Riley Harbour, Director of Sales Development and Enablement at GoSite,  joined The Collaborator to talk about work taking place at GoSite and the results they’ve seen. Riley will share some of the strategies they have implemented to create an amazing SDR culture that delivers value to boost team moral, quota attainment, and the overall culture of the organization.

The key is to balance activities that drive business outcomes with activities that create a collaborative and supportive culture.  For example:

1️⃣Standard dial and meetings booked competitions are the standard fare for competitions.

2️⃣Fun competitions that force teamwork and reward the cooperation, communication, and cross functional collaboration between SDRs, AEs, and others are regularly used.

3️⃣Scheduling 15 minutes a day for the team to simply come together as human beings and discuss non-work topics. 

There is so much more in here, give a listen and remain curious.

Audio Transcript

Unknown Speaker
Yeah.

The Collaborator
Oh, I’m so excited. And I was saying to you before we jumped on. And I mean this sincerely, I love the background. I’ve got this fake artificial background, which I’m excited about, but it’s hiding a green boring wall behind me. You actually have something real behind you, which is, which is always really nice.

Riley Harbour
Yeah, I appreciate that. This is a fun one. We, we try to switch it up every quarter around here. So got some new succulents, a few bucks and some some galaxy somewhere far away.

The Collaborator
Very far away. Do us a favor. Tell me a little bit. Tell all of us a little bit about yourself. What do you up to? And where do you work?

Riley Harbour
Yeah, absolutely. So down here in sunny San Diego, working at both right. So we’re fastest growing startup down here in San Diego. And we’re located in Mission Valley. It’s a little gloomy today, unfortunately. But I head up the sales development program here. So I worked with All Things SDR qualifying, transferring, and setting up appointments and generating opportunities for our account executive team. So that’s a little bit about what I do. I also work in the enablement space and very passionate about, you know, gamification in personal and professional development.

The Collaborator
Yeah. Now, I mean, you asked me this question, before we got started and share with everybody listening to I reached out to you, because I was excited about on your profile, talking about the balance between performance and cultural, you know, growth, team morale, and all that stuff. And I think it’s so easy for all of us to over rotate on one or the other, we can be the greatest place to work, and do really badly. Where we can be, you know, the pain in the ass driving performance, and nobody wants to work out. But we’re successful for a year. And it’s attractive to me to think about how organizations are using strategies to bring both together. Now, tell me a little bit about some of the things you’ve done. You mentioned on your profile. You mentioned before things like daily trainings, I don’t drink trainings, but daily competitions and such, what kinds of things are you guys doing? Or have you been doing that?

Riley Harbour
Yeah, absolutely. JOHN, and I love the piece how you talked about, you know, KPIs versus culture? How can you manage with numbers, but lead with emotion and have that empathy and emotional intelligence, right. And so, competitions that we run, daily, weekly, monthly, we first have to target? Who are we trying to motivate? And is this an extrinsic motivation intrinsic? Are we talking about professional growth? Are we talking about strictly KPIs? And which ones are fun competitions, when which competitions drive quota attainment, and also revenue generation? And so some of the competitions that we run some of the times can be as simple as daily dials, weekly dials, demos attended, something that we call internally, a live transfer, often, you know, just an SQL, how many SQL eyes are you generating, and then ultra deals closed? Those seem to be the typical status quo competitions that we run. And we do actually, all of those competitions, we run them through a platform called sales screen. It’s a great piece of tech, but they’re actually out in Norway, with a fantastic integration with our HubSpot CRM. So we’re able to manage the team have some fun competitions, all through our CRM data, all the while while working on, you know, CRM, integrity and data, data integrity and intake through HubSpot as well. Yeah, no, I

The Collaborator
think that’s critical. or do any of the daily competitions go beyond the the standard, you know, like number of dials and other things that you talked about? Or do you do anything that are more focused on? Let’s just have a fun time today walk kicking ass?

Riley Harbour
I mean, do you have any of that kind of stuff to the you know, exactly. We have some fun today is actually a tag team Tuesday, where we put everyone’s name and a half in our 8am meeting, we draw names out of the hat teams of four. And we have some fun competitions around lunch versus virtual happy hours and go site swag, maybe a quarter zip or go site baseball cap. So here’s one of the competitions just so in this work from home environment, there’s individuals that might be out in Tennessee and New York and Ohio, California, Seattle. Never met each other. Right? unless they’ve been in a team meeting. They’re not really incentivized to get to know each other unless it’s over a slack message. So these tag team Tuesdays are just a way for us to make sure that in office culture is permeating all the way to these different states in different cities as well.

