10 Tips to Making Your Next Sales Kick-Off a Huge Success
As you start planning your annual sales kick-off meeting, you’re faced with a challenge: wow your new sales reps while also reinvigorating your seasoned players. Put these ten tips to good use in order to ensure you have the most impact across the entire team.
1. Make Every Moment Count
The primary goal of the kickoff’s opening speech should be to get everyone excited and energetic about the event. Nothing is going to put a damper on your team’s enthusiasm like opening with a boring meeting full of information they already know. Your reps want an event that is valuable and useful to them – and honestly, you should too. If you’re planning a keynote speech just for the sake of having a keynote speech, we challenge you to enter into it with a purpose. Share goals, impressive numbers from the previous quarter, or a sneak peak of upcoming changes – not the same boring mantra all the reps have heard ten times over.
2. Pick a Theme (and Stick to It)
A theme is a great way to add life to your event and reinforce your company’s goals for the coming year. But it’s also very easy for a theme to fall flat. If you want it to be successful, you need to incorporate it into every aspect of the event – the keynote speech, the signage, the training sessions, etc. Avoid themes that are too abstract. The most powerful themes are simple and clean, but most importantly, fitting. Make sure your goals are driving your theme and not vice versa. If it feels forced, chances are it’s not relevant to your key message.
3. Focus on Increasing Buy-In
It’s easy for reps to get caught in the daily grind, focusing on the bare minimum in order to meet quota. Studies show that sales reps who believe they understand big-picture company goals perform much better than reps who aren’t bought in. Use this opportunity to communicate the overall business strategy to the team and stress the importance of the role they play in the company’s continued success.
4. Hone In On What’s Important
You probably have a million things you want to cover during this kick-off, but remember that less is more. It’s far more effective to fully cover a few topics than to only have enough time to skim the surface of a bunch of topics. Figure out what things are most important and then allocate the majority of the time to those topics.
5. Keep the Conversation Actionable
It’s easy to focus on the things that could have been done better the previous year, but it’s far more effective to share an actionable plan for the future. During the meeting, try to steer the conversation toward actions reps and management can take to do things differently this time around. Most importantly, be sure to capture those goals and plans so you can reinforce them once things go back to business as usual.
6. Consider Doing a Client Panel
Few things are as valuable as getting the client’s perspective on why they chose your company. If you have clients willing to participate in the sales kick-off meeting, consider holding a Q&A panel where reps can get a candid, first-person perspective of what it’s like on the other side of the sales call.
7. Use the Kick-Off Meeting as a Launch of a New Program or Technology
If you’re going to start a sales enablement initiative, launch a new marketing program, or upgrade your sales software, there’s no better time to get people excited about it and share the details about what the transition will entail. Plan on doing a live demonstration of your new initiative in order to give the reps a good feel of the benefits and use cases. It’s a great way to keep the energy focused on improving things for the future.
8. Acknowledge Your Star Performers
There’s no better time to shine a light on the top sales reps on your team than during the sales kick-off meeting. Not only does this incentivize your A players to keep up the good work, but it also provides extra incentive to those who weren’t recognized – If they want the same attention and rewards, they clearly see who they need to be emulating. Follow the acknowledgement with a session focused on learning from these star performers’ actions and habits.
9. Don’t Forget the Fun Stuff
While your main focus will probably be on trying to find space in the agenda for sales training or client panels, it’s a good idea to put some thought into fun activities inside and outside the event. This starts with the venue – choosing an attractive location can not only help boost attendance, but also overall moral. Incorporating activities or social activities into the event will keep your reps enaged and energized throughout the event. Focus on events that make it easy to socialize or team build.
10. Start Early
Don’t wait until the first day of the kick-off meeting to get your reps energized. Do promotional events like webinars or teaser sessions to get people involved and excited. Have your team offer input on the theme. Do a competition leading up to the kick-off, then announce the winner at the event. Use this opportunity to get your reps thinking about the topics that will be covered at the kick-off.
Follow these guidelines and your next sales kick-off meeting is sure to be a success. Do you have other great tips for a successful event? Let us know in the comments!