Thanksgiving has come and gone, and there are only a few weeks until the end of the year. Yes, my friends, the holiday season has arrived. Unfortunately, so have the excuses from outbound prospecting reps.
As usual, there will be lots of prospects out of the office this month (particularly the last week of December). And depending on your buyer persona, the end of the year could be an incredibly busy (and stressful) time for your outbound prospecting team. With goals, quotas, end-of-year meetings, and holiday party hangovers distracting your team, no one is denying that the end of the year presents inherent challenges for outbound prospectors.
That being said, just because it’s December, doesn’t mean that it’s time for a complete vacation from everyday goals and metrics.
Will the outbound strategy need to be slightly tweaked? Yes. Might your reps need to be extra creative with their approach? Probably. Will the appointments likely need to be schedule a little bit further in advance? Perhaps. Should your productivity reports in yours Salesforce.com Dashboards look like ski slopes?! ABSOLUTELY NOT!
This week is the perfect time to have an outbound prospecting team meeting to talk about expectations for your reps, and discuss a four-week strategy to maintain strong momentum going into 2013.
Also, it might be an opportune time to remind your reps that their compensation is a combination of base salary and bonus/commissions. You pay them a base salary to do the fundamentals of their job — hit their daily activity goals, log everything in salesforce.com, follow the process that you have designed and implemented. There are no excuses for abandoning those fundamentals. Even holiday distractions. Additionally, reps’ bonuses and commissions are paid for RESULTS.
I reached out to some Outbound Prospecting Managers from OpenView’s portfolio last week and asked for some strategies that they use to keep their reps motivated this time of year. Here are some of the responses:
“Reminding them that this is their OWN business. Expectations remain the same, even during this time of year. Training on scripts of ‘this is a great time to explore new marketing ideas and get ready for the challenges of the new year.'”
“We have a bonus of team exceeding their appointment/opportunity numbers.”
“We are working a new set of contacts which naturally drives excitement on calling net new. For us, we have not fully utilized multi-channel marketing so the excitement around calls, married with e-mails is exciting the team.”
“Reminding them of the big picture, encouraging “friendly competition” amongst the team members, and letting them know that if they can’t schedule something now with the prospects, get meetings booked early in the New Year to make up any deficits.”
What ideas do you have for keeping your team motivated in the final month of 2012?