The New Year is right around the corner and there’s a good chance you’re in full planning mode for your 2017 sales kickoff meeting. Organizations dedicate huge amounts of time and money to this annual event, but does the event itself really generate the value and sales performance improvements necessary to justify the investment?
Even the most well-planned events don’t count for anything if salespeople don’t improve their performance afterwards—and maintain that lift for the remainder of the year.
Here are 4 ways to get real results from your sales kickoff meeting and make sure it isn’t a waste of time and money.
1. Focus on the most impactful topics
Resist the urge to cram as much information as possible into your sales kickoff meeting.
It’s tempting to overload because it’s typically rare to have the whole sales force together at once, but sticking with the “less is more” principle is key to making your time and money translate to results.
First off, your salespeople will immediately understand the value that senior leadership places on the topics IF they are kept to a minimum.
Secondly, people have a limit on the amount of information they can absorb (and retain) at one time. Focus on the presentations or skills training that will impact performance the most, and your team will be more likely to take that knowledge back to the field—and make it their new normal.
2. Limit the meeting to 3 days or less
Time is money—a fact that you know and your salespeople live. So don’t take them out of the field for any longer than is absolutely necessary.
A sales kickoff meeting is intended to prepare and inspire your sales team, but if it drags on, your people can actually become resentful.
And if that happens? Engagement levels drop, along with your ROI for the meeting.
Keep the meeting short and impactful—ideally under 3 days.
3. Give reps the training they want
In the end, you and your salespeople want the same things—when they win, so do you.
So it only makes sense for you to consider the challenges they are actually faced with on the front line, and find out what would make it easier for them to be successful.
Survey your team to see what type of training would be most helpful to them. They’ll be engaged and eager to apply what they learn, and you’ll be able to remove the obstacles that are in the way of growth.
4. Keep the event location modest
Will holding your sales kickoff meeting at an exotic destination motivate your team so much that their performance will immediately catapult—and remain at that level all year long?
The one guarantee with that scenario is that you will be left with a large bill.
Choose a modest location, and focus instead on the skills training that your team needs to make their number. You can use the money you saved to incentivize their success. Your salespeople would most likely prefer a trip that’s strictly for leisure anyway, instead of one filled with meetings.
If your sales kickoff meeting doesn’t 1) lay out a clear path for improving sales and 2) ACTUALLY result in sales performance improvement, then it’s a waste of time and money.
Focus on what it will take to get your sales team hitting the goals you’ve set for them and the meeting will plan itself.
The Brooks Group offers a number of high-impact programs that can be mixed, matched, and customized to meet the needs of your organization and sales team, including:
- IMPACT Selling®
- Sales Territory Planning
- Selling Against Lower Priced Competition
- Selling to Different Personality Styles
- Advanced IMPACT Selling®
Click here to learn more about the programs, and how they can make a great addition to your sales kickoff meeting.