How to Build Sales Contests Around March Madness

march madnessWe’re less than one week into March Madness. How’s sales productivity in your environment?

If you’re having challenges in keeping the team focused on business, or if you want to amp up sales performance in general, build a sales tournament with a March Madness theme. Then you can take some of that energy your team is spending on basketball and direct it right at key sales activities.

Here’s how to set up your tournament:

Team Format: Assign seeds to your sales reps by looking at their performance over the last 90 days. That can include looking at the number of deals each rep has closed or opportunities they’ve generated, for example. Fill out your brackets from there. (If you have a huge team, you may want to consider pairing up similar performers and structuring the tournament so that each team consists of two reps.)

Contest Timing: Count the number of business days left until April 7, the end of the actual basketball tournament, and then divide that number by the number of teams you have. That’s how long each contest will be. Tip: If your contests are short — for example, 1 day in length — consider creating a second competition (around the same activity — opportunities) that the people who get knocked out of the main tournament will be automatically entered into. That way you’re still amping up the entire sales team’s productivity, not just that of your top performers.

Point Structure: Because each contest will probably be somewhat short (depending on your sales cycle), you probably won’t have time to make closing deals your point-earning activity. Instead, consider assigning 5 points for every opportunity that’s taken to stage 2 in your sales process. When an opportunity gets to stage 2 that means it’s somewhat of a qualified opportunity, so you won’t be giving points for generating “opportunities” with random prospects that aren’t a good fit for your product.

Incentive: Get a basketball and have either the entire team or just senior leadership sign it. Consider also purchasing a stand (starting at around $30), so that the winner can set the autographed trophy right on their desk.

Fun addition: Want to add an interesting spin? Name each team in your tournament after an actual team in March Madness. Then set it up so that every time a college team wins a game, the sales team representing it gets 5 extra points.

Now let the tournament begin! 

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