The Collaborator
You know, I really do love that. I really love that a lot rally new people. What’s been the team’s feedback on that have people said hey, this is awesome. We

Riley Harbour
can’t wait to do these sorts of things or is there a little bit of hesitancy when you when you come up with these new ideas? has a great question, john, and you know, as my fair share of competitions that just fell fell flat, right? They did. Yeah. They didn’t hit the way that we had hoped they would. But I can tell the feedback just through the output of the team. And when I see people grinding and working on slack and on our dialers, and in our CRM late at night, I know that there’s something working there. When there’s a tie for first place, and it’s 7pm over here on the Pacific, and people are trying to prospect into Hawaii, I know that that’s a winning competition.

Unknown Speaker
That’s awesome.

Riley Harbour
If the slack activities gone dead, you know, around five o’clock, maybe that competition was either a blowout and the teams were just a little lopsided, or clearly the team, it wasn’t a motivating competition that day or that week or that month, hopefully not that month.

The Collaborator
That makes hopefully not for the entire month. Exactly.

The Collaborator
Have you found? Have you found certain types of competitions that, you know, beyond the standard ones, you know, the just number of dials and all that kind of stuff? Have you found things that surprised you that they’ve worked as well as they have?

Riley Harbour
Absolutely. Some of the competitions that have been extremely surprising, is actually one that we run the first week of every month. And so we’re blessed to be transactional sale over here, john, our sales cycle is significantly shorter than most enterprise b2b sales cycles. And so it’s anywhere from, you know, seven to nine days on mbse. Yeah, see that instant gratification for these deals, which allows us to have some fun competitions. One of the ones that we’ve run before is sort of a free market laissez faire account executive SDR relationship where we gave the account executive teams, Monopoly money, internal go site currency, compensate the SDRs for qualified leads, and qualified demos that month, just to analyze their behavior and the way that they interact. Are they all going to the same SDR? Are they going to a different subset of SDRs? And what are they going to compensate that SDR out on? So just some fun competitions we’ve done just to see how the account executive and SDR relationship plays out since it is such a you know, delicate piece of the sales cycle.

The Collaborator
That is so cool. That is so cool. Did did one SDR make all the money? That’s a great question.

Riley Harbour
That’s a stingy account executives that, you know, Friday came around, and they still had all their bucks. And it’s like, what have you bought? My God? What are we been doing all week long, right. And so we did see a fair amount of the SDRs with three, four or five account executives around them asking to compensate them for those quality leads, which told us behavior on both sides. What was that SDR doing that so admirable, and we’re gonna give them our money and library account executives holding out for that Friday to maybe see the scarcity there

The Collaborator
love that rally that there’s some cool stuff that you were talking and a big part of this was the personal growth, the morale, the culture? How do you drive or facilitate movies a better word, that constant professional personal growth that goes beyond simply how many dials Can you make in a day? Absolutely.

Riley Harbour
It’s the hardest piece, it’s so important to the culture, and really what we’ve built here at go site. And so really, what we focused on is all of our internal opportunities. And so our SDR team, really is the recruiting pipeline for our account, executive team. All of our account executive promotions have come through the sales development department, we have a really robust training program from day one

The Collaborator
to high five, I want to give you a high five for that rally, because so many times people so many times people look at the SDR team and say, we’re gonna burn them out over the next 14 months, then they leave. You’re doing it the right way. So I’ll shut up now. But that’s awesome to hear.

Riley Harbour
I really appreciate that. JOHN, that means a lot. You know, you see the LinkedIn content and see the post about promoting internally. But so often, it’s not done in practice. And so we’ve been very fortunate to have a training manager and Training Specialist. Her name’s Merriam give her a quick shout out, but she runs all of our sales development training from day one to day five, your first day on the phones as an SDR at those sites. You are properly trained. And so we’ve separated training versus coaching, and how do you distinguish between what is training and universal for everyone? And what is coaching in a true one on one fashion, for personality types. And so with that, we can ensure that every sales development rep as well, as well as every account executive that’s getting promoted, has received the same level of training all the way across their lifecycle that goes that goes I should say,

The Collaborator
No, that’s awesome. Are you um, are you seeing that impacting morale in any way that you can measure? You know, morale is one of those funny Things cuz sometimes I think about it in terms of how long did they stay with the company or in the current role or maybe performance. But how do you guys think about it? And what are you seeing as a result

Unknown Speaker
of this?

Unknown Speaker
Yeah, it’s

Riley Harbour
a great question. And morale is so hard to quantify, right? Yeah. Is morale 100% quota attainment, it’s, it’s hard to say and even harder to measure in this work from home environment. And so we’ve done everything possible when it comes to keynote speakers, virtual happy hours, I’m sure we’ve all attended way too many of those virtual happy hours now 12 months and right,

The Collaborator
my gym bottle has been refilled. That’s all I’m saying.

