13 Ideas to Make Cold Calling Power Hours More Fun

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13 Ideas to Make Cold Calling Power Hours More Fun

Many sales managers are looking for ways to get their team to reach their monthly or quarterly targets, or to have a quick spike in rep productivity. The answer seems to be clear: implementing cold-calling power hours.

Sales power hours are designed to get your team to call as many prospects as possible in a short period of time. This should help with various aspects of your sales team, such as team performance, prospect targeting, coaching, and team culture.  

However, SDRs often feel apprehensive about these sessions. Many reps feel like the purpose is for the manager to be able to test the team’s productivity and to micro-manage their work.

Also, these blitzes often encourage reps to prioritize reaching a specific quantity of dials, making them neglect the actual quality of conversations. The pressure of reaching certain targets in a limited period of time can add more pressure, stress, and anxiety to reps, causing their performance to plummet.

And that’s why, it is super important for managers to make sure that all cold-calling power hours are done correctly. Implementing some strategies to these sessions to diminish anxiety and pressure, encourage motivation and productivity, and bring in team spirit and fun, can go a long way in making the most out of your cold-calling marathons.

Pros of Cold-Calling Power Hours

A cold-calling power hour, if done correctly, can bring huge benefits to your team’s performance. These power hours are a great way for sales managers to tackle multiple objectives at once, while also building a healthier and more fun work culture.

1. Increased performance: Cold-calling power hours can build up rep productivity and performance. Having your team concentrate solemnly on cold-calling for an hour or two can help them be more productive, and it can make them feel more energized and motivated.

The increase in energy and momentum can lead to a sense of urgency, allowing your team to get closer to reaching their targets.  

2. Better targeting: These sessions are also an effective way to have your team concentrate on a specific segment of leads. Reaching out to neglected prospect groups could help your team reach monthly or quarterly quota.

Reps can focus on only contacting warm leads, low-hanging fruit, or any other segment that needs attention. Also, getting all follow-up calls done is another effective use case for these power hours.

3. Coaching: Not only can you listen in on your team’s calls and give them real-time feedback and coaching, but your reps can help and coach each other. Being able to listen to your teammate's calls and how they handle objections is a great way to learn and improve as an SDR.

Also, call blitzes can make onboarding and training new team members way easier. Calling with your team and being able to see first-hand how the more experienced reps handle cold calls can give lots of motivation and insight to newcomers.

4. Team building: What is a better way to build team culture, than having your team work, fail, learn, and win together? Cold-calling power hours are all about having your team collaborate, share skills and tips, build camaraderie, and have fun while cold-calling.

Sales is a team sport, and especially with so many teams now working remotely, these sales blitzes can give a great opportunity for reps to bond with their teammates and feel less isolated when working.

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Making Cold Calling Power Hours a Fun Experience

You can avoid your reps feeling pressured and micro-managed if you make sure that the cold-calling power hours are fun, relaxed, and exciting for your team. These call blitzes should be something that your reps look forward to every time and something that motivates them to perform even better than usual.

1. Start with a motivating team meeting

Have a team huddle before each power hour to make sure that your reps are going into it with the right mindset. The goal should be to build up your team’s confidence and to make them feel more relaxed and excited about the upcoming task.

You can have everyone listen to previous successful calls to get them into a winning mindset and to inspire them to go for good quality conversations. You can also encourage everyone to make jokes to ease up the mood and to bring laughter into the session. Even introducing yoga or meditation can help the team bond and unwind.

Also, everyone can talk about their individual strategies going into the blitz, and team strategy and goal setting could help bring motivation.

Finally, make sure to check in on your reps. Ask them how they are feeling, give them words of encouragement, and remind them that the ultimate goal is to learn and grow. Make failure a natural part of the culture to take pressure off from your reps.

2. Listen to music

Bringing in music can help with breaking away from the everyday routine that SDRs face, and it brings more fun and self-expression into the power hour.

Create a list of songs for everyone to listen to, and let all reps suggest songs to make it more personal and exciting. Also, music helps lighten up the mood and make the atmosphere more casual and laid-back. It can help reps feel less stressed and anxious about their goals and targets.

You can create a shared playlist on Spotify with everyone’s favorite songs, which works even if your team is working remotely.

3. Have different themes

Again, to bring some fun into these sessions and to help reps look forward to them, you could introduce different themes for each power hour.

The themes could be decade-related, like for example, a 70s dress-up theme, or they could be from different movies or songs, or they could even be directly related to cold-calling, such as a theme around the script that is being used.

To make it even more fun, you could have a “who did it best” contest with small prizes. For example, reward the funniest costumes, or the best video call backgrounds. Even having game-themed blitzes, such as a scavenger hunt session, could bring more excitement and engagement for reps.

Having a theme will also work as a team-building activity, and it will encourage reps to have a laugh and to have friendly competition.

