Business information written specifically for newspaper advertising departments

Corn Hole:

Incentivizing your sales staff using everyday games helps motivation
This month I’m taking you to Huntsville, Ala. home of Lori Ziegelmann, the classified advertising manager at The Huntsville Times and creator of office corn hole.

If you’ve been following this series, you’ve seen several incentives programs held all across our nation that were spoken about at this spring’s SCAMA convention in Jacksonville, Fla. Multiple voices from around the USA spoke of their sales teams’ efforts in increasing motivation and morale and overall revenue generation. This month I’m taking you to Huntsville, Ala. home of Lori Ziegelmann, the classified advertising manager at The Huntsville Times.

At the conference she spoke about a version of “Corn Hole” she had constructed for her sales staff. The game, for those of you unfamiliar, is also called beanie bags, bags, beanbag toss, corn toss or tailgate toss. The game, which is traditionally a lawn game, calls for players to take turns throwing cornhole bags at raised platforms with a hole in the far end. A corn bag in the hole scores three points while one on the platform scores one. Play continues until a player or team reaches 21.

Ziegelmann’s version was a little different. Her sales staff has quick stand-up meetings at the end of the sales day where they “round robin” with the representatives on what was sold, what was done and what was moved through the pipeline for the day. “During the holidays we brought in corn hole and if the reps sold something off our hit list of products, then they received a toss to win prizes.”Ziegelmann says. “If they made the toss they won a small prize (five dollar gift cards, movie tickets, etc.). If they missed, well better luck next time.” The representatives were able to earn multiple tosses per day if they had multiple sales. The better your sales number, the better your chances of winning a prize!

Although the prizes weren’t extravagant, they were enough to incentivize reps after a sale. If they didn’t get a sale, they didn’t get a shot.

The concept of the game varied a little from the traditional lawn game, but they adapted it to work for their staff, just as you can do for yours. 

The concept of the game varied a little from the traditional lawn game, but they adapted it to work for their staff, just as you can do for yours. The motivation and morale boost were noteworthy for the staff. The game brought new life to a tired staff.

“Our team had so much fun with this game. It created a lot of energy at the end of the day and folks were excited to ‘earn’ multiple tosses each day,” Ziegelmann says. “It was fun to cheer on our team as they tried to figure out the strategy of the toss.