A Sales Kickoff (SKO) is an annual event that rallies your entire sales team around company goals and sales expectations for the new fiscal year. This highly motivational gathering is designed to get everyone on the same page, energized, and focused on top strategies for success.
During the SKO, you’ll discuss purpose, best practices, and any new products, services, or updates your team needs to know. This is a perfect opportunity to generate new sales and staff training materials while setting the tone for a successful year ahead.
STEPS FOR A SUCCESSFUL SALES KICKOFF EVENT
- Define Your Objectives & Theme
As a sales team, it’s crucial to get together and align your key objectives with your company’s strategic vision. Start by asking yourself these important questions:
- What is the main goal? What do you hope to accomplish?
- Are there any new products or services you want to highlight to get your team excited?
- What theme do you want to focus on? What do you want your team to be thinking about during this event?
- How will you measure success, both during and after the event?
- How can you keep attendees engaged and energized throughout the event?
- Create a Clear and Effective Agenda
To host a successful sales kickoff event, it is crucial to have a well-planned agenda in place. By including the following key ideas, you can ensure a smooth and productive event for everyone involved.
- Motivate your sales team with inspiring success stories from within your organization.
- Integrate personal success stories from team members into your agenda.
- Feature these stories and include panels for Q&A sessions to allow for even further discussion and interaction with the attendees.
- Ensure that your agenda includes tactical training sessions to reinforce your commitment to ongoing learning and thought leadership in your industry.
- Equip your sales team with the latest insights, techniques, and practices to attain the same level of success at your company.
- Guarantee an exceptional learning experience during your sales kickoff by providing top-notch content and state-of-the-art technology at all training sessions.
- Allocate time during the sales kickoff event for networking.
- Give your sales team the opportunity to build connections, feel at ease, and learn from each other. By fostering a sense of comfort and collaboration, you’ll ensure that every salesperson feels confident reaching out to their colleagues with questions or concerns or peer support.
- The relationships that can be built during networking are irreplaceable. This can be done with team-building exercises, breakout sessions, happy hour events, or even planned dinners and more.
- Involve Your Team in Future Plans for Sales Success
Encouraging your team to share their ideas and suggestions for the current sales objectives and plans for the upcoming year is an effective way to keep them engaged, allow them to have buy in and foster a sense of trust among everyone.
- This approach generates enthusiastic involvement from your team and paves the way for a more fruitful SKO event and sales year.
- Employees desire recognition for their inputs and involving everyone’s ideas in the sales kickoff event establishes that you value their opinions and are committed to their success.
- Get Your Sales Team Excited for the Sales Kickoff Event
Give your sales team a sneak peek at what they can expect at your sales kickoff event. You want everyone to be prepared and excited for the big event you have planned.
- Send them pre-work packets to complete beforehand, provide them with the tentative agenda, and any informative materials.
- Tease any significant announcements to create interest and anticipation amongst your team.
Avoiding Common Mistakes at Your Sales Kickoff Event
Losing Sight of the Purpose
Sales kickoff events can be exciting and invigorating, but all too often, companies make the mistake of focusing too much on the event itself, rather than its purpose. To make the most of your event, it’s important to clearly define the goals and objectives of the upcoming year and communicate to your team why these are vitally important.
- Bring in industry thought leaders, who can share motivational stories about achieving similar goals.
- Include fun activities to help make these goals crystal clear to your team.
Losing Employment Engagement
One of the keys to a successful sales kickoff event is to ensure that every attendee feels valued and included. This can be achieved through interactive sessions, engaging Q&A opportunities, and targeted networking activities.
- Provide breakout rooms for group discussions and opportunities to connect with top professionals in your company to create an event that fosters collaboration and sparks innovation.
- Include meals, activities, and opportunities for feedback, so that every individual feels heard, appreciated and motivated to help achieve your company’s goals for the year ahead.
- Incorporate movement or fidget breaks. Even as adults, we learn and engage better when we get up and stretch our legs. Long periods without breaks can cause distraction and loss of attention.
Neglecting Pre and Post-SKO Activities
Setting your attendees up for success requires more than just the event itself. To ensure a successful sales kickoff event, don’t overlook the importance of pre and post-event activities.
- Boost engagement and preparedness by providing activities before kickoff, giving attendees a sneak peek of what’s to come and building excitement.
- After the event, keep the momentum going with post-SKO activities or communications that allow attendees to apply what they’ve learned and stay motivated to achieve sales goals.
Focusing Only on The Sales Approach
Sales-focused events can feel stifling and dull, leaving attendees underwhelmed and uninspired. To make your annual sales kickoff more exciting and memorable, a more well-rounded approach is in order.
- Include activities that facilitate team building and foster personal connections. Introduce icebreaker activities that enable your team to share more about themselves and learn more about each other.
- Designate time for breaks, networking, and refreshments to liven up the conversation beyond sales talk.
- Incorporate content that allows the team to see how their contributions have direct impact on the success of the company.
PARTNERING WITH OVATION
With over 30 years of experience as an event production agency, OVATION understands that even the smallest details can create a huge impact. Let us help you develop and deliver a successful Sales Kick Off event that engages and inspires your team to take action.
Contact us today to learn more about the value of partnering with OVATION.