At Refract, every month we host a prospecting day, a day where everyone in sales comes together to do one thing and one thing only, hit the phones! In a unique way these days amplify the successes we typically see when we connect, speak with ideal prospects, and book meetings in calendars!
We’ve been running these events (they are events!) for just over 2 years now and found them to be an incredibly effective way to not only top up our pipelines but also strengthen the bond of the sales team.
Here's how we do prospecting days at Refract with our Game of Thrones inspired day - Game of Phones:
How to organise a prospecting day
Clear the calendars
This is a day where you have no other commitments, no calls, no demos, nothing. This day is all about prospecting. So pick your day, a few weeks in advance and make sure nothing gets put in your calendars.
Set the theme
Totally optional but we’ve found theming your prospecting days to give it an extra flavour of fun, themes we’ve had include
- January Blues
- Game of Thrones (cleverly called Game of Phones)
- Easter (basically Chocolate)
- Murder Mystery
- World Cup
- Board Games (Battleships, Monopoly, Connect 4)
- TV shows (Play your Cards Right, Wheel of Fortune)
Pick your rounds
Similar to theme, it’s important each round has some form of gamification and that enables your reps to win prizes. You’re only limited by your imagination here, most games can be turned into sales games with rewards available for speaking with a prospect, obtaining a referral or booking a meeting.
Here’s an example: Battleships
Draw a giant battleship grid, place 5 boats on the grid
5 man boat, 4 man boat, 3 man, 2 man and 1 man…
Each boat sunk is rewarded with a prize such as a Toblerone, bottle of wine etc.
When a sales rep speaks with a prospect (regardless of the outcome) they can fire 1 missile – they choose the square and the round organiser tells them if they’ve hit a part of a boat.
2 missiles for a referral and 3 for booking a meeting.
The grid is available for everyone to see with all fired shots marked - as more misses are fired the reps will start to become tactical with their misses.
Each round needs a prize to add an element of gamification and heat up the competition. Prizes can be anything from an hour early finish to an amazon gift card. The choice is yours. Booby prizes are also a possibility, making a round of tea/coffee for the team etc!
This is arguably the most important part of the day, you need to make sure your team have the right, high quality data. You don’t want to be wasting your time (or there’s) calling the wrong people so get your team to prepare their lists ahead of the day.
Structure the day
We typically get the troops in a little earlier than normal and provide a ‘posh’ coffee shop coffee and bacon sandwich, this is when we talk through the day and set out any ‘rules’ of the upcoming games. It also means comes 9am we’re ready to hit the phones!
The day is then split into 4 maybe 5 rounds + a lunch break. Each round lasts 60 minutes, the odd one maybe lasts 90 but no longer. There’s a 15-30-minute break between the rounds too, giving everyone a chance to get a bit of downtime, check emails, recharge the batteries etc.
A typical day could look like this
9-10am: Round 1
10.30-12pm: Round 2
1-2pm: Round 3
2.30-3.30pm: Round 4
4-5pm: Round 5
5pm- until whenever (Optional): once the day is done, your team will be walking out of the office with their heads held high and a meeting board full of exciting names. It’s a great opportunity to capitalise on a day’s good work by heading to the pub!
Why are they effective?
Nothing is more effective for topping up pipeline than simply picking up the phone and speaking with an ideal prospect. Nothing.
There’s a lot of noise out there that cold calling is ‘dead’ in my opinion, that’s good because that just means less people are calling my ideal prospects. Don’t miss understand me, you need to do cold calling well and it needs to be with the right people.
If you can open a cold call right, with the right prospect and they resonate with the problem you solve you’ll book a meeting in the calendar…
If helpful, here is a link to a talk I recently gave on how to make your cold calls more successful with a number of actionable tips you can use immediately:
There is also a bonus benefit to prospecting day – the sales camaraderie is off the scale, we're all sat together, in the same boat making cold calls – the day is full of success, rejection and objections, with the atmosphere nice and loud and an ‘all In this together’ vibe you’ll find the team are naturally more confident in their approach, a little bolder in how they handle objections and confident in the close and when they’re unsuccessful we laugh and when they’re confirming meetings we celebrate as a team.
Prospecting day is one of the most effective ways you can get your team bouncing and the meeting board full!