March Madness and Sales CompensationI have to admit, I’m not a huge basketball fan. As a Canadian, I grew up watching and playing hockey (yes, the stereotype is true for me!). While growing up in Canada, I noticed college sports also don’t achieve the popularity or business-like marketing appeal you see with college sports in the United States.

When I moved to the US, I knew basketball was popular and college sports were big, but I was still surprised (to say the least) at the craziness that is – for the appropriately named – “March Madness.”

Even now, after living in the U.S. for many years, I can’t profess to loving basketball or college sports. But I have definitely grown to appreciate the frenetic energy that surrounds March Madness. Sports news is dominated in the weeks leading up to the tournament as teams qualify and brackets take shape.

People enter pools at work or online, hoping to pick the winner (despite the probability of picking every winner of every game being so low that Warren Buffett’s Omaha of Nebraska insurance company offered a $1 billion prize to anyone who picks every winner from the starting 64 to the national champion). All eyes are on the opening rounds, when upsets abound and excitement levels are feverish.

But, what does this have to do with sales compensation?

Imagine if we could harness the excitement, energy and passion that surround March Madness and put it into a sales comp program. On the surface, that seems like a stretch: March Madness is a basketball tournament – one loss and you’re out, upsets abound and your favorite team might be playing, too! Compare that to sales comp, which is a long program… it’s routine… it’s your job… the excitement of uncertainty is not present.

But what if you could replicate some small slice of that excitement? Can you imagine your sales force being as enthusiastic about selling and their sales comp program as people are about March Madness?

I am often asked by both clients and potential customers, “What are some of the latest trends in sales compensation?” One recurring theme I hear from almost every company in every industry is the desire to make their sales comp program more engaging. Over the course of the next several months, this is a topic I plan to explore in a series of blogs that will touch on potentially new metrics, measures and ways to brand and communicate your plan to increase the level of excitement in your sales force.

I hope you continue to check back!

Topics: sales compensation, sales comp program, sales metrics, Steve Marley, Sales Force, sales comp, march madness