HomeBlog Optimizing the Sales Kickoff: Last-Minute Tips for Sales Leaders

Optimizing the Sales Kickoff: Last-Minute Tips for Sales Leaders

January 08, 2015 | By Sharon Little

  • Document your sales kickoff event’s goals, objectives, takeaways, audience pain points and major talking points on one page
  • Get this document into the hands of every executive, presenter and sales leader at your company
  • Plan a one-hour meeting on next steps with all field leadership at kickoff before or immediately after the closing session

It's the first week in January. Just a week ago, you were focused on end-of-year results, keeping the team pumped up and driving those last few key deals over the finish line. But that’s behind you now, and your sales kickoff is only a few weeks away. Your capable team is finalizing logistics, building presentations and handling the dozens of details that go into making kickoff a seamless, successful event.

KickoffYou want this to be the best kickoff ever, but what can you do with only a few weeks left? Here are five things that sales leaders can still do:

  1. Document the event’s goals, objectives, takeaways, addressable audience pain points and major talking points on one page. Get this document into the hands of every executive, presenter and sales leader at your company. It will ensure alignment in the presentations and stories the sales team hears at kickoff.
  2. Plan a one-hour meeting with all field leadership at kickoff before or immediately following the closing session. The goal of this meeting is to be prescriptive with your leadership team, discussing the specific ways you want them to reinforce and build on the kickoff experience as they resume regular activities. Lean on the enablement leader to prepare the content.
  3. Review the agenda and overall kickoff experience through the eyes of a first-year sales rep. Does it all flow together? Does the majority of the content emphasize what’s important to the audience rather than to the presenter? Will that first-year sales rep leave fired up to sell your products and services? In many cases, adjustments can be made that will enhance the audience experience without derailing the content at the last minute.
  4. Stay out of the kickoff planning team’s way. This group has been working on kickoff for months – they know it forward and backward. They are responsible for briefing you and answering all of your questions. However, this is not the time to get involved in selecting the music for walk-in, worry about menus or ask about other minutiae.
  5. Invest in yourself. What you say is what they will remember, so block time to finalize and rehearse your presentation. Arrive at the venue early and avoid over-committing your time. Kickoff is a marathon, and you need to be rested mentally and physically and feel fully prepared. Culture is driven at the executive level, and your ability to relax and enjoy the kickoff will be emulated by your team.
When kickoff is over, plan to join us at our second annual Sales Leadership Exchange on February 25 and 26 at the Rancho Bernardo Inn in San Diego. We look forward to seeing you there.

Sharon Little

Sharon Little is Research Director, Sales Enablement Strategies at SiriusDecisions. Sharon's career includes both front-line and operational sales experience with rotational breadth in sales enablement, field communications, field marketing, inside sales, sales operations and go-to-market strategies.

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