How To Plan For An Impactful SKO Sales Meeting
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Setting the tone for the year ahead is an important part of running a successful and cohesive company. It’s important to ensure that all team members are on the same page when it comes to reaching goals and sales targets. This is where a Sales Kickoff Meetings (SKO Meetings) come into play.
What Is A Sales Kickoff Meeting?
A sales kick off meeting, or SKO meeting is an annual meeting that execs typically hold at the beginning of the fiscal year. It’s a meeting that allows your sales team to show strategy and set goals for the upcoming year. While most SKO Meetings are held in January or February to align with the calendar year, these meetings are typically held at the start of your organization’s fiscal year.
The purpose of this annual event is to set goals that the team members will work towards during the upcoming year. It not only ensures that the entire team is on the same page, but these meetings can also include new initiatives, training, team building activities, and breakout sessions.
Not all SKO sales meetings are created equal! Some can be extremely engaging and informative while others can leave your team bored and unmotivated. It’s important to consider the ways in which you can engage and motive your team members in your sales or revenue kickoff meetings.
Why Host a Sales Kickoff Event?
An annual sales kickoff meeting can be a great way to start off the year. It enables you to inform your sales titans what is expected in the next 12 months from a performance standpoint, and establish solid, actionable goals to achieve.
How Do You Plan a SKO Meeting
Think a sales kick off meeting is a great next step for your business and sales team? It’s time to start planning one. Following these steps can help you create the best sales kickoff meeting for your team as we head into the new year.
But before we jump into what the meeting should contain, if you decide to use a presentation (Which you should) you need a solid, professional sales tool to engage your team. A professional presentation or pitch deck cost may be more reasonable than you think, and is most certainly worth the investment.
Things To Haver In Place Before the Meeting
Establish Your Goals
A successful sales kickoff starts with setting your goals for the meeting. As sales leaders, you must think about what you want to accomplish in your meeting in order to have a clear planning strategy.
Identify And Form Your Kickoff Planning Committee
If you are leading larger sales teams, you may consider forming a kick off planning committee in order to plan the meeting more efficiently. The kickoff planning committee is not just sales staff. You might recruit senior sales reps, someone from the marketing team, customer success managers, and some administrative staff to help brainstorm new strategies and agenda items in the planning process.
Building a great committee will better equip you to run an effective and successful SKO meeting for your sales team.
Consider Your Kickoff Audience
When planning your sko meeting, be sure to consider your audience. Do you have a sales team of seasoned reps? Maybe you’ll include higher goals that will encourage healthy competition. Or, do you have a newer sales staff? Consider including more training sessions and breakout sessions that will help with building rapport.
Another thing to remember is your objectives. Your objectives should be clear and should stay the same whether your meeting is in person or virtual.
Think about what you want your team to walk away with. Are they focusing on learning new skills? Are they getting updated on the company’s goals for the year? Whatever the objective is, be sure that your objectives are clearly set out when you begin planning.
Define Expected Outcomes and Metrics
Along with your objectives, you should include specific and measurable outcomes or metrics to keep track of during and after the meeting. Ahead of the meeting, look at the previous year and what could be improved.
Maybe you want to encourage the team and give them something special to show that they’re appreciated. Offering company swag, hosting a happy hour, or playing games in smaller groups can help accomplish this!
Create An Agenda And Think Through Your Program Elements
When you go into the sales kickoff, you will want to have a very strong understanding of how the event will play out.
Strategic and effective planning will help you run a successful kickoff meeting for the coming year.
Decide on Content Themes
One of the most important steps in planning a sales kickoff meeting is to establish a theme that will run throughout the entire event. Like any meeting, you don’t want to have important details and themes get lost in the extra fluff or in conflicting details.
With these whole team meetings, you might benefit from sticking to big picture themes that promote knowledge, training, motivation, and team work. Whatever you choose, make sure that you have a clear idea of what you want the attendees to remember when they leave.
Focus on Logistics
Whether your meeting is in person, virtual or is a hybrid event, you will have some logistics to consider. For virtual or hybrid meetings, you’ll have to think about technology, video conferencing platforms, time differences, camera, and monitors. We’ve got a comprehensive article on virtual presentation tips.
For in-person events, you’ll have to think about location, space, food or drink, seating, and presentation requirements. You may also need to consider cost-effective additions to your meeting. These logistics may seem small and insignificant, but will actually have an impact if done poorly.
Plan Your Agenda
Along with developing a central theme, you will want to plan a strong and detailed agenda. A great sales kickoff agenda should include some of the following details:
Including these agenda items will keep your attendees engaged from the beginning and make your event a success!
Review, Rehearse, Refine
When you run a meeting, it’s important to be prepared and have a very strong understanding of what you will be saying. If you want to engage your team members, it’s best to not be glued to your notes.
Know your information, but don’t be afraid to go off book if the discussion moves in a different direction. A smooth and well spoken presenter will mean your attendees will be more engaged at your team event.
As well, creating an eye catching PowerPoint presentation will help keep information at the top of mind and engage your audience.
Here's One We Made Earlier
What Should Do During The SKO Meeting?
Go Where The Discussion Goes
As stated above, flexibility can be extremely important during sales kickoff meetings. While sticking within certain time frames will help keep things on track, don’t be afraid to go a little off track if someone asks a a though provoking question. Listening to your audience can be an effective way to engage with them, Its gives you the opportunity to motivate and show support. After all, you want to set them up to be successful throughout the year.
What Should Do After The SKO Meeting?
LEARN FROM EXPERIENCE AND GET REAL TIME FEEDBACK
There will always be things to consider for next year, next quarter, or next week. As a team leader, it’s important to address any questions asked in the meeting. Provide support and leave your team feeling confident they know what to expect in the coming year.
A great company is always looking for ways to improve. After you’ve held your kick off event, it’s important to continue learning and growing so that year after year, you can host successful and engaging meetings.
You might consider sending out an experience survey to employees or by asking team members in person what they thought about the event. Feedback will help you make strong changes and create a better kick off meeting for next year.