Sales kick-offs (SKO) can be similar to classroom lectures— boring lengthy presentations, sales folks taking notes in the “branded” notepads from the organization, and forgetting what was “taught” as soon as the event is over. Today, with the right technology, sales kick-offs can be fun, data-packed, and informative. In the third part of our sales kick-off blog series, we discuss the top five ways you can leverage technology to take your sales kick-off to the next level. Read along.
If this is your first time on our blog, we recommend checking out the first two parts of the series here:
Whether you are planning an in-person event (yes, they are back) or a virtual one, leveraging technology can help elevate your sales kick-off significantly. Be it before, during, or after the event, you can incorporate various tools throughout your plan to ensure a highly engaging experience.
Before we discuss the different ways you can leverage technology, here’s something that will help you. To make it easier to plan the different areas of your sales kick-off, divide the event into three parts: Pre-event (Planning), during the event (Execution), and post-event (Learning).
As we mentioned, using technology for your sales kick-off is a must-have today. Below, we discuss five ways in which you can apply technology at your next sales kick-off.
With so much to discuss and so little time (2 days in most cases), it is only natural to want to cram as much content into the schedule as possible. However, this can be overwhelming for attendees. If you want to make the most of your sales kick-off, consider a sales content management software (CMS). With a robust CMS, you can easily organize, share and track sales content throughout your organization.
As part of the pre-event planning stage, distribute part of the training material in advance. This way, your sales team has a foundation leading into the SKO, focusing most of their attention on the most meaningful content during the event.
Additionally, create a separate app or website or tie up with a Learning Management System (LMS) for the sales kick-off. For example, having a mobile-friendly internal website with information about travel, event location, agenda, and who to contact for questions before or onsite and showcasing any themes or brands as part of the sales kick-off.
💡 TIP: Consider using Enable Us Onboarding and Training room to provide an online portal for distributing materials and information to your sales team in advance of the SKO.
If you opt for a virtual sales kick-off, you can ditch the plain vanilla video conferencing tools and go for virtual event platforms like Cvent, Hopin, or Airmeet. Remember to check for tools that allow plenty of networking. One of the main objectives of a sales kick-off is to engage with teammates, which is all the more critical in a virtual setup.
For example, opt for tools that have separate “breakout rooms” for teams to split up during activities. That way, you can get the sales folks engaged and give them more opportunities to network. While you may be planning an in-person event, some of your team members may be unable to travel for various reasons. Consider what type of virtual event technology can still incorporate their presence and participation in these scenarios. After all, sales kick-offs are meant to motivate and encourage every team member.
Who doesn’t like gamification? It helps stimulate the brain, break the ice, and engage with others. Be it virtual or in-person, incorporating different aspects of gamification can be refreshing to the attendees. For example, if you are conducting it in person, you can ask the attendees to participate in a poll through their mobile devices, such as Mentimeter. Another innovative way you can include practical gamified learning is by asking the sales folks to scan a QR code to fix a “coffee date” with a “prospective customer” at the event. They can then be given feedback about their sales techniques. This would not only give them the hands-on training they need but also help you assess who needs more help with their sales approach.
There are many options to add gamification to your event - in person or online:
The only limit is your imagination!
The sales process is evolving, and changing global trends necessitate that sales react and respond accordingly. With two to three days with your sales team, a large component of the agenda is training-related. No, we are not talking about lengthy presentations with a hundred numbers they wouldn’t remember. We are talking about engaging sessions that highlight current trends, upcoming challenges, coping techniques, and more.
As we mentioned above, you can share pre-training materials in advance via a CMS or online room. To motivate and help sales retain the training material, consider different ways to tap into their competitive nature.
“Once, I was part of a sales kick-off that encouraged sales folks to attend different sessions and collect clues for the “scavenger hunt. That way, the teams were highly engaged, focused on what was being said and did not feel drained by the end of the day. Another highlight was a ‘Pitch Certification Station,’ where each salesperson had to record their sales pitch with the latest product updates. That was a great way to ensure everyone was familiar with the new product track,” recollects Lynn Pietryga, our Chief Customer Officer.
If you think sales kick-offs are a one-and-done thing, we must burst your bubble. Whatever you’ve planned to do at the sales kick-off is excellent, what really matters is that the team learns, retains, and applies what they learned at the event. To ensure everyone on the team has access to whatever was being taught during the training, have a single repository that has everything from the sales kick-off. Be it the session recordings, training materials, or product updates, have everything in one place. That way, if you decide to have more sales folks join you as the year progresses, you can share the link to the repository and help them self-learn.
One solution that we have found to be extremely helpful here is Digital Sales Rooms. DSRs enable you to share tons of information in a single place. You can easily share the content with a unique link that also helps you track a person’s progress in exploring the content shared.
Since learning and development are a significant part of an SKO, we are dedicating our fourth and final post to this topic. Stay tuned.
💡 TIP - Turn your pre-SKO onboarding training room into the post-SKO digital sales room, making it easier for your sales team to access all the materials in a single place.
Technology, when used well, can transform your sales kick-off into an amazing event to engage, motivate, and boost your sellers to achieve better results. However, with tons of tools available at your disposal today, it is easy to get confused about what tech is an absolute necessity and which one is a nice-to-have.
Download the Essential Guide to a Successful Sales Kick Off. Interested in how Enable Us can help your sales kick off - book a personal demo today to learn more.