How to Run A Next Level Sales Kick Off Remotely
Are you in sales leadership? Then you’re well aware that sales kick offs (SKOs) are kind of a big deal.
These meetings primarily revolve around laying the groundwork for your go-to-market strategy and aligning the sales team's goals. But they also present the opportunity to reflect on past accomplishments, build team unity, and hype everyone up for the year to come.
Curious about how to take your virtual sales kick off to whole new heights for your work-from-home reps? Check out our advice below.
1. Understand Your Goals
Before diving into the entire sales kick off plan, you must understand your overall business goals and SKO goals. This understanding sets up the whole foundation of your SKO and, therefore, the year ahead. By defining them in advance, you guarantee a productive and successful meeting.
Business Goals & SKO Goals
- Business Goals: What do you want your sales reps to accomplish this year? This could be anything from “boost revenue by at least X%” or “break into Y market.” The business goals will inform your SKO plan, so have them down first.
- SKO Goals: Now, what do you want your event to accomplish? Do you want more emphasis on boosting morale or teaching new sales strategies? Defining your SKO objectives sets the course for an effective event.
2. Break It Up
There’s a lot that goes into your SKO: announcing new features, sales training, reflection… the list goes on. And your entire sales team needs to know the ins and outs of this list.
Don’t overwhelm your crew with a single info-dump session, and expect a stellar year. Break up your SKO into different session types. Create a well-rounded virtual experience that’s equal parts fun, productive, and informative to energize your team for the year to come.
Here are a few examples of session types:
Regardless of last year’s outcome, good things still happened. And those wins deserve a celebration. Your SKO is the perfect time to recognize those accomplishments and the people who helped accomplish them.
Virtual Team Building
Sales is a team sport, making virtual team building crucial to your department’s success. The importance of the team-building sessions doubles for remote reps because, without that personalized bonding time, they’re isolated from connection and camaraderie.
Fun, well-built virtual team building activities should be an essential SKO session to boost morale and make everyone feel part of your team. Tools like Confetti can help plan a fully customizable virtual experience in a matter of minutes, leaving you time to plan the bulk of your SKO.
Training & Education
Your SKO educates your team on the intricacies of your product but also acts as a virtual training session on the latest sales strategies. This is a great chance to bring in outside speakers to present your reps with fresh information.
Is your team aware of all the latest developments? The latest pricing changes, product releases, and even compensation modifications apply.
If you find yourself with a whole slew of new information to share, we recommend breaking your Updates session into multiple days or weeks, with each dedicated to a different topic. For example:
- Day 1: New features & benefits
- Day 2: Pricing & compensation
- Day 3: Messaging & marketing… and so on!
Your sales representatives need to know your customers. And the best way to learn your customer base is to actually talk to them. Host a customer interview session to give your team a low-stakes, zero pressure situation where they can interact with customers and gain valuable insights to boost their future sales.
3. Include Other Departments
SKOs center around your sales teams, but all departments must work together to create a successful company. Use your SKO as a chance to invite other leaders in the organization to speak during your kickoff meeting.
For example, inviting product team leadership provides your sales team valuable insight into what they’re selling. Similarly, speaking with customer service leadership will equip the sales team with unique audience knowledge to assist in conversions. And, of course, inviting marketing leadership to speak can help sellers understand how marketing efforts can work with their pitches.
4. Leave Room for Feedback
To effectively lead your sales team into the year ahead, you need to welcome feedback from your reps.
Zenger | Folkman conducted a study that included over 51,000 leaders. This study aimed to measure which leaders asked for and acted upon feedback. The results showed a remarkable correlation between leadership effectiveness and willingness to accept feedback. Those in the top 10% of leadership effectiveness were those that asked for and implemented the feedback received.
Asking for feedback creates a sense of trust between you and your team. It also provides you with a learning opportunity. Setting time aside during your SKO for a feedback session from your representatives is priming you for success, and we recommend taking full advantage of the insight your sales team has.
5. Remember to Follow-Up
Your SKO was a success! Your sales team has new knowledge, knows your products inside-out, and gained valuable customer and company insights. Plus, they feel more confident and comfortable with one another and with you as their leader.
But don’t let all that enthusiasm go dull. Use follow-up opportunities to hone and reinforce your team’s skills, goals, and the energy your sales kickoff generated. Your SKO is a singular event, possibly broken up into multiple days, but it sets the stage for the year to come.
A few follow-up ideas include:
- Regular meetings to check in with your team and evaluate their needs.
- A newsletter that includes topics discussed during your SKO. This is also a great way to provide new resources on selling strategies and techniques.
- Setting time aside for the team to recharge. Sometimes the best follow-up is a break. Let Confetti plan a virtual happy hour or an engaging group activity to help your team reconnect beyond the work setting.
Are You Ready?
As we continue moving toward a virtual work environment, using these SKO ideas will prep you and your team for a fruitful year. To get the most out of your meeting, use a dependable, engaging virtual events platform to host your SKO sessions.