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How to Run a March Madness-Style Sales Contest

How to make a March Madness-style, single-elimination sales tournament.

Sales leaders - brace yourselves, because we're sharing the exact step-by-step playbook one company used to run its own 40 person NCAA Tournament-style sales competition.

march madness sales contest

Bold statement: March Madness is the world's greatest sports event. 

The World Cup and Super Bowl are epic spectacles, to be sure. But March Madness is the most epic spectacle - namely because it strips away all the excess noise. No dictatorial regimes. No gaudy halftime shows. Just 6 rounds of epic 'win-or-go-home' competition.

Why Sales Teams Buy Into March Madness  

March Madness is built for maximum inclusiveness. Brackets. Bubbles. Upsets. Buzzer Beaters. Cinderellas. Office Pools.

Sometime in the next 30 days - a TV screen or Gary in accounting is going to steal your attention for one millisecond. Once that happens - you're toast.

Maybe your 8-seed alma mater will go the distance with the consensus tourney favorite in Round 2. That audacious 11-seed you called to make the Final Four will shock the world and give you pole position in a 2,000 entry office pool.

Maybe Bill Raftery will yell "Onions!" while you're in earshot of a TV.

How to Run a March Madness Sales Contest

Ambition is the only sales performance management platform that lets you run March Madness-style sales contests. Last March, our clients Fitzmark showed how they ran a March Madness sales competition with 41 brokers in their office. 

There are two ways to run March Madness for Sales. One with teams. Another with individual reps. Here are quick walkthroughs that show how to do each below.

Head to Head Matchups: Ambition Challenges

Step 1. Choose Your Metric and Seed Reps

Every great competition starts with a metric. What will be your company's version of 'points?' 

ambition sales metrics

Pictured: Schedule future Challenges for Rounds 2-6 of your Tournament.

You could choose: calls, deals, revenue, and such. We recommend choosing 'Ambition Scores' - which let your entire sales force compete 'Apples to Oranges' based on the metrics that matter most to each rep.

sales contest scores

Pictured: This Challenge has managers compete on 'Objective Score'

Once you have chosen your metric, seed your reps based on past performance. Use a time interval that makes sense for your company.

Step 2. Set Up Ambition Challenges

Set up one Ambition Challenge for each matchup. Start by navigating to the Helmet in the left sidebar.

sales contest scoring

Inside the Challenge Builder - you can now toggle a recurring schedule for your contest on or off. Then select the start and end dates / times for launching the initial contest.

Once you do that, scheduling recurring future competitions is just a matter of choosing time interval and end date for future recurrences.

sales contests

From there - simply choose competitors, metrics, and prizes for your contest. And voila! You're running powerful, automated sales competitions that update in real-time on office TVs, in Salesforce and within Ambition's platform UI. 

tv sales contests

Ambition's easy drag-and-drop competition builder allows for near-limitless flexibility. Feel like getting in on the action? Compete against your fellow managers based on who's team is hitting objectives. (Watch how Outreach does it). 

march madness sales competition

Step 3. Track live scores and Advance winners.

Ambition shows you the live scores of each matchup in the Ambition Challenge UI and inside of Salesforce.

ncaa tournament sales contest

salesforce SPIFs

Ambition also lets you publish slides on Ambition TV with live score updates for each matchup.

march madness for sales

Watch your competitions happen in real-time, advance your winners, and advertise an awesome championship incentive. Congratulations - you have run your first March Madness-style sales competition! 

Team-Format: March Madness for Sales

Step 1. Choose Your Competitors

Ambition's newest update now provides full member breakdowns for each Group Dashboard. Just navigate to the left sidebar as shown below.

ambition profile dashboard

Choose any group you manage, then scroll down to the bottom of their profile. You will now see a new Member Grid that displays the group's members, their start dates within the group, and the group's managers. 

Ambition group manager

From there, you can jump into our leaderboard interface, get the specs on top performers and coaching opportunities, and convert those insights into action (like sending Sam Smith below a public shout-out). All in a matter of seconds. 

sales team leaderboards

Step 2. Set up Team Fantasy Sales Contests.

To set up a Fantasy Contest, an Ambition admin must navigate to the settings section in the left hand navigate. Go to Competitions, then click Fantasy.

march sales contest

From there, the admin can set up a sales competition with the right number of teams and schedule out a regular season with playoffs. Here's an example below.

team sales contests

Step 3. Track live scores on Ambition and Office TVs.

Once the competitions are live, you can track live scores for each matchup in Ambition and create slides for each matchup on office TVs. Below is a real-world example that Fitzmark set up for its March Madness Sales Competition in March 2017.

march madness contest

In the Ambition Competition UI, you can also few high-level looks at your bracket, standings, competitions, and current scores for each matchup. Below is the same March Madness sales competition Fitzmark ran last year.

march madness sales contest

Voila! You're almost done! Make sure to set your lineups and bench people who are out-of-office during your competitions. 

Ambition: The Agile Sales Management Platform

Harvard Business Review and AA-ISP (the Global Inside Sales Organization).  Fortune 1000 sales organizations like UPS, Aerotek and Wayfair use Ambition to enhance sales KPI clarity and drive their teams using real-time scorecards, dashboards, alerts, contests, and TV leaderboards. 

tennessee sales organizations

Contact us to schedule a demo of Ambition for your sales force today.

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About Ambition
Sales Leaders, HR Professionals, and C-Level Executives use Ambition to recognize, motivate, and develop employees into more engaged and productive versions of themselves. Funded by Google, used by the Fortune 500, endorsed by the Harvard Business Review.

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