At the beginning of every fiscal year, organizations hold their annual sales kick off meeting to bring their sales, marketing, and customer success teams on the same page. Planning such meetings is important while keeping all the minute details in mind like
All the aforementioned points are an integral part of every successful SKO because you need to provide the value against the time that will be spent by the attendees of this meeting.
“SKO serves as the beginning of the organization’s overall sales learning and readiness” – Jim Ninivaggi, Chief Readiness Officer, Brainshark
Bringing together people from all over your organization at the same place for discussing something as crucial as your sales strategy is no doubt the most important part of your entire business process.
“Many sales professional don’t find kick off meetings to be meaningful learning events” – Brainshark
Industry leaders believe that with all the online learning and communication happening in this modern business era, the SKO is no longer necessary.
“We’re so reliant on technology, people are wanting an in-person experience” – Amy Franko, Founder and President, Impact Instruction Group
However, she advises that these experiences have to be meaningful and must provide opportunities for connection and learning.
The first step for organizing your sales kick off meeting is to plan it around
Planning a sales kick off meeting means you need to get your invitees free for two-three days. Many deem it as wastage of precious selling time!
Even your upper management will not accept such investment as they will count it as lost opportunity cost. It is a huge investment for every sales organization.
To make a sales kick off meeting successful, you must plan it in such a manner that it should make your sales department feel.
They must feel ready than ever to engage with new leads and close more sales in a lesser amount of time.
Starting your SKO with a flare adds to its success, also, it keeps the attendees enthusiastic and gives them something to look forward to!
Proper knowledge of the agenda or the strategies for sale always helps in defining a path to your sales team. Your sales reps need to know your products thoroughly if they want to experience a successful sale.
You must make them up-to-speed with your latest sales strategies and initiative, for making better sales. In their routine life, with the humongous amount of communication occurring at the workplace, your sales reps will miss some key information.
This is where you must inculcate the practice of sharing your strategies with them either in print or digital form so that it stays fresh in the mind.
You also must keep one thing mind, your sales team members must get proper product training. You can’t expect them to excel in selling something that they do not understand in the first place.
Managers know if they have the best sales reps in their team or not! If you are aware of the talent that your team possesses, why waste it by not allowing them to share their thoughts, ideas, and best practices?
Such meetings must have a kickoff agenda to empower salespeople who wouldn’t normally get a platform for
Make your sales reps engaged with the rest of the team, the knowledge of their contribution towards the sales team goal keeps them motivated.
A sales kickoff meeting presents itself with the perfect time for engaging your sales reps.
Yes, you are handing out bonuses to your top performers, however, there are more important things than money and commission; purpose.
Sales kick off meetings allow business owners, managers, and team leaders to infuse motivational energy into their team. It enables them to connect their team to a larger purpose and let reps feel connected to the work they are doing.
Bringing an electrifying keynote speaker or organizing an awards presentation will definitely keep your team pumped-up for achieving their sales goals.
You must know that sales kickoff meeting are the best way for sharing peer to peer knowledge amongst your sales team members.
SKO’s are like an investment in your company’s future and in your sales team members. For ensuring a successful SKO event execution, we are sharing a few tips that have been divided into three phases:
Your SKO’s success starts way before the meeting itself, via proper planning and training & coaching of your sales team members.
It is crucial that sales and L&D leaders determine a clear vision, theme, and goals for their sales kick offs. Having these elements provide a path that can be followed for the sales kick off’s success.
For instance, your CEO has a key objective of revenue growth. Make it one of your kick off pillars. Plan your content and get the relevant metrics designed to make progress toward the CEO’s objective.
“84 percent of companies don’t deliver training before SKO, and 41 percent of respondents said they wanted just that” – Brainshark survey
Another instance, Your company will soon launch a major campaign or a new product. You must approach this as an opportunity to train and certify sales managers before the SKO.
Once you do this, when the SKO kick starts, your trained team can come in handy to the managers attending the event in understanding more about the initiative.
To help the reps, you can share video, or some other content tied to the SKO goals before the event.