4. Have a scoreboard

Setting up a scoreboard that tracks everyone’s dials, conversations, and meetings booked will help reps keep track of their activity and see how others are doing. It allows them to celebrate each other’s wins, but also to relate with each other if some are not having as good of a day as others.

Also, a scoreboard can bring a boost of motivation and inspiration into the call blitz, as it can encourage reps to have friendly competition around the number of dials made and meetings booked.

5. Have a celebratory act for each meeting booked

An interesting way to encourage celebration is to introduce a little ritual for each time a meeting gets booked. You could have your reps ring a bell or a gong, or play a specific song when they’ve had a win over the phones. And in remote settings, this could be done by sending a specific gif over the chat.

By doing so, reps can congratulate each other and be happy for each other’s success, building positive team spirit and culture.

6. Have cold-calling contests

Introduce cold-calling contests during the calling marathons to encourage healthy competition between reps and to incentivize them to give their best attempts.

Some ideas for contests include a competition for the best or most effective opener, cold-calling bingo which has the most common objectives, amount of dials, meetings booked, and so on, a competition for best objection handling, and funniest or most creative calls.

It is important, however, to keep all contests light-hearted and fun to avoid adding more pressure on your reps.

7. Give out different rewards

Connected to having contests, it is important to also have different rewards to incentivize your team. You could have small prizes, such as a half-day on a Friday, more break time, a small coupon for the cafeteria, or you could give winners funny privileges for the rest of the day.

However, make sure to have multiple prizes to encourage different behaviors. Although the quantity of dials is important, call quality should also be rewarded. Also, introducing team goals and rewards will enhance team building and unity.

8. Crown the winners

Crowning the winners, whether from a cold-calling contest or a theme-related contest, will ceremonialize the power hours, and make them seem more fun and exciting. It will give credit and recognition to reps for their hard work and it will bring the whole team together to celebrate.

9. Pair up experienced reps with new reps

Have your experienced and more successful reps pair up with your newer reps during power hours to increase learning and skill-sharing.

This is a great way to get your newer reps to know the team and to get coaching and feedback from them. The team can share tips and tricks, call openers, script ideas, and objection-handling techniques with the newcomers, and they can get to know each other better and become more familiar with working together.

But, leaders, one thing you should prepare for is that your experienced reps might be unwilling to mentor the new reps because "it's a waste of their time", and because it will slow them down.

Make sure to emphasize that this is an opportunity for them to learn the leadership skills they need to advance into senior and managerial roles. You can, for example, require that experienced reps spend a specific amount of time in call blitzes to coach newcomers, in order to start climbing their promotional paths. This should help incentivize your team to be more willing to take part in mentoring.

10. Encourage reps to take breaks

Remind your team that taking a break is encouraged. Ask them to take a moment to refill their energy tanks and get out of the bubble of cold-calling to clear their minds.

You could have different snacks and refreshments, such as ice cream, pizza, a salad bar, smoothies, and so on, so reps can get excited and refuel themselves. Also, having dance breaks could be a great way to get your team moving and help them release some pressure. Finally, you could have fun games available to reps during breaks, so that they can have a laugh and enjoy themselves.

11. Share stories between calls

Ask your team to share how their calls went. Let them laugh together at any mistakes or funny calls, and let them explain how they managed to get a good conversation going.

This way, reps can get ideas from each other and they can give real-time feedback to help each other to become better. Also, it can help minimize stress levels if reps can share their feelings and support each other during these dial sessions.

12. The manager should also participate

As the manager, you should also participate in the dial sessions to show your reps that you are very much a part of the team. Lead by example, join your team in the hard work, and remind them that you know exactly how challenging their job is.

This will not only bring you closer to your team, but seeing you work alongside your reps will be more motivating and inspiring for them. It is a great way to humanize yourself in their eyes, but also to see things from their perspective as you are putting yourself in their shoes.

Also, by being part of the team you can help reps feel less micro-managed and less like their productivity is being tested with the power hours.

13. Debrief at the end

Have another huddle at the end of the hour to debrief everything that happened. Recognize all wins, big or small, and give feedback to each rep. Let them ask questions and review their initial strategies and how they succeeded. Come up with new game plans for next time, and remind your reps again that as long as they learned something new during the power hour, they are winners.

Cold-Calling Power Hours Can be Great for Your Team

Although cold-calling power hours are a great tool used by sales managers to build up team productivity, team collaboration, and training, they are often held in a way that negatively affects sales representatives.

SDRs tend to feel more pressure around reaching targets and they have a sense that the calling sessions are designed to micro-manage their work. These feelings can make sales representatives think negatively of calling together as a team.

As a sales manager, you must find as many ways as possible to make your power hours fun, exciting, and motivating for your team. Focus on a healthy culture where failure is a part of the process and teamwork and collaboration are priorities.

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