Sales kickoff events are a great opportunity to motivate and energize your sales team. They can be a time for new goals to be set, strategies to be planned, and relationships to be strengthened. But if you want your sales kickoff event to be truly unforgettable, there are six essential elements you need to include.
Consider this your guide to creating and throwing the most spectacular sales kickoff event in your company’s history!
What is a sales kickoff event?
A sales kickoff event is a meeting or conference that is typically held at the beginning of a new sales year. Its purpose is to bring together the entire sales team (or department) to review the previous year’s successes, set new goals for the upcoming year, and unveil any new products or services.
Sales kickoff events can last anywhere from a few hours to a few days, depending on the size and scope of the event. They often include keynote speeches, breakout sessions, networking opportunities, and social events.
Why are sales kickoff events important?
Sales kickoff events are important because they provide an opportunity for sales teams to come together and get on the same page for the year ahead. They also give salespeople a chance to learn about any new products or services that they’ll be selling, and to hear motivational speeches from company leaders.
In addition, sales kickoff events can be a great opportunity for networking. Salespeople can meet and connect with colleagues from other parts of the country (or world), and build relationships that will last long after the event is over.
How to prepare for a sales kickoff event
If you’re responsible for planning a sales kickoff event, there are a few things you need to do to make sure it’s successful. First, you’ll need to set a budget and determine the dates, location, and duration of the event.
Next, you’ll need to decide on the format of the event. Will it be a traditional conference with keynote speeches and breakout sessions? Or will it be more informal, with networking events and social activities?
Finally, you’ll need to start booking speakers, making travel arrangements, and promoting the event to your sales team. The more prepared you are, the smoother the event will go!
How to choose a theme for your sales kickoff event
One of the most important decisions you’ll make when planning a sales kickoff event is choosing a theme. The right theme can set the tone for the entire event and help to make it more memorable.
So, rather than just having your average run of the mill conference, try and implement a theme that runs through all your activities.
This could include things like:
• The Wild West
• The Roaring 20s
• Las Vegas
There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to choosing a theme, but try and pick something that will get your sales team excited and engaged.
How to set the agenda for your sales kickoff event?
The agenda for your sales kickoff event will depend on the format of the event. If you’re having a traditional conference, then you’ll need to plan for keynote speeches, breakout sessions, and networking opportunities.
On the other hand, if you’re planning a more informal event, then your agenda might include social events, team-building activities, and training sessions.
No matter what type of event you’re planning, be sure to leave some time for networking. This is an important part of any sales kickoff event, as it gives salespeople a chance to connect with each other and build relationships.
How to make your sales kickoff event unforgettable
Now that you know what a sales kickoff event is and why it’s important, it’s time to learn how to make yours unforgettable! Here are six essential elements to include:
1.Have a keynote address at the beginning that sets the tone
The way you start your event dictates the mood and enthusiasm that follows. If you start by scaring everyone with big objectives and threats, you’ll instantly lose the engagement of your employees. So, it’s important to set the tone with a keynote address that is both motivational and inspirational.
This doesn’t mean you need to bring in a celebrity speaker or hire a professional comedian (although, both of those would certainly get people’s attention). Just find someone who can deliver a message that will energize and excite your sales team.
Make it punchy, fun, full of visuals (photos and videos are always big hits), and give everything a positive spin.
2.Host fun and interactive breakout sessions
No one wants to sit in a room and listen to someone talk at them for hours on end. So, make sure your event includes some fun and interactive breakout sessions.
These could include things like panel discussions, roundtable discussions, workshops, or even just casual networking opportunities. The key is to keep people engaged and allow them to interact with each other.
Some of the best interactive breakout sessions include:
• Dragon’s den – invent a product and try and “sell” it to a panel of judges
• Speed networking – similar to speed dating, but with a business twist
• Product demonstrations – get people excited about your products by letting them get creative on presentation styles
• Model UN – let your team break into groups and come up with arguments to support a topic that they will then come back and debate
3.Plan social events and activities
One great way to do this is by planning social events and activities. The key is to find something that will get people out of their comfort zones and allow them to interact with each other in a fun and relaxed setting.
So, be sure to include some social events and activities in your agenda. This could include things like happy hours, dinners, group outings, pub quizzes, or even just informal networking opportunities.
This is also the ideal time to add in competitive events for your team members. Not only will this get them more involved, but it will also help them hone in on their intuitive sales skills. After all, this is a competitive industry, right?
4.Make it exclusive
The best sales kickoff events are the ones that feel exclusive and VIP. This could mean anything from providing gift bags and swag to holding the event at a luxurious hotel or resort.
Whatever you do, make sure your sales team feels like they’re part of something special. This will make them more likely to remember the event and continue working hard long after it’s over.
5.Give out awards and prizes
Everyone loves a good award ceremony, so be sure to include one at your sales kickoff event. This is a great way to show your employees that you appreciate their hard work and give them something to strive for.
Awards can be given out for things like top sales performers, most improved salesperson, best new hire, etc. You can also give out prizes like gift cards, vacations, or even just bragging rights.
6.Have a post-event plan
Your sales kickoff event doesn’t end when the last person leaves the conference room. In fact, it’s important to have a post-event plan to ensure that your employees are able to put what they’ve learned into action.
This could include things like follow-up training sessions, coaching calls, or even just a dedicated space for employees to share best practices and ideas. Whatever you do, make sure you have a plan in place to help your team continue growing and developing.
Should you have an in-person sales kickoff event or a virtual one?
This is a difficult question to answer as it depends on a number of factors, including your budget, the size of your sales team, and the geographical location of your employees.
If you have the budget for it, an in-person event is always going to be more impactful. However, if you have a large sales team or your employees are located in different parts of the world, a virtual event may be more practical.
With the pandemic changing the way we communicate with each other at work, virtual events have become more popular. And while they may not be ideal, they can still be successful if you put in the effort to make them interactive and engaging.
So, what’s the verdict? If you can swing it, go for an in-person event. However, if you can’t, a virtual event is still better than nothing. Just make sure to put in the extra effort to make it special and personable.
Ultimately, the decision comes down to what will work best for your company and your employees. Consider all of the factors before making a decision.
Start planning your sales kickoff event with confidence
Planning any event can be daunting, especially one that sets the tone for the rest of the year.
Just remember that the goal is to make your team members excited for the year ahead and ready to do their absolute best to create sales for the company. That means showing them just how vital and appreciated they are by the company. Make it engaging and fun, and you’ll start the year on the right foot.
By following these tips, you can be sure that your sales kickoff event will be one that your employees will never forget!
Contact us today to see how we can help you make your sales kickoff amazing!