For those of us on a calendar fiscal year, January is the month for annual sales kick-offs. Many organizations spend months prior to kick-off getting content together, coordinating the 1-3 day event, all while spending a lot of money to execute something great. In this post, we’re going to walk through the components of an effective sales kick-off meeting, illustrating how live video can help keep those costs low, while still doing the three most important things:
- Reward (Past)
- Educate (Present)
- Energize (Future)
Rewards are the way to reflect back on the previous year, sharing highlights, rewarding quota achieving reps with trips or similar monetary awards. In each of these reward cycles, great sales managers will allow reps a platform to educate others about their success, so that underperforming reps can learn how to adjust their behavior in the coming year.
Just as you take time to look at the past with rewards, to ensure growth, grounding teams in the present with a focus on education is critical to growth. I’ve worked at companies that use the education section to communicate a new sales methodology, introduce new GTM tools (sales decks & tools), or even introduce an entirely new product line. The reason I like the “educate” section of the kick-off is that it gives teams outside of sales (product, marketing, support) a time to speak to the team about what is coming in the next year, or what has already been released and how it should be brought to the market.
In preparing sales teams for the future year, energizing this team is a critical part of success. There should be a place for internal communications, sales management, and marketing to speak directly to sales teams. The content should be engaging and motivating.
Once you are able to develop a kick-off strategy that rewards, educates and energizes teams, it can help to ask your content providers to keep a consistent theme. In some cases, I’ve had themes be as simple as “so what?” In other organizations, they’ve been more direct hits against a specific competitor, “be better than XYZ company.” No matter what, the theme should mirror the strategic goals of the organization.
Executing a great sales kick-off
Now, you have goals, a theme- let’s talk about execution. Successful kick-off execution looks the same as any successful event execution, the goals were achieved and attendees were satisfied. There are a few things to think about when it comes to execution:
- Supporting global teams
In the case of global teams that can’t all be in one place at the same time, live video can be a great way to get that energizing content to your remote teams. It’s also really important to tailor content to each geography if the needs are different. In some cases, we’ve had specific content tracks that address different vertical or geographic teams. That allows teams to get together to focus on their industry or regional challenges.
When looking at the cost of a successful kick-off, there are many ways to keep costs under control hosting the event in a location that doesn’t often get booked in January instead of a warm climate location. You can also stream the live event via video for all your remote employees to decrease the cost of travel and lodging. There are great ways to make these live streams interactive and engaging with polling, panel discussions and required Q&A from the field.
Like any event, getting feedback on the success or failure during and certainly after the event is an important part of improving kick-offs in the future. Send surveys post event but if you have time, ask 1-2 questions of everyone ½ way through your kick off. These questions should be as simple as “what do you want to learn in the next ½ of this kick-off,” or “provide one piece of feedback on the current format that we might be able to adjust in the current session.”
If you are looking to cut costs but still reach global sales teams for your 2018 sales kick-off, learn more about how Kollective customers have improved communications across large global enterprises here.