As another fiscal year winds down and preparations and projections are made for a new quarter, companies may opt to pump up their sales force with sales kick off, or SKO. Typically taking place in January or February, SKOs are a great way to celebrate achievements in the past period, set expectations for the new year, and align teams on strategies for success.
Whether you have a small sales team or thousands of reps, your kickoff meeting should excite and empower your salesforce to hit goals while encouraging bonding among employees. This may seem like a tall order, especially as most of these meetings will be virtual. But we know with the right planning and considerations, you can take your virtual SKO to the next level.
Here are five tips to have a cohesive, meaningful, and engaging SKO event virtually:
1. Unite Your Team with Excitement
Start off by showcasing star employees from previous quarters and celebrating individual and collective wins. Building on those success stories, set the bar high for the coming months with goals that can grow your business. Inspire your seasoned crew and newcomers alike with sincere messaging that makes an emotional impression.
Remember this meeting is creating the steam for the engine that will run all year – passion is key! You may even take this opportunity to launch new products to motivate employees, giving them a toolkit to sell, sell, sell!
2. Get Connected
A challenge in the virtual event space compared to in-person experiences can be engagement through team bonding and activities. But virtual game options have come a long way! Gamification is a fun tactic that encourages event participants to network and engage with others in exchange for earned points, rank, or other rewards. Often, it’s a form of network engagement, where the takeaway is meeting others who you may have not otherwise met.
Check out this blog to learn how a large data and AI company used gamification during their five-day SKO meeting. A custom-created group scavenger hunt offered next-level fun, light competition, and engagement throughout their virtual event platform. This type of rewarding networking gives attendees something to look forward to while actively participating in the event and with each other.
3. Share Meaningful Sessions
Your virtual SKO meeting is valuable. Don’t risk screen time fatigue by sharing anything less than meaningful sessions. Deepen connectivity with breakout rooms for networking. Our native Join feature allows for collaborative virtual sessions that are organized and engaging. These breakout rooms are perfect for sharing new product features, discussing sales strategies, hosting Q&As or celebrating award winners on camera. Tailor your sessions to your audiences and pack them with dense information that directly applies to their work. During each session, allow attendees to interact by posting emoticons, engaging with polls, and chatting with one another in virtual chat rooms.
Another way to keep your shared sessions meaningful is to remember less is more. Keep your sessions – whether pre-recorded, live, or simu-live – less than 60 minutes. Focus on the meat of your message and remember that too much information all at once can be overwhelming. Change up the virtual session experience with breakouts, Q&As, special presenter cameos, and other branded visual stimulation to help everyone stay attentive.
4. Content is Still King
Remember, your content matters, especially to your employees. Throughout your SKO, your on-brand content is so important to the impression you leave on your sales force. Successful content should excite your audience with an on-brand voice and tone throughout the event. Having an event theme can help with this as consistent branding and messaging keeps content cohesive.
Your content should also provide useful information such as specific sales goals, quarterly expectations, new strategies, and other educational sales tools your team can use. Similarly, leverage content to make announcements and generate buzz around new products and services that may be unveiled at your SKO. Big announcements serve as great teasers to captivate attention. Our virtual in-platform countdowns and push notifications can help build this anticipation and excitement.
5. Continue Training
Ensure your employees keep the momentum going after the SKO ends! A virtual platform is prime for revisiting vital content. Allow attendees access to SKO downloads, re-watch keynotes, see showcase recorded testimonials, and get product updates on demand. Not only does this give your content longevity, but it keeps it keeps a tool kit so to speak at your team’s fingertips.
You can also plan for recurring sales trainings to keep information fresh. These meetings or sessions can reinforce concepts and goals presented in the SKO as you move toward various target points throughout the year.
Developing a powerful virtual SKO is possible when you stay focused. Make each event component about your salespeople and your business’s unique goals for the next quarter and beyond. Unify with excitement, encourage connectivity, share meaningful sessions, leverage on-brand and essential content, and follow through to drive momentum afterwards.
Are you ready to kick start the new year with a successful SKO meeting? Let the professionals at MeetingPlay help you. Together, we can collaborate to create custom solutions to help inspire and motivate your sales team in the next year and beyond. With our white-glove service, we aim deliver an impactful, virtual event that helps our clients focus on unique, branded messaging, build lasting connections with partners and prospects, and energizes your team to meet goals.