Top-Shelf Tip No. 62:

"A basketball team is like the five fingers on your hand. If you can get them all together, you have a fist. That's how I want you to play."

Mike “Coach K” Krzyzewski

Create Your Own March Madness

Here we are . . . down to the Final Four. I love March Madness. It's the time of year where college basketball reigns. It seems that everyone around me gets engaged with the sport, even if they aren't basketball fans the rest of the time.

In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we are sharing the concept of a March Madness sales contest that you can implement with your sales team. As Brianna Valleskey shared in her blog for company LevelEleven, when a sales leader named Dan Ceravolo launched his March Madness-themed sales contest, he saw a 70-percent increase in scheduled demos for his company.

Here's how it works, according to Valleskey:

1. The Bracket: Depending on the size of your sales team, you may want to include other members of your organization (for small teams) or use multiple brackets (for large teams). For example, if you have a small team, also include customer service reps, marketing and other key roles. The more people you include, the more one-on-one matchups you'll have, which ultimately increases not only the duration, but the scale and scope of your competition.

Then once you determine your competitors, take time to seed them carefully according to past performance, such as the past three months. Match them up with others at similar performance levels so no single middle performer loses immediately to a top performer and then doesn't participate in the competition.

Ceravolo also set up the first rounds so that people were competing against their peers (for example, account executives went up against other account executives, etc.).

2. The Point System: Your scoring system should reflect what sales activity you want to motivate. For example, Ceravolo's goal was to drive as many demos as possible, so points were awarded based on the number of demos scheduled.

Because his sales contest involved multiple teams, he had to get creative in a fair way to award points. His business development reps traditionally schedule demos for the account executives who are more focused on closing deals. The customer success team is focused on cross-sells, upsells and renewals.

Here's how his point system worked:

  • Inbound Demo: 1 Point
  • Outbound Demo: 2 Points
  • Cross-Sell Demo: 3 Points
  • Closed Won (New Customer): 3 Points

3. The Matchups: The duration of each round will depend on how large your bracket is and how long you want the sales contest to last. If you start with 16 competitors, and you want the contest to last several weeks, then each round should last about three to four days. Be sure to promote the contest during this period. Share results and rankings on a regular basis. Get excited about the progress teams are making and provide sports-like commentary along the way to make it fun and positive.

4. The Prize: This is where you can get really creative. Here are some prize ideas used in Ceravolo's contest:

Apple watch

Sports tickets and basketball signed by senior leadership

Basketball jersey with the contest winner's last name on the back

Large cash prize

Use these ideas to build some March Madness with your sales team.

Source: Brianna Valleskey is the content specialist at LevelEleven.

Compiled by Cassandra Johnson

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