Gamification Themes: 5 Football Sales Contest Ideas For An Unforgettable Season

Adam Steele

Mar 24, 2023

Gamification has taken the business world by storm, especially in sales. By incorporating elements of play and competition, companies can motivate their sales teams to perform at their best. But what if we could take gamification to the next level by leveraging behavioral psychology and the excitement of NFL football? In this article, we'll present 5 creative football-themed sales contest ideas designed to boost sales performance and create an unforgettable season.

Each contest idea will be backed by in-depth analogies and insights from NFL football, behavioral psychology, or other relevant concepts. This approach will enable us to generate more creative and unexpected ideas, providing a deeper understanding of the principles at play. So, strap on your helmet and get ready!

Huddle Up for Team-based Sales Goals

One effective way to engage salespeople is by creating a team-based contest inspired by the NFL. Divide your sales team into smaller groups, each representing an NFL team. Assigning each team a name and logo adds a sense of identity and camaraderie, as your salespeople work together to achieve goals based on football strategies.

Offense and Defense: Balancing Teamwork and Competition

Design team goals that reflect the dual nature of football - offense and defense. For example, offensive goals could focus on generating new leads or closing deals, while defensive goals could emphasize maintaining customer satisfaction or reducing churn. This approach creates a balance between collaboration and friendly competition, as salespeople work together to tackle both aspects of the sales process.

Huddle Communication: Strengthening Team Dynamics

In football, players huddle before each play to communicate their strategy. Encourage sales teams to "huddle" regularly to discuss their progress, share ideas, and brainstorm solutions to challenges. This communication not only strengthens team dynamics but also fosters a culture of continuous learning and improvement.

Touchdown Celebrations: Acknowledging Success

When NFL players score touchdowns, they often celebrate with a unique dance or gesture. In your sales contest, encourage teams to create their own touchdown celebrations to acknowledge their successes. This could be a simple team cheer, a coordinated dance, or even a brief moment of recognition during a team meeting. By celebrating victories, you'll reinforce positive behavior and motivate your salespeople to push even harder.

With this football-inspired team-based contest, your sales force will not only be motivated to achieve individual and collective goals but will also develop strong communication skills and a sense of camaraderie that can last well beyond the contest.

The Sales Playbook: Mastering Sales Techniques through Football Drills

Just as football players practice various drills to hone their skills, salespeople can benefit from a structured approach to developing their sales techniques. In this contest idea, create a Sales Playbook filled with various sales techniques and encourage your team to practice these techniques through football-inspired training drills.

Assembling the Playbook: Identifying Key Sales Techniques

Start by identifying the key sales techniques your team should master. These might include prospecting, rapport-building, handling objections, and closing deals. Compile these techniques into a comprehensive Sales Playbook that serves as a reference guide for your team.

Football-Inspired Drills: Practicing Sales Techniques

Develop a series of football-inspired drills to help your salespeople practice the techniques outlined in the Sales Playbook. For example, role-playing sales scenarios can be likened to running offensive plays, while researching prospects and strategizing can be compared to studying an opponent's game film. Encourage your team to participate in these drills regularly, tracking their progress and adjusting the drills as needed to ensure continuous improvement.

Practice Makes Perfect: The Importance of Consistency

NFL players dedicate countless hours to practicing their skills and perfecting their craft. Emphasize the importance of consistent practice for your sales team, encouraging them to engage with the Sales Playbook and participate in drills regularly. This dedication to skill development will translate to better sales performance over time.

Coaching and Feedback: Learning from Mistakes

In football, coaches provide valuable feedback to players, helping them learn from their mistakes and improve their performance. In your sales contest, appoint experienced team members or managers to serve as "coaches" for your salespeople, offering guidance, feedback, and encouragement throughout the contest. This coaching relationship can foster a culture of continuous learning and improvement, ultimately leading to better sales results.

By implementing the Sales Playbook contest, your sales team will develop the skills and techniques necessary to excel in their roles, just as football players do through consistent practice and coaching.

Fantasy Sales League: Drafting and Managing a Winning Roster

Fantasy football has captured the imagination of millions of fans, who draft and manage their own teams to compete against friends, family, or colleagues. Why not apply this concept to your sales team? Create a Fantasy Sales League in which your salespeople draft their own "rosters" of clients and prospects, and then compete against one another to achieve the best sales performance.

The Draft: Selecting Clients and Prospects

Organize a draft event, where each salesperson can select clients and prospects from a predetermined pool to build their roster. These clients and prospects should be assigned a point value based on factors such as potential revenue, likelihood of conversion, or other relevant criteria. This draft process encourages strategic thinking and planning, as salespeople must weigh the potential value of each client or prospect against the competition.

Managing the Roster: Balancing Priorities

Just like in fantasy football, salespeople must balance their roster by focusing on high-value clients and prospects while also managing the needs of their existing clients. Encourage your team to allocate their time and resources effectively, ensuring they're nurturing relationships and driving sales performance throughout the contest.

Weekly Matchups: Tracking Progress and Encouraging Competition

Establish weekly matchups, where salespeople compete against one another based on their sales performance during that week. Track performance through sales metrics such as revenue generated, new leads acquired, or deals closed. These weekly matchups create a sense of urgency and competition, motivating salespeople to continuously improve their performance.

End-of-Season Awards: Recognizing Success

At the end of the contest, recognize the top performers in your Fantasy Sales League with rewards or prizes. This could be a trophy for the overall winner, or accolades for specific accomplishments, such as the highest conversion rate or the most new leads generated. By celebrating success, you'll encourage your sales team to strive for excellence in the future.

