Sales and Marketing teams across the U.S. scratch and claw at the end of a quarter with two goals in mind: get as much pipeline as possible, and earn as much revenue as possible. It’s challenging, and when the bell tolls and we move into the next quarter with our pipeline burned out, we have to ask ourselves: How will we hit the big pipeline numbers in front of us? Where is it going to come from? And can we keep this up?
The answer to these burning questions comes down to one thing.
Duuuunnn dun-dun dun-dun dun-dun.
No, I’m not talking about when the Discovery Channel has us glued to our TVs for a week straight while we watch Jaws leap out of the water or wonder if the Megalodon is still around. I’m talking about when our revenue org, the SHARKS of Demandbase, dedicate an entire week solely to prospecting and building pipeline. And at Demandbase, we commit to Shark Week. Fully.
A few years back, we noticed that the drop off in pipeline from the end of one quarter into the following was a massive issue that always left us playing catch up. We decided to do something about it, and Shark Week was born. SDRs, AEs, CSMs, Account Managers, Marketing, and the executive team all got on board to keep our pipeline on the right course. It has become a Demandbase sensation. Everyone gets energized for Shark Week. We dress up in Shark costumes (well, I do), hold competitions, and give out SPIFs for the winners! It truly kickstarts our quarter every year.
If you want to learn how to bring Shark Week to your own company, check out the 6 tips below. Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask how we do it, we don’t bite!
1. Get executive buy-in: One of the best parts of Shark Week is how into it the executives are. They know how important it is to our company goals so they call out top performers, give visibility to those who deserve it, and even get in on the prospecting themselves. You can’t get organizational buy-in without your executives (or even board) wanting to get involved. I promise they will love it.
2. Set your goals: Shark Week is meant to help front load the quarter and build pipeline right away so you don’t fall behind. I suggest building dashboards to track these goals for the week and create that competitive spirit while simultaneously giving everyone something to celebrate. At Demandbase, we align our Shark Week goals with other company initiatives. For example, our CSMs don’t play a massive part in pipeline but they care a lot about our customer advocacy program. So we ran a competition for them and awarded the CSM who signed the most people up for the program a sales performance incentive fund (or SPIF).
3. Use Demandbase One for prioritization: Shark Week would not be a success without arming the revenue org with the right accounts to target and prioritize during that week. During the week prior to Shark Week, we run lists in Demandbase One to give the team the tools they need to book meetings. We tend to lean on our MQA accounts and High Pipeline Predict scored accounts to get us on the right track and book easy meetings.
4. Align your Marketing/Sales teams: Shark Week would not be successful without Sales and Marketing coming together to create programs that help drive meetings and pipeline. Marketing helps prepare us for Shark Week with anything that Sales can push to get responses: direct mail campaigns, webinars, events, etc.
Here is the deck we use at our revenue org meetings to kick-start the week and get everyone on board:
5. Everyone is a SHARK: At Demandbase, we believe that everyone in the org can help with prospecting. We run specific competitions around company initiatives for the revenue teams but we also provide opportunities for engineers, support, HR — anyone and everyone to get involved. One tip is to have Marketing create a social post around one of their programs that everyone can share and, regardless of role, the person with the most engagement wins a prize.
6. MAKE IT FUN!!: This program is meant to get everyone excited. As the leaders of Shark Week, my boss, Jay Tuel, and I bought Shark suits (think the Katy Perry Super Bowl halftime show) and do videos every morning while wearing them where we recap who did well and is winning Shark Week. We also put together a slack channel where we post shark gifs, talk like David Attenborough, and have a blast. Building pipeline is tough. Shark Week makes it fun.
I have a ton of tips as well as detailed programing on how to put a Shark Week together that I love sharing. If you’re interested in learning more about Shark Week, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get a call set up with me and my marketing partner who makes the magic happen. Happy Sharking!!