Dare we say it, the end of the year is fast approaching and so is the time to start thinking and planning your 2019 sales kick off. We understand that for many sales teams, the countdown to Christmas and hitting those final year end targets can be a hectic time, which is why we want to make things simpler for you by compiling a list of ‘do’s and don’ts’ for your next annual sales kick off (SKO).
By taking on board these simple suggestions, we believe that they could make a huge difference in the effectiveness of your 2019 sales kick off agenda.
So what does work well?
Sharing the agenda
A great SKO is one that is well planned and we believe that creating and sending out an agenda beforehand will help set expectations and keep the meeting organised and productive. Obviously this doesn’t have to be set in stone, but a rough breakdown of the day helps to get your team thinking and prepped for the big day.
An inspiring and motivational theme
It’s a good idea to think outside the box on this one – to provide something memorable that your sales force can remember for months afterwards. However, it should be relevant and focused on what the company is looking to achieve, or are perhaps facing in the upcoming year. Mood boards are a great way to get creative juices flowing and if you can get input and ideas from your employees, then even better.
Share good news
It’s a fact; most employees dread meetings, let alone ones that last more than a couple of hours. So, why not enthuse them by sharing a positive overview of the past year of successes and your major accomplishments as a team? By mentioning team achievements as well as individual successes, it will inspire them and create a feel good factor, right from the word go.
TIP:If you have any big announcements, now is a fantastic opportunity to share them. It will get your company’s representatives excited about the upcoming year and any new products and incentives you may have planned.
Plan your agenda around learning
By nature, sales people love to learn and in our experience, the best SKO meetings offer an agenda that both teaches and engages the audience.The goal is to talk less ‘at’ your participants and more oninspiring them to share ideas and learn from each other. After all, there’s nothing better than hearing real life stories where teams can learn from each other. One idea is to invite representatives from various departments, or from relative organisations who are engaging and comfortable speaking in front of a crowd to share their experiences first hand.
We also believe that it is vitally important that people collaborate during meetings. Be this through topic-specific breakouts, interactive exercises, games and generally sharing stories and experiences.By partnering with learning and development experts you can also sharpen messages and approaches whilst getting participants to engage, which leads us to our next point.
Leverage technology for maximum impact
We live in a technology-focused world so why not implement some of the incredible features available to us and by this, we don’t mean death by PowerPoint! By engaging teams with apps and bespoke, interactive, tablet-based learning, companies can use technology such as digital tablets, games and interactive team building techniques to increase a team’s rate of engagement and efficiency.
This type of sales training is able to provide a more up to date mix of learning and collaboration, helping you to deliver content in a much more effective way, thereforegiving attendees a much more positive experience and better understanding of the day. By implementing a web app into the agenda, you can continue the fun long after the event is over, allowing people to post comments, feedback, upload photos and continue conversations. It’s also a great opportunity to create a shared web-based folder to upload all presentation material for your attendees to reference later on.
And what doesn’t work?
Keeping people sat down all day
It’s really important to schedule some physical activity into the day to get the blood flowing, energise your team and get brains thinking! Nobody wants to sit down all day. Depending on the weather outside, some fresh air is a major bonus, but equally just moving around a room, switching up the seating plan and of course – involving more interactive elements, such as team building exercises and games.
Avoid too much repetition
So you’ve chosen your inspiring and motivational theme carefully and you’re proud of it! However, repeating the theme thousands of times can backfire and ultimately have the opposite effect, making it memorable for all of the wrong reasons.
Death by talking
Nobody wants to sit in a conference for 8 hours listening to key speakers talk at them – oh no! By shortening the length of presentations and giving teams a chance to interact in a variety of ways ensures that the day has a large element of variety. Think ice breakers, videos, photos, interactive learning based games, team building and of course lots of breaks, to let that content sink in.
Don’t forget the feedback
People like to give their input and feedback is vital to the success of your event, for ongoing engagement and respect. Whether you do that via an app, another web based method or traditional means, ensure that you find out what attendees did and didn’t enjoy so that you can measure the success and make any necessary changes next time.
This is not an exhaustive list of what you should and shouldn’t do, but will hopefully act as a helpful planning aid for those all important Sales Kick Offs. At Momentum South West, we are only too aware how different every business is and how objectives and needs can vary vastly.
If you’d like some help planning your next SKO, or implementing some bespoke, technology focused games and activities, we can help you create a completely tailored and bespoke agenda for the ultimate sales kick off.
Bring on 2019!
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