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Sales Kickoff Planning: Is Your Event Adding Value?

Oct 12th, 2017


Regardless of how your sales team performed this year, chances are your goals for next year will be even higher. Most companies organize an annual (or bi-annual) sales kickoff event to recap the previous selling period and prepare for the year ahead. This is the time for sales enablement and sales leaders to motivate and unite their teams to achieve the goals that they’ve set for the upcoming year.

“Sales kickoff starts a new year and serves as a launching pad for everything your team will look to achieve in the months that follow. But in order for it to be useful, it requires a significant amount of preparation and strategic thinking upfront,” says Jenn Haskell, Brainshark’s director of sales enablement.

This excerpt below from our exclusive eBook, The Ultimate Guide to Sales Kickoff Readiness & Planning, highlights the importance of assigning pre-work so on the day of the event sales reps are primed and ready to reinforce what they’ve already learned.

Design Pre-Work and Onsite Activities

To maximize the value your sellers get from sales kickoff, it’s important to prioritize key learning and reinforcement opportunities at the event. Assign pre-work to ensure sellers are adequately trained beforehand so there’s more time for team building exercises, peer-to-peer learning, and breakout sessions during the day. This makes for a much more engaging and exciting sales kickoff, allowing you to make the most of your reps’ time.

Let’s say your company is launching a new product. Sales kickoff is not the time to go over every new feature; it should be a culmination of the learning that’s already taken place. Before the event, assign pre-work so reps can learn the new product and its features. Share online learning content for sellers to review, and encourage them to practice the new messaging so they can be certified on the material beforehand, or to accelerate certification during the event.

Related: Before, During, After: Ideas for Planning Your Sales Kickoff Meeting with Sales Enablement Technology

Assigning pre-work also holds sales managers accountable; no one wants to show up with unprepared reps. Doing the practice and reinforcement in person will create a sense of urgency and competition across the sales force.

Sales readiness technology makes it simple to assign and track pre-work. For example, GE Digital used Brainshark to roll out video-based content as pre-work for their sales kickoff event. Executives were able to see that 85% of their reps completed their pre-work training prior to the event.

For more sales kickoff planning tips, download the full eBook: The Ultimate Guide to Sales Kickoff Readiness & Planning.