a winner is being selected, both his performance and its impact on the business are considered.  Here are some metrics the business looks at which the seller may be unaware of.


You may have sold one hundred accounts during the contest period – an impressive 25 beyond target. ‘Goals’-wise, you lead the pack. But from the business’ perspective, it matters how many of them are still active. For instance, if only 37 are, then this is your true ‘goals’ position. And why? The business is not a one-off sale-it’s an on-going operation sustained by sustainable sales. Further, the 63 lost accounts (100 minus 37) cost the business resources (in airtime, data, fuel, transport, retainer, commissions) to acquire, retain and close.  Their abortive closure denied the business an opportunity to profit from them.  And it speaks to your ethics when selling and therefore the integrity of the business.

Quantity vs. Quality

Your 100, say boxes of wine, could easily fail to hold a candle to the winner’s 67 boxes. Before you blow a fuse here’s why. The brand of wine of you sold could have a profit of only Kes.5 per box, meaning Kes. 500 total profit. But, the winner’s 67 boxes could be a combination of brands which cater for both quantity and profit (value, quality). If only 37 of them had a profit of Kes. 15 per box this translates to Kes. 555 total profit (Kes. 15×37 boxes). On this basis alone he has already made more money for the business than you have, and there are still 40 boxes (67 minus 37) to go.

New business

Where did your 100 accounts come from? Was it all from the same market at a time when the business was seeking to break into new markets? New business as a metric for winning could be informed by the business need to reduce the dependency on a particular market or to get a new product to market.  Imagine how, say a Sacco, that depended on (failed) Nakumatt Supermarket staff is likely struggling right now; and how relieved their members would be knowing that the winning salesperson introduced the Sacco’s new and wildly popular product to a new market which more than compensated for the ‘lost’ sales.

Other metrics could come into play when choosing the winner and it helps when the business is clear from go how the elections will be conducted. Admittedly, it’s not always a science.

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