Business-wise, the end of the year means a lot for your sales team. You’re most likely focused on meeting not only your Q4 goals, but also on hitting the ground running for next year. On a personal level, however, the end of the year — and the holidays that come with it — likely elicits a range of emotions from your individual SDRs, who are trying to balance the needs of their personal lives while also trying to finish the year strong at work.
Being a good sales leader means prioritizing human connection and empathy, and this is especially critical during the holiday season. Here are 5 things to keep in mind when navigating the holidays with your SDRs.
1. Offer quota relief.
Leading with empathy means knowing when to prioritize people over profits. Quota relief is one of many tools you have as a sales leader to make your SDRs’ lives a bit easier, when necessary.
The holiday season is a time of joy and excitement for some, and a period of sadness, loneliness and disappointment for others. Holiday depression affects more people than you might realize; in fact, 64% of people with existing mental health issues report that the holiday season worsens their condition. Some of these people are on your team. Acknowledge that even your highest performing SDRs may not be able to function at their best during the holidays, and adjust target goals as needed so that they can take care of themselves.
Additionally, many people make plans to host family and friends, travel, or otherwise connect during the holidays. All of this requires time and money, and can be a source of stress for your SDRs. We all know the struggle of wanting so badly to disconnect from our computers and be present with our loved ones, but not being able to because we’re so focused on hitting our numbers. Offering quota relief during the holiday season empowers your SDRs to recharge doing the things they love with the people who mean the most to them.
Remember that quota relief doesn’t equate to giving your reps a complete pass. Consider using data other than sales numbers to evaluate SDR performance: Are they building and maintaining strong relationships with prospects? How are their efforts contributing to overall team success? Numbers are important in the sales world, but they’re not everything. Think outside the box to track progress during this time.
2. Be inclusive in holiday acknowledgements and celebrations.
If you’ve been walking the talk of diversity (and we hope you have!) then your sales team likely reflects this. This means that not every SDR acknowledges the same holidays (or any at all), and days that may be mundane for some are significant for others. During the holiday season, it’s imperative that you make sure everyone feels seen, supported, and celebrated in their respective traditions.
Consider making team holiday celebrations general, not focusing on one particular holiday so that nobody feels left out. Also, do not mandate participation in these events, as you never know who may feel uncomfortable joining. Use inclusive language (e.g. “Happy holidays!” as opposed to “Merry Christmas!”) and, as always, treat each individual SDR with respect.
3. Focus on team building.
The holidays mean lots of vacation time and PTO, both within your team and that of your prospects. It’s normal to see a lull in meetings or demos, and it’s important that you use whatever down time you may have wisely. This is a great opportunity to focus on team buildIng and connections, which ultimately help employees strengthen their relationships and improve their communication and productivity.
As the year rounds out, be intentional about spending time with your team to get their take on the past twelve months. Where do they feel like they excelled? Where did they struggle? What are their goals — both personal and professional — moving into 2023? Cherish the time you have with your team to get to know them as people, not just as employees.
Close the year strong with Vendition
If you’re looking for help closing this year strong and moving confidently into next year, we can help. Partner with Vendition today!