Magazine article CRM Magazine

Varsity Sales Squad Racks Up Points with LevelEleven App: Contest App Helps Increase Sales and Encourage Best Practices for Cheerleading Apparel Company

Magazine article CRM Magazine

Varsity Sales Squad Racks Up Points with LevelEleven App: Contest App Helps Increase Sales and Encourage Best Practices for Cheerleading Apparel Company

Article excerpt

Many of the 300 sales reps for Varsity Spirit Fashion, which sells cheerleading apparel to high schools and colleges across the United States, are former athletes themselves. "They're highly social and highly competitive," says Marci Neumeister, the company's vice president of sales. That made LevelEleven, an app that helps sales managers set up contests, a natural fit for Varsity's sales force.

While attending Salesforce.com's Dreamforce conference a few years back, Neumeister saw a presentation on gamification that piqued her interest. She tried a gamification app she found on Salesforce.com's App-Exchange, but thought it was too complex and time-consuming for Varsity's needs. The second app she tried, from LevelEleven, had the right mix of features and ease of use. In May 2013, the company tested the app with its Eastern sales division. "I started seeing the results immediately," she remembers. "We had to wait and see, does that turn into revenue? Then during Q3, we were the only region that achieved our sales budget for the year."

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Neumeister originally created weeklong contests focused on a specific goal, including setting up appointments or moving deals through their final stage. Surveying her sales reps, she discovered they preferred rewards such as Starbucks gift cards and other gift certificates. During an early test, one region made 137 percent more appointments in one week, and saw an additional $1.6 million in sales. After a few additional contests, however, Neumeister shortened contests to two days. "We found that [results] would wane toward the end. Why not keep it high level, high energy?"

That's where "ad hoc" points came in, "a great idea that [LevelEleven founder and CEO] Bob Marsh gave us." At the beginning of a contest, sales reps are assigned points based on how they met the contest's goal before it even began. That means sales reps were rewarded for their behavior even when no one was watching, not just for responding to the incentive. That was key to making sure that sales reps were incentivized for good behavior whether or not there was a contest running.

Administering the contests also gave Neumeister insights into where her reps were struggling. When Varsity saw reps who didn't put effort into the contest, management dug deeper to find out why, and changed its style to respond. LevelEleven was also able to reveal gaps in the reps' understanding and use of Salesforce. …

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