“New methodologies and skills should be learned ahead of time rather than during the SKO” – Ninivaggi
Ninivaggi adds that managers must train the sales reps to be accountable for completing the pre-work of SKO. Detailed preparation of the rep ensures that effective time is spent on the day SKO is scheduled.
Once you start your meeting, everyone attending the meeting must be well aware of the agenda, the future plans and the strategies that will be used to carry out these sales plans! Sales reps must spend most of their hours during the SKO.
When the meeting commences, stick to the topics that cannot be covered if this SKO was done digitally.
Make the format such that the participants do not feel that their time is being spent on some unproductive meetings. Especially, focus on the part where you provide time for networking.
“Over half of respondents wish their SKOs were more interactive” – Brainshark Survey
Plan your SKO’s in a way that can inspire your sales professionals, make them more excited about what they’re selling and start the year with high morale.
“More than seven out of 10 organizations don’t deliver post-work or follow-up training” – Brainshark survey
Reinforcement and follow-up is key to sustaining what your team members will learn during SKO. Share presentations or slide decks with managers and reps for references and keep using the SKO theme and messages throughout the year.
Reinforcement must include ownership by both the managers and reps for their accountability to extend their SKO learning and consistently practice it over time. Managers are the key to successful reinforcement of SKO learnings.
“The sales manager’s job is to drive mastery among reps. They should provide ongoing and tailored coaching, holding reps accountable to activity metrics, and closely monitor the sales pipeline and results for easy and early intervention.” Amy Franko
You must measure the impact of your SKO by identifying the metrics ahead of time-based on your goals.
For instance, your company is going to introduce a new strategy, methodology or new products, evaluate success at these times:
Immediately after the SKO speak to your reps.
“Will the reps successfully execute this new strategy that will get implemented after the SKO?”
One or two months after the SKO.
“Are the sales reps having the type of conversations and meetings discussed during the SKO?”
Another month or so later.
“Are there enough opportunities in the pipeline for that new product we launched during the SKO?”
Finally, after about another month.
“Are we seeing the desired revenue closing?”
“It’s a myth that people don’t want live events or to meet in person,” Franko.
Sales professionals thrive on building relationships with their colleagues as well as clients. That’s how sales actually work.
You make connections with your contacts and treat them well before asking to try your product.
Have you ever wondered that sharing your own back-story regarding your first deal, your first win, your lost deals, and how you cope under pressure will come in handy for your sales team? Yes, you hire those candidates that have previous experiences, however, everyone’s experience differs.
Sharing your story with the attendees in your SKO sparks inspiration and insights that help them fulfill their dreams of achieving success as yours!
Schedule around three panels that will comprise your highest-performing sellers. Ask them to discuss their biggest deals –
You must include one tactical sales training session. This is because even at the peak of success, the hunger of learning more and knowing various things keep the salespeople motivated.
Give your sales reps plenty of insights and new selling techniques to try for the upcoming fiscal year.
Networking is another major ingredient of a great sales kick off. Networking is a great time for bringing all the members of your organization, including your sales team, in one place.
Motivate your sales reps to forge valuable connections and ask them to turn these connections into
Oh yes, you must include the contents of how your sales team did last year, what were the strategies used and how many were beneficial. You have to mention the strategy and goals that have been set for the coming fiscal year.
This is just a mock schedule and will depend on the number of days you are planning your SKO.
The sales kick off meeting is an opportunity that helps in
As a business owner, manager or leader, you must take advantage of such a unique opportunity. Great companies definitely will like to invest their money and resources in preparing their team for the competition.
We know the task of gathering resources and people for pulling off such events seems daunting. However, if you have a smart workflow automation tool besides you, the task will become less time-consuming.
Using workflow automation, managers can notify their team regarding the SKO via email, or text messages. The smart workflows will keep you updated about who has opened your email and have read the content.
Assign tasks to your sales team members and assign them various duties in an automated manner and keep track if they are working toward it or not.
Ease yourself from the shackles of manual labor and experience the power of automation with Salesmate CRM. Salesmate sales CRM, with its workflow automation functionality, takes the guesswork and busywork out of your entire business process.
It also provides you with a unified view of your entire data and enables easy customization to suit your various requirements.