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Survey Says: Many Sales Kickoffs Don’t Fly

Jan 16th, 2018

It’s sales kickoff (SKO) meeting season – and you’re likely headed to your company’s annual event in the coming weeks. Whether it’s a hit, a miss or something in between often depends on how well-planned and strategic the event is.

We were curious how companies are doing with their SKOs, so we recently conducted a survey of sales professionals to understand their experiences and opinions relative to these meetings.

What we learned is that many organizations conduct SKOs in a vacuum – as discrete events with a distinct beginning and end (and without sufficient pre-work or follow-up). Because of this, they may be missing a major opportunity to gain far more return on investment from their SKOs – by using them as a catalyst to drive sales readiness for the entire selling year, rather than as a point-in-time motivational and training tool.

For example:

  • Three out of four attendees (74%) say their company’s SKO doesn’t merit an “A” grade, while 29% rate it a “C” or below.
  • 62% of companies don’t deliver pre-work to sales representatives in advance of their SKO, and 84% don’t conduct training in advance.
  • Meanwhile, 74% conduct their product and skills training at the kickoff itself, consuming valuable time for work that could have been completed beforehand.
  • 71% of companies don’t deliver post-work or follow-up training to reps to reinforce what was learned, 75% don’t record and share presentation videos, and 28% don’t make presentation slides available at all.

The bottom line is: most organizations do not actively prepare attendees for SKOs, and even fewer conduct proper follow-up to reinforce the lessons learned throughout the year. As a result, companies spend billions of dollars each year on these meetings and get only a fraction of the potential value.

sales enablement, sales kickoff, sales kickoff event, sales reps

The good news is that SKOs represent yet another area where sales enablement can help – and it’s already started. In fact, nearly eight out of 10 companies (79%) with dedicated sales enablement functions utilize those roles to support their sales kickoff events.

If you’re looking for advice on how to improve the ROI of your SKO, you’re in luck: Brainshark recently published an eBook on this topic: The Ultimate Guide to Sales Kickoff Readiness & Planning. It’s full of helpful tips and strategies that can help all organizations score “straight A’s” on their SKO report cards.