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6 tips for motivating your outbound prospecting team

June 25, 2020

This year, coronavirus has affected sales teams around the world. Sales leaders are having to adjust their sales strategy. SDRs are having to work harder. But, you can still achieve great results.

In Q2, Cognism’s sales team expected to hit 50% of their sales quota. They reached 100% of their original, pre-coronavirus target.

How? 🤔

Partly, by implementing motivational techniques across the team to get the very best out of them.

In the current “working from home” environment, motivating your colleagues is more important than ever. When it comes to motivating your B2B prospecting team, there’s no one better to speak to than Cognism’s Inside Sales Director, David Bentham.

“A motivated team is a happy team, and a happy team is going to produce results. People that are happy and engaged are always going to perform better than anybody else.”

We spoke to David this week to get an insight into his motivational techniques and compiled a list of our favourites. Scroll 👇 to see them!

David’s 6 top outbound prospecting tips

1 - Offer continuous training and development opportunities

“It’s common for sales professionals to feel like their progress is stagnating over time. By providing training, you will help them to unlock their potential. As they progress, your team will feel more confident and motivated .”

Cognism offers 3 hours of training per week for each member of staff, regardless of seniority. Even the most experienced sales veterans take comfort in knowing they have room to grow.

Also, upon joining the company, David assigns each new starter a mentor. This provides them with a place to ask questions and get valuable feedback.

Various external trainers are brought in for group training sessions. This helps Cognism’s high-performing sales team to diversify their skill sets while exploring new ideas. David encourages his team to request specific training sessions they're interested in.

Offering continuous training will create a dynamic, fulfilled and motivated team.

2 - Be transparent about the business and team objectives

“If your team understands the company’s goals, they will understand their individual goals. This prevents demotivation, as team members will have a better idea of the impact they have on the growth of the company.”

In a team, it can be easy to get wrapped up in your personal performance and forget about the bigger picture. This, over time, can make an employee feel less valuable.

When setting B2B sales KPIs for his team, David will explain to each employee the business goals and how their personal targets will help the company to achieve them.

If the company has a goal of reaching $10 million ARR, it’s the team leader’s job to make sure each individual knows how they, personally, can work towards that goal.

3 - Base your team structures on the people you are hiring

We all know the importance of hiring the right salespeople, but to get the most out of them, it’s vital to create team structures with them in mind. Yes, the goals you set for your employees must be based on the goals of the business, but you must also recognise and respect their personal goals.

“Cognism hires a lot of graduates for entry-level sales positions. We grant employees greater responsibilities in a shorter space of time if they’re consistently meeting their targets. This is proven to motivate graduate employees.”

Building a team structure that fits the team will make your colleagues feel comfortable and confident. It’s a great foundation for personal growth.

4 - Make performance goals attainable

“At Cognism, at least 80% of our sales team are meeting their goals every month.”

David sets his B2B sales goals as a minimum expected result. He recognises that frequently failing to meet overly-ambitious goals will demotivate your team.

Similarly, if the goals are hard to achieve because they’re relevant to the team, and not the individual, this will also demotivate your staff. People go into sales to be rewarded for their individual performance; this self-starter attitude should be celebrated!

Once your team starts reaching their goals early, increase the bonuses exponentially. This will reward employees who go above and beyond, and will ingrain high performance into the company’s culture.

5 - Sell your incentives!

Offering incentives can be a great way to introduce some fun, healthy competition. For these to work best, you need to sell your team on them! 

“If you’re going to use incentives, make sure that every person in your team could win it. Certain people will always be the highest performers, and they will already be rewarded with their commission. Extra incentives should be available to any member of the team.”

One way of maintaining a level playing ground is by incentivising input rather than output. For example, give a prize to whoever makes the most cold calls in a month, rather than whoever closes the most deals. Less experienced employees will be motivated by the chance to take on the top performers and win!

David regularly runs a scratch card incentive. He puts the team into pairs, based on experience, and buys one scratch card for every pair. Whoever has the best numbers at the end of the month gets to scratch it.

To make sure the team are sold on this incentive, David will buy the scratch cards with the highest potential prize and remind the team weekly of their progress and the jackpot they could win!

It’s a fun competition which motivates the team to outperform their peers, especially when the alternative could be missing out on a £1 million winning scratch card! (David refused to confirm whether this amount has yet been won...!)

6 - Make sure your team have all the tools they need

When it comes to providing SDRs with the tools they need, David’s message is clear.

“If there’s something the team needs that could improve their job, we’ll provide them with it. This means investing in the best CRM on the planet, creating our own CRM extension app, providing the best outreaching tools, and providing the best B2B data.”

By giving his SDRs everything they need to succeed, David creates an environment in which his sales team can thrive.

Final thought

David had a final thought for us:

“Motivation can be cultivated through a combination of company goals, individual goals, provision of incentives and great tools; but, they all serve the same purpose. The development of a positive mindset.”

“SDRs face a lot of rejection, and in the wrong conditions, can quickly become demotivated. Every motivational technique that you put in place should make your team’s lives easier. Once you've done that, they will be able to focus on fulfilling their ultimate goal - selling!”

Get more outbound prospecting insights!

Many thanks to David Bentham for sharing some of his motivational tips and super sales insights with us. We hope you enjoyed it!

Cognism has published an entire eBook full of fabulous content for B2B sales professionals! It’s called The Ultimate Guide to Hacking B2B Lead Generation.

It contains invaluable insights from outbound experts, covering:

  • The latest demand generation techniques.
  • Building a predictable outbound machine.
  • ABM: how to get started today.
  • The tech stack: tools to power your lead gen.
  • B2B data: everything you need to know.

If you enjoyed this article, you’ll love our eBook!

Click 👇 to get your copy!

Hacking B2B Lead Generation eBook