We just wrapped our Seismic Sales Kickoff 2021 and, wow, what an incredible event! The internal energy levels were off the charts. We went fully digital. We hosted two half days over two time zones. We kept most sessions to 20 minutes or less. We had amazing internal and external speakers, including the first female NFL assistant coach, Katie Sowers, and an inspirational speaker, Chris Nikic, the first person with Down Syndrome to complete an Ironman. We hosted skits, “WFH fails,” “burning questions,” a talent show, and happy hours. And we live chatted non-stop throughout the two days. In short, we came together as a team and had a fun, inspiring, and engaging time together.
The theme for this year’s event was simple: One team. One mission. It took root during months of collaboration and planning across the executive leadership team. As a company, Seismic is committed to enabling our customers to succeed by driving deep alignment across their sales, marketing, and customer success teams. We believe that the power of our platform lies in empowering our customers to unite their sales and marketing teams in sharing compelling stories that unlock fast, sustainable growth.
Bringing the theme to life: One team. One mission.
Each speaker at SKO worked back to the same theme. The message of “One team. One mission” started with Seismic co-founder and CEO Doug Winter’s keynote and was echoed in subsequent sessions led by other members of Seismic’s executive leadership team.
“The objective was to create a mosaic where each leader’s session offers a unique perspective on the year ahead, but aligns with and reinforces the core message about One team. One mission.”Michael Londgren | Chief Marketing Officer
Marketing and sales leadership spoke about the importance of synergy between go-to-market (GTM) teams and discussed how the close partnership on pipeline generation embodies the spirit of this year’s SKO. “Enterprise selling is a team sport. To get a deal done, it truly takes a team effort. If the salesperson is the quarterback, they get the spotlight; but underneath, there’s a team and no deal gets done without the help of 15 or 20 people along the way,” said Ed Calnan, Seismic’s co-founder and Chief Revenue Officer.
That sentiment was reiterated by Seismic’s Chief Marketing Officer Michael Londgren, who shared that synergy was an important component of the messaging at SKO, but also critical to successful collaboration in the coming fiscal year. He noted, “It’s the beginning of the year—an opportunity to drive alignment across sales, marketing, customer success, product, and operations on our vision for the coming year.”
Adapting to a fully digital event
This year’s SKO was different from previous years. “Last year, with everyone moving to virtual selling, was a tough year. We wanted to make sure that we motivate and connect people, while still having fun,” said Irina Soriano, Head of Enablement at Seismic. She and her team partnered with sales, marketing, and field marketing to plan this year’s entirely virtual event. The group used employee surveys, over months of planning, to settle on an agenda for SKO.
The biggest factors in producing an entirely virtual event were to attract and maintain attention while avoiding technical flare-ups. “It’s tough to keep engagement, so we decided to have short sessions—20-30 minute keynotes. We built in fun commercial breaks and skits to switch between educational, informative, and entertaining content to re-engage folks who may have tuned out,” noted Soriano.
The planning committee shared a few tips and tricks to retain attention across a two-day, virtual event. “Awards are important for sales and customer success. We spread those throughout the two days, because our colleagues want to see and celebrate their peers.” The team also opted for pre-recorded keynotes and panel discussions to avoid issues with internet connectivity, as well as allowing for more togetherness among all team members on the day of the event.
In the end, the most important facet of the event, whether virtual or not, is the message employees carry into the new fiscal year.
“Your SKO theme sets the tone for the entire year. Keeping people connected to the theme keeps the SKO spirit alive,” said Soriano.
Deep partnership across all teams
Although this year’s SKO was different from in-person events of years past, its impact was the same. Our team embraced creative ways to bring the company together to laugh, be inspired, and celebrate our shared successes. We enjoyed exciting perspectives from motivational speakers, customers, and partners whose messages will help fuel our mission as we gear up for the new fiscal year. With day two in the books, we’re excited for one last opportunity to reflect on our successes from the previous year. Ed Calnan put it best, “The hard thing about sales is that you always start at zero. We’ll celebrate last year’s wins for a little bit, and we’ll continue to move forward.” One team. One mission.
We’d like to invite you to join us for our next virtual adventure, Seismic Digital Shift—sales enablement’s biggest industry and customer event, coming to a laptop near you, March 24-25, 2021. Register today!