Riley Harbour
I love so we use we use lattice. Oddly enough, shout out the lattice, who received I think, series Neo funding today, they announced on LinkedIn, I use lattice for all of our quarterly one on ones quarterly reviews, as well as feedback surveys. So we try our best as a leadership team to send out feedback surveys are some of the changes that have gone on over the past, you know, 90 days, 120 days, how is the team feeling about these changes, and really giving everyone a voice and an anonymous voice to give feedback where they have a voice and a safe place to give that type of feedback. So that’s one way that we try to measure more out the morale as a leadership team. Yeah. And then we focus on our weekly one on one. So we keep track of all of those with our reps on a weekly basis. So there is sort of a paper trail of where we’ve been versus where we’re going. And are we trending in the right direction with this representative. And so between, you know, career growth, proper recognition and some fun games, we try to keep things light and try to make sure that everyone is at least pacing for their monthly goal. Since it is such a transactional sales cycle, you really have to be on top of it as a manager and as a leader to make sure your rep isn’t getting behind the eight ball for the month.

The Collaborator
Yeah, and it’s really, in some ways, it’s nice, because you do see that much more quickly. If somebody’s struggling versus what Jesus is a six month deal cycle or 12 months or 18 months, you kind of like stuck for you and the employer stuck for like half a year or a year and a half. I mean, waiting to see did they figure it out or not? You have the much more immediacy, which is wonderful.

Unknown Speaker
Yeah,

Riley Harbour
very lucky in that regard.

The Collaborator
Are your str teams? I mean, I mean, I know we’ve all been working from home. And it’s been a crazy amount of work, more or less flip side upside down. But are you str so at least in the same geography as one another? Do they? Do they have opportunities to get together with

Riley Harbour
for the most part, john, sorry to interrupt there? For the most part, you know, we are still such a young company. Yeah, for a lot of our SDRs. They’ve been here since day one, you know, in our shoe box office, they’ve seen us moved to a new office and now obviously work from home, in a lot of them are fortunate to have either gone to school together or gone to, we have great relationships with San Diego State with UC San Diego, and University of San Diego, nice

Unknown Speaker
to great, great

Riley Harbour
talent pipeline, with the marketing and sales departments there for our internship program and for our full time program. So I’m sure a few of them are getting out and surfing together, you know, going to the bars together, whatever it might be these days.

The Collaborator
It’s nice, because I was gonna ask you that, you know, so hard to build. You can do a lot of great things at an individual level to keep morale high. But building that collaboration, that communication that happens when you’re both in the same office or spending time together so hard to replicate. Have you found anything that’s worked particularly well for you guys, to build up that team level collaboration, communication, all that.

Riley Harbour
I love it. And I have something here hopefully, that’s a little bit of a nugget of value for something we’ve done, john is we’ve really analyzed each hour of our week in terms of work from home and we’re heavy outbound, we’re an outbound engine, we do have a fair amount of inbound leads as well. But we’ve really tried to analyze our week, and when are we most effective? And when are we least effective in terms of getting people on the phone, scheduling these demos? And where can we find a little bit of time for fun? Right? So where can we find that? 15 minutes to talk about something that is not go site and KPI related what Netflix series? Are you binge watching? What book Are you listening to what podcast, the list goes on and on. And so our managers I have to give them a huge shout out because they done a great job of keeping that culture and finding 15 minutes a day, whether it be 1015 to 1030 or 245 to three it’s actually different each day. And depending on the energy of the team that day. You know, you might need to throw an ad hoc 15 minute we call them bid shift meetings. And we go on there and we play everything from hang Man two Cards Against Humanity to talk about. Like the new Drake album, whatever it might be. We try to talk about something outside of work just to bring back the human element like we are people first sales people second, and it’s important for them to get to know each other.

The Collaborator
Oh my God, that’s awesome. So the team really took the time to figure out when, when it was less effective to be on the phone, making calls or doing whatever, pinpoint those 15 minute blocks. And then what do you guys do? Just jump on zoom and pick a random conversational topic? Or bring it up? Or how does that help think flow? That’s cool.

Riley Harbour
So we actually have these prize wheels or theme wheels, we can either spend the virtual one or we can spend the line my God, that’s awesome. All of the managers do have a wheel. That’s a little quirky. But it gives us a topic to cover during that midship meeting.

