There’s a good chance you’re in planning mode for your annual sales kickoff. Organizations sink huge amounts of time and money into this annual event aimed at aligning teams to boost sales performance in the upcoming year. But are you getting the value and improving sales performance enough to justify your investment?
Even the most well-planned events don’t pay off if you haven’t inspired, trained, and motivated your salespeople enough to increase their productivity and close more deals for the remainder of the year.
Here are four ways to deliver results from your sales kickoff (SKO) and make sure you’re getting the most from your time, resources, and money.
1. Focus on the most important topics.
Resist the urge to cram as much information as possible into your sales kickoff.
It’s tempting to overload because it’s rare to have the whole salesforce together at once. But sticking with the “less is more” principle is key to making your time and money translate into results.
First off, your salespeople will immediately understand the value that senior leadership places on the topics IF they are kept to a minimum. Choose sales kickoff keynotes that empower your sales team with the motivation, sales strategy, and skills they need to reach quota.
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 SKO meeting to three 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 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 three days.
3. Give your team the sales training it wants – and needs.
In the end, you and your sales professionals want the same things—to drive deals and grow the business. When they win, so do you.
So it only makes sense for you to consider the challenges they actually face on the front line, and find out what would make it easier for them to be successful.
To equip your sales force with the skills they need to succeed in today’s marketplace, survey your team to see what type of sales 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. Don’t hog the mic.
Your sales kickoff should be informative but don’t overlook the opportunity for salespeople to share ideas with each other—especially your top performers.
It’s important for executives and company leaders to share high-level strategy and show their support for the sales team, but don’t miss the opportunity to highlight top-performing salespeople and Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) at your kickoff.
Networking and collaboration are consistently ranked by salespeople as the most valuable parts of this type of event. Keep presentations interactive and include exercises that intentionally drive sharing and collaboration.
When given the chance to get together, your team will bond over their common challenges and frustrations, along with useful strategies and best practices.
Your team wants to hear upper-level management input, but learning the secret sauce from one of their peers will really make a lasting impression on your sales professionals.
Don’t Waste Your Time or Money
If your sales kickoff meeting doesn’t 1) lay out a clear path for improving sales and 2) ACTUALLY upgrade sales performance, then it’s a waste of time and money.
Focus on what it will take to get your sales team to hit the goals you’ve set for them and the meeting will plan itself.
Contact The Brooks Group to learn about the high-impact keynotes, sales training, and workshops we can deliver to help you plan a highly effective sales kickoff meeting.
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Sales kickoff season is here. It’s time to plan your sales strategy, train your sales professionals, crank up the energy, and motivate everyone for the next year. Download this free guide that will help you plan and deliver an outstanding sales kickoff that sets your sellers up for a successful year.