March Madness Sales Tips

Do you want to learn how to :

  1. Improve your Free-throw percentage.

  2. Get the best seed ranking on your sales team

  3. Rebound the ball from your clients

If you think about it, basketball and sales draw very similar parallels. There’s teamwork, there’s strategy, there’s practice, and of course, A GAME TO WIN! Since we’re in the March Madness spirit, here’s some “new” sales terminology that will help you close more deals in terms of the basketball.


Remember this year when Mercer (14) beat (3) Duke? It’s the same for your company or startup; so believe in the vision. One day you’re working 10+ hours a day under the radar, and the next thing you know you’re featured in Tech Crunch. A strong team and teamwork will shake the court. 5 steps to better teamwork can be found here

Technical Fouls:

How do we avoid them with customers? Be truthful and upfront. Transparency makes the whole process easier and shifts the “salesman” mentality in a more positive light.

Traveling (aka sloppiness):

Not following up with your prospects. Have integrity: if you say you’ll send a resource, send it at the exact time you said you would. Take the extra steps to be reliable.

Super Fans:

Every team has a few die-hard fans that cheer them on. Know who your champions are and make sure they know they’re appreciated. You never know when you’ll need them for a testimonial, case study, or who their connections are.

Seed Ranking:

To get that automatic bid, always make sure you add value to your client. Be a “Social Seller” (Yes, your LinkedIn posts and Tweets DO make a difference). If you’re posting articles that are relevant to the clients in your pipeline, you’ll position yourself as a mini “thought leader.”


Are you at 80%?  Template analytics makes your outreach more accurate so you can see what’s working and what isn’t so you’re guaranteed to make it in the hoop!


Use insight to take back the ball at the right time. Let’s say a prospect has gone off track and hasn’t returned your calls for a few weeks. See when they suddenly scan your email again and call them at the moment they’re thinking of you!

Dribbling (aka drip campaigns):

Let’s say you’ve missed a few shots on emails, and a prospect hasn’t gotten back to you. By using auto follow-ups, you’ll eliminate the number of shots you miss (maybe you don’t make the first basket, but you can make the second or third).

Want to download this and “pass” it along to your teammates? Click here!


March Madness Sales Playbook

The NCAA Sales Championship.

Sales and your favorite basketball tourney are one in the same.

Lucky for us, it’s not squeezed into one short month. The NCAA Sales Championship is yearlong, and you’re competing against the most well-funded and smartest companies in the league.

There’s a big dance. The two teams, You and the Buyer, are quickly maneuvering your message back-and-forth, around the court, and hoping it lands in the net before month’s end.

However, it’s not the same game your father used to play. Sales teams are evolving and adopting new technologies and acceleration tools that make everyone step up their game. What’s the one thing that will get you ahead of the other guys? Teamwork.

“The main ingredient of stardom is the rest of the team.”
-John Wooden

There’s no “I” in team, but there is in WIN.

With March Madness in full swing, I bet your competitive spirit is at an all time high.

Sure, every salesperson wants to be an all-star (the Russ Smith or Kemba Walker). By nature, sales is a very competitive sport; it’s the reason why sales gongs and leaderboards are such a hit. However, the best sales teams have collaboration. You can’t go out of bounds when sharing tips with your fellow teammates. Teamwork helps your quota and brings you more money, because when your company is successful, you’re successful (and Coach Knight won’t yell at you). That equity starts mattering, and the American “tech” dream gets fulfilled.

I’ve created a playbook on the 5 ways teamwork will help you win more games.

My March Madness Sales playbook:

1. Share your game plan

  • Pass templates with your team and learn the most effective messaging and who’s using it.
  • Get a second pair of eyes. Teammates can leave comments and feedback if they see a typo or like something.
  • It’s time saving, there’s no I in team, share your game plan for the win!

“Effective teamwork begins and ends with communication.” -Mike Krzyzewski (Coach K)

2. Check your stats

  • See the individual reps that are the most successful and use them as a resource. See first hand the direct messaging their using.
  • A/B test your emails, change your subject line, and see if 8am or 2pm is more effective.
  • A play takes a few steps to complete (and a few tries). Make sure you’re tracking all of your steps to shoot the game winning point!

“It’s the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.” -John Wooden

3. Easily onboard the Rookies

  • With teamwork, rookies see the playbook and can learn from the get go.
  • Instead of having to recreate their own plays, they can easily gather sales tools from the star players. This brings up the morale of everyone!

Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships. -Michael Jordan

4. Practice makes perfect!

  • Make it a game and test which messaging works better and become more aware of your day-to-day emails that are making the biggest difference with your customers.
  • Tracking: see what activities are generating the most opportunities. Are certain links and attachments working better? When are they responding more?

“People want national championship banners… How do we get there? We don’t get there with milk and cookies.” -Bob Knight

5. Be the Coach’s favorite

  • Usually a coach only sees the score at the end of the game, aka the closed deal $.  By being collaborative and sharing sales techniques, the coach can see the highlight reel and your day-to-day tricks that helped you land the deal.
  • Teamwork–> Visibility–>Stronger Team–> Championship!

The Final Shot.

Always make sure you’re focused on being a team player. Sportsmanship is key to closing deals and being your company’s strongest teammate. It makes a difference in how you’re ranked and how the coach views you; A ball hog is never anyone’s favorite. Anyone can be in sales, but it takes teamwork to close your deals. Make sure you practice, keep integrity, and use insight to be a team player.

Let’s end with a quote from Mike Krzyzewski that sums up teamwork quite nicely:

“During the season, your team should be led with exuberance and excitement. You should live the journey. You should live it right. You should live it together. You should live it shared. You should try to make one another better. You should get on one another if somebody’s not doing their part. You should hug one another when they are. You should be disappointed in a loss and exhilarated in a win. It’s all about the journey.”