The Collaborator
Yeah, it’s quirky, but it’s awesome. It’s it’s just part of what makes it real. I mean, it doesn’t feel sanitized,

Riley Harbour
it feels real, which is Yeah, we look at a few wheels. They get, get their fair amount of use done. And also, it’s not like we’re asking the team to hop off a qualified call, we’re not asking like, hey, you’re halfway through this, this pitch or this demo? Don’t Don’t hop off for the midship meeting. They’re obviously optional for the day.

The Collaborator
Yeah, no, that’s cool. Do you get I mean, I assume that you get decent participation on them?

Riley Harbour
Absolutely. What we try to do is really break them up into their individual teams, you’re probably not going to get the participation on a 70 person zoom meeting. But if you can get it down to you know, 678 individuals, that’s where you can start to have that genuine relationship and conversation

The Collaborator
like that. Now, this is a hard question. And if I only loosely prepared you for it, so I apologize rally. But this conversation kind of brought me to this place. I hope that’s okay. When you think about success might not go site, when Riley thinks about success for what you’re trying to accomplish. Um, and I know it’s metrics and stuff like that, too. But what do you look at? What what? What makes you feel like, geez, I’ve got this thing going in the direction I’m happy about?

Riley Harbour
It’s a great question, john, it’s really hard sometimes to quantify what does success look like? And I know, that’s our job as leaders to clearly define what is a win? And what is a loss? What does success look like? And what are our constraints in what we come back to as a leadership team on the sales development side? Really, is the performance curve. And what percent of our team is hitting quota? A, we always hear about the 10 8010 rule. But we really tried to draw that normal distribution curve. And are we moving from, you know, 70% of our team hitting quota attainment? Are we moving that performance curve? To the right to that, that, that fourth core tile, and just looking at it month over month, and trying to draw the leading indicators for, you know, why did the performance curve move back to the left? Or why did it move to the right, was it, you know, a change in the comp plan? Was it a change in our gamification that month? Was it a shorter month? What were some of those factors and so, for me, that’s where I’m looking at success, as well as the SDR to account executive promotional route. It’s been so rewarding and fulfilling to see individuals that started as interns on my team two and a half years ago, go on to the top performing account executives and take down the leaderboard. Because I look back on the conversations when they joined the company, and they said, I want to be a senior account executive, I want to be the top of the leaderboard. And now they’ve gone and done it, and we’ve given them that platform to do it. And so I think, for me, that is my my personal success. And my Y is seeing people go from a part time internet go site to a full time account executive. But then also defining the success for for the managers defining success for our team leads and defining success for the reps, which is increasingly difficult month over month,

The Collaborator
I gotta give you a shout out that’s that’s awesome meet up from the promotion path, because again, I don’t think we put enough focus as an industry on that metric. So I applaud you for that. Let me ask you this. I know you said you have great relationships with the local universities. Do you think that that focus on the career pathing on on morale on culture helps with that has that made it easier to go back and find talent? Like do those former those current SDRs or 80s that were str is go back and help with the recruiting? Or how do you how do you leverage that leverage feels like a bad word, but I mean it in a good way.

Riley Harbour
Yeah. And so what I really chalk it up to one of my favorite books and the talent code, Daniel Coyle, and you know greatness is grown greatness isn’t born. And so, positive flywheel of talent that continues to come in because You know, they’re what I equated to, I’ve come from a sports background, john. And so when I was a freshman, I looked up to the seniors on the team. And you know, it took the team to the sweet 16. So I was like, I can take the team to the sweet 16 for the Final Four, when I’m a senior. And so we’re seeing that approach with go site where individuals are joining as an intern here, and their friends, or maybe it’s their friends, younger brothers and sisters that might be at SDSU, UC San Diego USD, they’re seeing them go on to become senior sales development reps, account executives, eventually senior account executives, and it’s like, Man, that’s a great promotional path. And clearly they’re promoting from within. And so I think that is how we use your word, leverage the relationship with the universities, we’d love to go back in and I guess now zoom, we go on zoom for those sales classes and marketing classes. But it’s always awesome to bring the reps who were in, there’s a professor, his name is Professor osinski. And to take a student who was in his class three years ago, who is now closing deals that go site to go in and have on go sites behalf. That’s really one of our success stories for sure. That’s awesome. And I hope

The Collaborator
anybody listening to this, I hope that the big lesson you take out of this beyond beyond many nuggets throughout, is just the importance of investing in that internal promotion, the career pathing and all of that. Let me ask you this rally, we’re getting 26 minutes in, and we’re almost at the end. What? What didn’t I asked you about the electrodes? JOHN, I wanted to talk about this. What did I leave off the plate rally?

