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How to Motivate Your Sales Development Team through December Holidays

Anyone who knows me understands my deep-rooted, unapologetic hatred for winter weather.  That first winter chill in the air that hits Boston in November and stays until March (and oftentimes through April in New England) is a constant reminder that I grew up in the wrong climate.  I stare longingly at the “beach of the day” calendar that sits on my desk as the temperature continues to drop and the possibility of massive snowstorms loom.  There is, however, one thing I do like about winter, and that is the month of December.

Like most people, I love Christmas.  I love the beautiful twinkling lights everywhere, shopping for gifts, and spending quality time with friends and family.  December is also a deceptively great month for sales prospecting as outlined in an earlier blog from Craig Ferrara.  What December brings to the operations team is an opportunity to come up with some creative ways to manage our sales development team.  Below are a few sales motivation tips for your teams in the month of December.

Create holiday themed incentives.

In the past, we have used inside sales metrics to qualify SDRs for holiday raffles, grab bags, you name it.  The reps really get into it and it’s a great opportunity to inject some fun and silliness into the day.

Understand what motivates your team most.

As winter approaches, we in inside sales management understand that we are also approaching vacation season here in New England.  Studies have shown that even more than money, what can be a compelling motivator for employees is more time.  So one of the incentives we offer this time of year is a day off; specifically, the first three SDRs who hit their lead goal earn an extra day of paid time off.  And who wouldn’t want an extra day to escape these freezing New England winters?

Get in the holiday spirit.

Everyone always seems to be a little cheerier during the holiday season, so why not have the office reflect that?  Some holiday lights and decorations can go a long way in making the office look festive for the season.  At AG we also like to take the opportunity to give back.  Every year we work for the DARE home for children and the whole company signs up to donate gifts to kids in need.  It makes everyone feel great and creates a good vibe around the office.  I advise every company to take the opportunity to give back this holiday and see what it does for corporate culture and morale as it is great for our team here.

Call blitz and mass email to increase outbound activity.

One of the concerns clients generally have during these holiday months is how we are going keep up output while acknowledging that it is a “short month.”  In reality, when you count up the time, there are actually 19 viable calling days in the month of December which is plenty of time for our SDRs to pass over qualified opportunities.  How do we accommodate for potential out-of-office prospects at the end of the month?  Do strategic call blitzes and mass emails at the beginning of the month.  Once a sales development rep has built up pipeline within their accounts, they have a wealth of what we call “contact identifieds.” “CIs”are prospects who either by referral or confirmation we have identified are the best people for us to speak with within a company.  By really focusing on that list of people, we have found that our SDRs are able to not only maintain a high number of conversations in December but also transition those CIs to leads.  

From a mass email standpoint, think about all of those prospects your sales development team speak with over the course of 3 months, 6 months, even a year, who may have said, “You know nothing’s really on the radar now, check back in 2015.”  December is the perfect time to reach back out to those prospects with a targeted phone call and email reengaging them.  Management and SDRs working together to define a strategy around targeted mass emails and call blitzes can go a long way in December.

So there you have it, my holiday gift to you.  I know you probably wanted a new flat screen TV or iPad but this was the best I could do.  How do you motivate your sales teams during the holidays?

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About the Author   |   Kim Staib

Kim Staib, a Manager of Client Operations for AG, has been working here since May 2011. She is actively involved in the recruitment and training team. She is also responsible for managing client relationships, completing daily reporting and project analytics, and planning strategic marketing campaigns. Read her articles here.

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