The Big Dance gets started later this month, and sales teams everywhere will roll out bracket and basketball-style promotions in short order. If you’re still considering a March Madness promotion for your sales team, here are a few ideas to get your creative juiced flowing.
1. Run a parallel bracket for your sales team
Pre-tournament activity determines seeding (could be prospecting activity, number of presentations or demos, opportunities or appointments generated, etc.). Then you play a “game” between reps based on the seedings every 1-2 days throughout the rest of March. Consider modifying the typical single-elimination format so that those who lose quickly still play against each other to keep them motivated and focused on activity and output.
2. Call blitz in high-seed cities
Consider call blitzes or special promotions for customers & prospects living in cities where high-seeded teams are from. Test something like this for the “play in” games next Tuesday (including custom call scripts and email templates) to drive activity from local fans/prospects/
3. Pop-a-Shot on the sales floor!
Rent one of those mini-basketball games for a few weeks, and have reps compete either during the morning sales briefing or throughout the day for prizes. For example, every opportunity generated or appointment set gives them 15 seconds to score as many baskets as possible. The more baskets they score, the more tickets towards a big prize drawing. Or more instant cash. You could also have non-sales executives compete in front of the team to see who gets the most baskets. Could have reps “bet” (without money, just with their vote) on who will get the most baskets. If they win, they get an extra point or two on commissions for closed deals or appointments set that day.
4. Every rep represents a team in the tournament
Once the field is set next week, have a drawing where every rep on the floor will represent a particular team, chosen randomly. Every time your team wins, you get more entries into a drawing for a big prize.
5. Every rep fills out a bracket
Have a bracket tournament on the sales floor, where everyone predicts how the tournament will play out. The better your picks, the more bonuses you get and/or the more points you get on top of your usual commission plan for the remainder of the month.
6. Put the games on your leaderboard and conference room TVs
Believe it or not, this will likely increase productivity. The last thing you want is a whole floor of reps streaming live feed videos to their computers. Let them glance at the games on the monitors you usually use for leaderboards. Have a couple conference rooms open with the games on, so reps can eat lunch there (better than taking a 90-minute lunch away from the office). Consider bringing in lunch next Thursday & Friday (the biggest days of the tournament with all 64 teams playing) so reps stick around for lunchtime.
7. More upsets, higher commissions
Every time a lower-seed wins, bonus or commission plans increase across the floor.
Other Early Spring Themes
8. Spring Training
Turn your sales floor into a virtual fantasy baseball game. Points for activities, presentations, new opportunities and closed sales. Assign team colors, mascots. If you want, treat it like a World Baseball Classic-style tournament (perhaps representing the neighborhoods in which your sales reps live instead of countries).
9. Spring Break Escape
Have reps or teams compete for a long weekend somewhere sunny, or create a “virtual spring break” in the office (perhaps in a conference room) for contest “winners” to enjoy on a Friday afternoon. Go crazy – bring in a tanning bed, a masseuse, play Hawaiian music, have some Mai Tais (real or not).
10. Snow Days
If you’re in a part of the country where it’s not just cold but snowy this time of year, assign extra points or do “power hour” style prospecting or lead follow-up sessions when it’s snowing outside. Or, if the team collectively hits a goal by mid-month, your CEO or VP of Sales will jump into a nearby lake, or agree to be pelted with snowballs by the entire sales team (or those who qualify based on activity and performance) on a Friday afternoon.
About the Author
Matt Heinz is the President of Heinz Marketing. Matt brings more than 15 years of marketing, business development, and sales experience from a variety of organizations, vertical industries and company sizes.
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