Riley Harbour
So I think the piece I’d love to talk about today, john, and I have a couple of notes here. I apologize. I’m looking over just to stay on top. Oh, please, really just the science of scale. And I think so often in our industry, we talk about scale is thrown out every single day in every conversation. Does the cost scale does the team scale? But we never, we don’t talk about does culture scale? And how do you make sure the culture of a team of 10 scales to the same culture of a team of 40? Whether it’s in office or work from home? What tools? Are companies investing in? What are you investing in as a revenue or sales leader to scale your culture? Because if you’re just managing by numbers, and you’re not leading with the emotional piece and the culture piece, it gets lost very quickly. And I’ve seen it happened. Very critical point rally.

The Collaborator
Yeah, cuz you’re right, you can go to zero from zero to one day and one to 10. And then at some point along the way, between 10 and 15, it could all blow up because you didn’t manage that and think about that. What What kinds of tools and processes are you? Do you personally recommend people are at least thinking about or aware of beyond what we’ve already talked about? Yeah, I

Riley Harbour
think it’s the human element of Ajani. really creating mentorship programs and bringing back the personal relationship. So we have a great, you know, relationship with our sales development team and our account executive team. Since so many have been promoted from within, they know the struggles of the day to day, they know just how hard it is to be a sales development rep in this industry. And so if you can have that mentorship, whether it be weekly, bi weekly, even if it’s just monthly, where you bring account executives back to the SDR team and have them speak about their experience, when they were in the seat, it really just humanizes what everyone’s going through. And there’s just mutual respect. If you can do that, people are genuinely going to stay with the company and the culture is going to scale. Even if your team goes from 20 to 40. To add account executives, I should say,

The Collaborator
Yeah, I think that’s a really good tip or suggestion. The mentorship programs are invaluable. And we don’t invest enough in those in general. And I like that I like the fact that because you’re promoting from within, they can come back and say, Yeah, I was doing that a year ago, that sucked. But I learned a lot and now I’m doing this or you know, whatever. Because to me I the SDR role is one of those roles in the company that I have the most respect for. Because it’s hard. We put we bring young people oftentimes out of school, and we ask them to do something that’s really hard. so mad respect for people that do it in mad respect for people that just sort of eat it up and use it as an opportunity to grow.

Riley Harbour
I think I love some of my favorite followers on LinkedIn, john, our SDRs that are just talking about the daily grind because I just have so much respect for it.

The Collaborator
Oh, amen. What What else? Riley? Anything else that you want to bring up that I I didn’t give you an opportunity to talk about before now. You know, I

Riley Harbour
think we’ve covered all of it john, everything from culture, gamification, mentorship programs, internal promotions, I mean, that’s really all this stuff. I’m extremely passionate about, you know, coming from a sports background, I guess. One piece here, you know, jogging my own memory for what I wanted to talk about, is really when it comes to sports. analogies as a leader, I think so often we talk about sports analogies, how can we read related to baseball or basketball or soccer or football, but providing some real world examples, instead of just sports analogies, because you might be, you know, unconsciously, subconsciously crowding people out that might not like sports. I’ve done feedback before. And it’s really valuable feedback. And one of my blind spots and so doesn’t always have to be about sports, even though we’re in sales. So that was something I did want to touch about.

The Collaborator
I think that’s really an important point. It’s so easy to use the same type of examples over and over again and make people unconsciously or subconsciously, like you said, uncomfortable. I had a boss Creekside years ago who he would use baseball analogies. And for some reason, he was convinced I didn’t have any interest in sports. So I say, Sorry, john, I’m using a sports analogy again, I’d be like, I’ve watched this my entire life, but but even even when he was trying to do it, it didn’t quite work, even with an audience, where should it work? So we just all need to be sensitive about the language we use. And and I know I do,

Riley Harbour
because I fail 100 times a day at it, and trying to get smarter each and every day. But that’s a good call out. Absolutely. Just something that’s a blind spot of mine that I thought I could, you know, talk about today.

The Collaborator
Appreciate it, man. And Riley, this was so much fun. Thank you so much for sharing all these insights. Yeah. Thank you, everybody, for listening. Let me ask you this round. And last question. If people have a question for you. And I imagine they will win, especially when they watch the replay. on LinkedIn, is that the best way to reach out to you

Riley Harbour
asking the question, yeah, LinkedIn is great. I do my best once all the slacks are dealt with and the emails are replied to LinkedIn is going to be the best spot. You know. I love communicating with everybody on LinkedIn. So yeah, shoot me a message on LinkedIn. We’d love to answer it anything. Sales development, culture related gamification, I’m all yours.

The Collaborator
All right, well, you have a great rest of your day keep kicking ass and go go site. Go. Good.