The Fantasy Sales League contest can harness the excitement and strategic thinking of fantasy football, motivating your sales team to achieve greater success in their roles.

The Two-Minute Drill: High-Pressure Sales Challenges

In the high-stakes world of NFL football, the two-minute drill is a crucial test of a team's ability to perform under pressure. With the clock ticking down, players must work together to execute plays quickly and efficiently in order to score. This concept can be applied to sales by creating high-pressure sales challenges that push your team to perform at their best, even in the face of adversity.

Launching High-Pressure Challenges: Sales Sprints

Introduce time-limited sales challenges, or "sales sprints," that require your salespeople to complete specific tasks within a short timeframe. These tasks might include closing a deal, generating a certain number of leads, or making a set number of cold calls. By setting tight deadlines, you'll force your team to think on their feet and make quick decisions, just like an NFL team in a two-minute drill.

Stress-Testing Skills: Building Resilience and Adaptability

High-pressure sales challenges provide an opportunity to build resilience and adaptability in your sales team. By regularly facing high-stakes situations, salespeople will learn to stay calm, focused, and effective under pressure. This resilience will serve them well when dealing with difficult clients or navigating complex sales negotiations.

The Mental Game: Developing Mental Toughness and Quick Decision-Making

Just as NFL players must possess mental toughness to perform at their best in high-pressure situations, salespeople need to develop their mental game to succeed in high-stakes sales challenges. Encourage your team to practice mindfulness, visualization, or other mental training techniques to help them stay focused and composed during sales sprints. By sharpening their mental skills, your salespeople will be better equipped to make quick, accurate decisions under pressure.

Teamwork in the Trenches: Collaboration under Pressure

The two-minute drill in football is a true test of a team's ability to collaborate under pressure. Similarly, high-pressure sales challenges can encourage your sales team to work together more effectively. Foster a culture of collaboration by setting team-based goals or offering incentives for successful teamwork during sales sprints. This will help your salespeople develop strong relationships with their colleagues, leading to better overall performance.

Learning from Failure: Embracing Setbacks as Opportunities for Growth

Not every sales sprint will be a success, just as not every two-minute drill in football ends with a touchdown. Teach your salespeople to embrace setbacks as opportunities for growth and learning. Encourage them to analyze their failures, identify areas for improvement, and apply these lessons to future challenges. By adopting a growth mindset, your sales team will be better equipped to bounce back from adversity and achieve success in the long run.

Touchdown Leaderboard: Go Big with Individual Performance

Finally, inspired by the exhilaration of scoring touchdowns in football, this individual sales contest encourages salespeople to accumulate points for various sales-related tasks. By implementing a leaderboard to track performance, you can create visibility and encourage healthy competition among your sales team.

Scoring Touchdowns: Assigning Points to Sales Tasks

Begin by assigning point values (touchdowns) to different sales tasks. For instance, closing a deal could be worth six points, while generating a new lead could be worth one point. This scoring system incentivizes salespeople to prioritize their efforts and strive for high-value tasks that contribute to the company's growth.

The Extra Point: Bonus Opportunities

Much like an NFL team attempting an extra point after scoring a touchdown, incorporate bonus opportunities into your sales contest. For example, salespeople could earn an additional point for upselling or securing a referral. These bonus opportunities reward salespeople for going the extra mile and provide further motivation to excel.

The Leaderboard: Creating Visibility and Accountability

Track and display the performance of each salesperson using a leaderboard. This can be a physical board in the office, or a digital one accessible online. The leaderboard should be updated regularly, creating a sense of urgency and maintaining motivation throughout the contest. By making performance visible, salespeople will be more accountable and driven to climb the ranks.

Emulating Top-Scorers: Learning from the Best

Draw inspiration from the journey of NFL players who become top-scorers in the league. Encourage salespeople to learn from each other's successes and develop strategies for improving their own performance. Hold regular meetings or workshops where top performers can share their insights and techniques, fostering a culture of continuous learning and improvement.

With the Touchdown Leaderboard contest, your sales team will be motivated to perform at their best, learn from one another, and strive for excellence, just as NFL players do on the field.

Final Thoughts

By implementing these creative football-themed sales contest ideas, you can engage and motivate your sales team, foster a culture of continuous learning and improvement, and ultimately drive better sales results. Each contest idea draws inspiration from various aspects of NFL football, such as the excitement of scoring touchdowns, the strategic thinking involved in drafting and managing a fantasy football team, or the mental toughness required to execute a successful two-minute drill.

As you plan and execute these sales contests, remember that the ultimate goal is to improve the performance of your sales team. To achieve this, focus on providing clear goals, regular feedback, and opportunities for learning and growth. By doing so, you can help your salespeople develop the skills, habits, and mindset necessary to excel in their roles, just as NFL players do on the field.

Additionally, consider using these contests as an opportunity to strengthen team morale and camaraderie. While sales can sometimes be a competitive environment, a sense of unity and shared purpose can contribute to a more positive and productive work atmosphere. Encourage your salespeople to support one another, learn from each other's successes and challenges, and celebrate their achievements as a team.

Finally, don't be afraid to iterate and adapt these contest ideas to better suit the unique needs and dynamics of your sales team. Like a successful football coach, continuously assess your team's performance and make adjustments as needed to keep them motivated and focused on their goals. By doing so, you can create a winning sales culture that drives results and fosters long-term success. In the words of legendary football coach Vince Lombardi, "Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

For other themed contest ideas, check out our baseball article.

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