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The best SDRs are, by nature, hungry, aggressive and enthusiastic. But that doesn’t mean that the day-to-day grind of the job – the rejection, disappointment, and repetition – doesn’t take a toll on even the most motivated SDRs.

According to the Harvard Business Review, the top-performing and most progressive companies treat their sales force as a “portfolio of investments that require different levels and kinds of attention.” By this logic, sales managers should always be looking for ways to invest in their team – to motivate them, encourage them and keep morale high.

It’s no secret that contests, or “gamification” as it’s sometimes known, can be a great way to motivate your SDRs across the board. This is because SDRs tend to be competitive by nature.

If you’re thinking about implementing gamification as a strategy, keep in mind that a contest on it’s own is not a strategy. In this article, we’ll discuss what kind of thought must go into your contest as an incentive, including different KPIs, along with a few examples. Let’s get started!

Know your team

Perhaps the most important legwork to do before you challenge your SDR team with a contest is to know the players. As a sales manager, you must have an understanding of what motivates your individual SDRs. Is it a cash prize? A day off? At Alleyoop, SDRs often work towards traditional prizes like an extra day off, but they also get a little more creative with their incentives. Well performing SDRs might win things like movie screenings, concert tickets, company swag and even massaging seat cushions.

It’s also important to keep it fair. If you have consistently high performing SDRs winning every contest, you might see a decrease in morale – the opposite of what you want. You’ll need to strategize how to get everyone involved – not just top performers – and encourage collaboration.

By understanding what motivates each individual SDR, you will be able to set rewards in place that will keep your SDRs engaged and excited. It will require a lot of trial and error – you might offer up an incentive that doesn’t see any kind of increase in performance.

So yes, it will take time to learn individual preferences, especially if your team is large. But an investment like that is bound to come back to you multiplied. Remember that you’ll need to track results so that you can adjust your strategy in the future. But how can you refine your strategy to figure out what works? Let’s talk about KPIs!

Know Your KPIs

Your key performance indicators won’t always be the most obvious. Of course, you’ll want to track things like dials, connected calls and meetings set. These elements will most likely be the elements of the contest itself, right?

Here at Alleyoop, we aren’t just tracking these types of metrics and calling it a day on SDR investment.

Instead, their sales management takes morale into account. More and more, employers are realizing that it might not be all about salary and benefits. In fact, giving your employees a sense of autonomy and practicing a genuine respect for their job satisfaction can decrease turnover rates substantially. Because they notice.

Management at Alleyoop collects feedback regularly from their SDR team. Based on this feedback, they gauge which contests work and which don’t.

To reiterate: Meetings set and calls made are important. These are the backbone of your success. But more importantly, morale and workplace culture will be what makes your SDRs excited to come to work and energized on the phones. Now, let’s talk about some examples!

Ideas to Energize Your Sales Team

Using Ambition, the Alleyoop team implements contests with small groups of SDRs as well as with the whole team. Here are a few examples:

1. Battle Groups

As you can probably gauge from the name, SDRs are assigned “battle groups” monthly to compete against. In the battle groups, SDRs compete for most meetings set. Alleyoop groups four SDRs together in each battle group, but the size doesn’t necessarily matter. What’s most important here is that this involves the whole SDR team, but isn’t as intimidating as competing against the entire team.

2. Anthems

Ambition allows each SDR to curate a profile with their picture and an “anthem.” Because Ambition is connected to the dialer, e-mail tool and salesforce, it can track SDR activity. Alleyoop’s office has big screens that display stats throughout the day. Whenever an SDR sets a meeting, their anthem is played in the office. It’s a way for the entire team to celebrate wins.

3. Fantasy Football

Again, it’s exactly how it sounds, and who doesn’t love fantasy football? SDRs compete against each other right up until the “playoffs” and all the way to the “championship.” Metrics for this can be whatever you decide, and the “season” can be anytime!


A little healthy competition never hurt anyone, and SDRs seem to engage with it more than your typical player. It’s not just important for metrics – it can make the “routine” of the day seem a little less routine.

It’s so fun to see people react so positively to contests,” said Alleyoop’s VP of Sales, Brian Vital “Work isn’t work when it feels like fun, and even though the job of an SDR is hard, gamification and contests make it fun and inspire performance, camaraderie and longevity in the position. SDRs always enjoy the rewards of their role, seeing the outcomes. Contests and gamification help them stay motivated and focused along the path to results. We all enjoy the journey a bit more with contests and fun spirited challenges in the office.”

Contests are a great way to engage your SDRs, but remember that the strategy behind it is just as important as the contest itself.

Alleyoop can help your strategy take shape. When companies engage with us, they see their internal teams increase production by 20 percent due to the healthy competition between outsourced and internal teams. If you’d like to see an increase in morale and performance, check us out and see how we can help you reach your goals.

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