What happens at a sales kickoff sets the tone for the next twelve months and, if done right, it can be the single biggest boost to achieving those ambitious sales numbers. Most veteran sales executives get the basics of a sales kickoff right. They know that having great speakers, building an exciting atmosphere, and creating team building activities are all must-haves, but what usually separates a good sales kickoff from a game-changing sales kickoff are the details. As John Wooden, one of the most successful coaches of all time, explains, “it’s the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.”
According to the Sales Executive Council, reps forget up to 87% of the training content they receive just one month after their sales kickoff. That’s 87% of your time and money wasted. To guarantee a great sales kickoff for more than just 13% of your sales team, we built this handy checklist so that everyone, everywhere, can get their sales team running at top strength for the new year.
While some things may seem obvious, like having a venue with a full bar to host mixers, other pieces of the kickoff puzzle might surprise you. A few standouts we found were:
Set a theme
The four principle themes that you can choose from are Celebration, Motivation, Provocation, and Information. Perhaps the most common mistake that kickoff planners make is to choose “all of the above.” While it’s true you can touch on each on each of these themes, it’s very important to only choose one to emphasize. According to Chip Eichelberger, a professional speaker with over 946 events under his belt, it’s best to limit the amount of information you deliver in a single event. This helps focus your event and your team and ensures they will retain more of the information provided.
How you present matters
Speaking of presenting information, it’s no secret that how you present matters just as much what you present. There’s no use in spending dozens of hours preparing presentations if they go in one ear and out the other. As you can see from the Sales Kickoff Checklist, you should ideally have 4 presentations. Using the most effective presentation techniques that are backed by science is incredibly important to increasing retention and improving year-round sales.
One size does not fit all
One of the most consistent pieces of advice we came across when preparing this checklist was that you shouldn’t make your sales kickoff a rigidly planned, agenda focused, one-size-fits-all event. As the sales experts at MindTickle point out, treating every person in your sales team the same way is a recipe for disaster. Not only is it insulting to treat your veteran reps the same way as an entry-level associate, but it’s also the least effective way to get the best from both.
These are just a few of the must-haves we found, but there are so many elements that go into a successful sales kickoff we recommend downloading the checklist below and checking to ensure you have everything you need. If you’d like to learn more about great sales kickoff techniques you can read our post about 4 uncommon ways to shake up your sales kickoff here.