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Hoopla Spotlight: Forrester Fills Summer Sales Pipeline with Prospecting Event!

In this new series at Hoopla, we’re spotlighting awesome techniques, events and competition that help organizations increase engagement, communication and results! Our rookie Q&A is brought to us with the help of Stratford Canning, Manager, Sales Development at Forrester. Stratford recently shared a sales competition he was running on LinkedIn, and we had to get more details.

Q: Let’s start with a bit more information on Forrester and your role there.

A: Forrester is a global Research and Advisory firm helping brands and technology vendors to become customer centric. My role is to lead the European Sales Development team, whose primary focus is booking new business meetings and establishing new relationships with prospects. I also work on new logo initiatives across Europe.

Q: How did you come up with the initial idea for the sales event? How did you define the scope and goal of the event?

A: As a region, we wanted to improve our meeting numbers and, in turn, the pipeline as we entered the summer months. This prospecting event was seen as a great way to drive the activity but also bring the regional sales teams together for a day. Six teams took part on the day covering most of the European region.

The easiest way to measure results was net new meetings booked: they could not be with existing contacts. Due to the team sizes being different, it was based on the average meetings booked per rep. We used Hoopla to keep track of everyone’s progress and drive some competition during the day.

Q: Let’s talk about the day of the event. How did you structure it? Was there a set schedule? Breaks?

A:  Everyone had advanced notice of the day so we were all well prepared with call lists and follow up list, along with a cleared calendar for the day. For some teams it was an early start, as managers bought breakfast and had a kick off meeting to hit the ground running. From 9 am to 12 pm teams were at their desks prospecting, at 12 pm we broke things up by having a teamwork exercise lead by the managers, then it was back to the desks to continue prospecting. The day finished at 3 pm. Afterwards, all of the teams went out for drinks to celebrate the winners. Every team had various prizes available not only for top performance but also for reps with the best attitude on the day.

Q: I saw in one of the responses (on LinkedIN) that you used Lego for the breakout session? Can you elaborate?

A: As mentioned earlier,  we wanted the day to be more than just prospecting. This was also a chance to build team culture and collaboration. At 12 pm the two teams that were winning were given a set of random Lego that they had to build into a car as a team. The team that worked best together and created the best car won (judged by the managers and office leader). It was designed as a bit of fun to break up the day and keep the energy levels high.

Q: How did the teams react to the announcement of the competition? During the competition?

A: The teams were excited when we announced it, if a little nervous! Particularly my team as this is what they do! Everyone understood why we needed to have the day and the benefits of doing so and most the reps enjoyed doing something a little different. Plus there were plenty of prizes to be won!

Q: What were the results in numbers?

A: We booked well over 100 meetings during the day and the momentum continued for the remainder of the week. We are still measuring the pipeline created but at least $600,000 worth of opportunities were created so far.

Q: And the results on morale and employee engagement?

A: It had a huge impact on morale. It was a great reminder for some on how hard it is to book new meetings and for my team, they felt recognized and valued. It’s easy for reps to forget the challenges we face in sales development.  

Q: How did the teams feel about the results in the end? Would you say the event was successful?

A: Everyone was happy with the overall results of the day and it was a huge boost to our monthly numbers. The activity also generated continued momentum for the rest of the week and month.

Q: Aside from Lego – what other tools did you use to make this run smoothly?

A:  Hoopla was a critical factor in the day. Using the leaderboards across the offices to communicate the progress was so valuable. We also leveraged the head to head challenges to encourage some friendly competition between the teams and kick the energy levels up if we felt it was dipping.

Q: Is there anything that you didn’t get to do that you are planning to do in the future? Any changes you’d make?

A: Due to the success we are going to include more teams from the region so that every single sales team is represented. We are going to also explore how else we could measure the day and what metrics we want to focus on. We are also planning on exploring the other gamification options on Hoopla to drive more activity.