As Q4 draws closer to its end, sales leaders should start thinking about and planning for the next year. The coming year will present your sales team with higher quotas, more difficult prospects and longer sales cycles.
To make sure your reps are adequately prepared for everything that lies ahead of them, you have to set a strong foundation at the beginning of the year. A solid sales kickoff will provide valuable training, learning, and internal networking opportunities for your sales reps to make sure they are prepared for the coming year.
Here are 5 steps you can take to make the most of your sales kickoff:
- Create an agenda
As you plan your sales kickoff, create an agenda detailing each event, its time, expected duration, and purpose or learning objective. Creating an agenda that you can distribute to each kickoff participant allows you to set expectations for the kickoff and prepares reps for what’s in store. Additionally, detailing each event encourages consensus among the leaders of the kickoff around the desired learning objectives and facilitates discussion about what skills reps should walk away with. Try to have a variety of presentations and speakers on your agenda to keep things fresh.
- Plan engaging and team-focused activities
Collaborative activities will boost interest among sales reps and will help them learn. A couple ways to combat short attention spans and increase engagement include having a sales kickoff theme and scheduling some fun team-building games. In addition to keeping everyone interested, team-building games will increase trust among your reps and other team members, creating a more collaborative work environment.
- Make time for breaks
A sales kickoff is all about teaching your team useful skills to take the new year by storm. However, you should schedule some time for non-work related activities as well—for example, a catered lunch or a post-kickoff happy hour. It’s important to have casual, less forced events for people to get to know each other in a laid-back atmosphere.
- Encourage continuous learning
After the sales kickoff, make sure your reps aren’t falling into old habits. Sales leaders should meet with their reps regularly to ensure that they have the resources and abilities to successfully apply skills learned at the kickoff. Leaders should provide their reps with access to just-in-time content so that they have the specific sales content necessary for relevant sales conversations.
- Enable sales reps with technology
In addition to supplying reps with the resources and processes needed to succeed year-round, sales leaders must also provide their reps with the technology needed to sell successfully. Predictive content solutions allow reps to access case-specific training and sales materials where they spend most of their time—within CRM or email. Furthermore, sales leaders can use predictive content to track training collateral usage so they can recommend the most successful collateral to their reps.
Planning a sales kickoff is hard work. But making sure that the kickoff is productive and its takeaways stick with reps year-round is even more challenging. Following these five steps can help you make sure that your reps can make the most out of the kickoff, succeed year-round, and crush the competition.