Over the last few months, we've really cut back on inviting guests to write for the PersistIQ sales blog. It was an experiment, and you voted with your views. The results: you read, shared and found more value from articles by PersistIQ team members.
There's one piece that I've really been wanting to write around sales rep performance via team competitions. As usual, I started with my experience in the trenches on the sales floor in NYC. Then, when I began to research some of the best tactics and strategies, one company kept showing up with the most useful and practical advice. It just so happened that we knew this team well, so I finally relented and decided to ask this company to write a guest post on the PersistIQ sales blog.
And they didn't disappoint!
In this week's post, I'm stoked to share with you 5 Sales Competition Ideas for SDR Teams by Dan Nice, Director of Sales Sales Operations at Ambition.
Consider this a bonus chapter to the newest Ambition eBook, “A Winner’s Guide to Running Effective Sales Contests,” where they set out to create the perfect sales contest playbook.
Take it away Dan!
5 Sales Competition Ideas Perfect for SDR Teams
The following five types of sales competition are not pie-in-the-sky, for SDR teams.
The focus is on creating sales contests most appropriate for SDRs - namely, young, relatively inexperienced sales professionals who do the bulk of your sales team’s prospecting, qualifying and nurturing via phone, email and social media.
Our top SaaS and B2B clients have actually run each style of sales contest in their offices to great success, especially amongst their SDRs.
Here’s a breakdown of each one and how it’s helped SDR numbers go up in clients like Outreach, Attend and VorsightBP.
1. Pit SDRs versus Account Execs
Want to fire up your SDRs? Put them up against your Account Executives in some kind of contest where one side will come out on top.
A great way to do this is to pick a core daily or weekly metric each team is trying to hit, find out what the average total for each has been over the past few months. Then, create a race to see which side can hit that number first in an official sales competition.
Pretty simple, right? Say you have a team of 20 SDRs and 15 Account Executives. The key weekly metric for your SDRs is meetings set (ex. 60) and the key weekly goal for your Account Executives is newly signed deals (ex. 20).
Create a huge, highly visible leaderboard in the office or on a digitally (Ambition is great for both) and keep a running, constantly updated tally of each number, plus some compelling incentive to the side who comes out on top.
I can guarantee you that - whatever those two numbers may be - they will be reached well before Friday afternoon with these kinds of stakes. SDRs love nothing better than proving themselves against Account Executives - this is their opportunity.
2. Run Weekly Team Competitions
Your SDRs are younger, more competitive and more collaborative than any generation of sales professional before them. They’re also more likely to play Fantasy Sports, which is why it’s high-time you seriously considered creating a “Fantasy Sales League” in your office.
Of all the types of contests listed, weekly team competitions oriented around a Fantasy Sports model is singular in that it’s actually been validated by the Harvard Business Review to deliver “stunning” results for an SDR team. (Berkshire-Hathaway subsidiary Clayton Homes).
Hugely successful, immensely popular and proven to work for business development teams. Just read the HBR article - or download a condensed version of it, here.
3. Score Total Individual Performance
Unless you’re an Ambition user, this type of sales contest will require a lot more legwork but also give you the highest ceiling in terms of impact on performance.
Here’s the gist:
Step 1. Take 3-4 key SDR metrics (for a great list of daily sales metrics, go here).
Examples: Outbound calls, emails sent, conversations and meetings set.
Step 2. Figure out appropriate benchmarks for each metric (could be daily or weekly, as long as the time frame is uniform for each and every metric).
Examples: Daily outbound calls: 50. Emails sent: 20. Conversations: 10. Meetings set: 1.
Step 3. Weight each metric in terms of importance on a scale of 0-100 percent.
Examples: Outbound calls: 20. Emails sent: 10. Conversations: 30. Meetings set: 40.
Step 4. Track each SDR’s performance on these key metrics via Salesforce or elsewhere. Tally them up at the end of the day (or week), then figure out a total “performance score” for each person that day or week.
The person with the highest total performance score wins.
The benefits of this type of sales contest: You emphasize and reward total performance. The drawbacks: It’s time-intensive - unless (shameless plug) you have Ambition doing it for you.
4. Run a Daily, Single-Elimination Tournament
One of my favorite types of sales competitions, and one that is underutilized, is the daily, single elimination tournament.
Say you have 40 SDRs. Create a randomized bracket where there will be 5 rounds of head-to-head competition on a given metric, such as calls logged during an afternoon call blitz.
How it shakes down: Friday is Round 1. 24 reps get buys and 16 reps compete for spots in Round 2, on Monday.
On Monday, the remaining 32 reps compete in head-to-head matchups for spots in the Sweet 16, with the winners advancing to the Sweet 16, Elite 8, Final Four and, finally, a Friday Championship, where a winner gets crowned.
This type of contest adds a fun twist to your afternoon call blitz or quarterly SPIF. It’s easy to maintain and straightfoward. Pro-Tip: In the event of a tie, have some form of overtime ready.
5. Pit Office versus Office
If you have SDRs spread across multiple offices, we highly advise making that a focal point of your next sales competition.
Find the metric with the highest degree of commonality amongst your two offices and make that the focus of a week-long competition between your Austin and San Francisco offices.
The best practices for formatting this type of sales competition replicate those of the SDR versus Account Executive approach.
Example: Find the weekly total call averages both offices have achieved so far in 2016. Then, see which office can reach its weekly average first.
Further Reading on SDR Sales Competitions
If you want more ideas, we encourage you to check out our Winner’s Guide to Effective Sales Contests eBook, free to download on the Ambition Academy. Our “5 Epic Sales Contest Ideas” post is a top resource, and for Salesforce.com users, our guest article on Salesforce Ben is also a worthwhile read.
The bottom line: Whatever you do for your next SDR sales competition, be sure to do it big. And feel free to shoot me an email at [email protected] if you need further help structuring your next sales contest or are interested in checking out Ambition.
About the Author:
Dan Nice is Director of Sales Sales Operations at Ambition, where he’s helped companies such as Lyft, Filemaker, FiveStars, Clayton Homes and Continuum run their most successful sales competitions in company history.
Stay tuned for more of the latest in outbound sales best practices and methods.
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