How to Bring the SKO Hype to Q2 and Beyond
It is no secret that Sales Kickoffs (SKOs) are pretty special. It is the reason why year after year, companies continue to invest in these events. Nothing is quite like the spirit and energy of a sales rep with a fresh slate, a new quota to hit, and the motivation to be a top performer for the upcoming year. It’s infectious!
But in an early brainstorming session during the planning of my very first SKO, a teammate posed an interesting question to the group that defined our focus in a different way.
“How do we want the attendees to feel when they leave SKO and are back out in the field?”
SKO’s across different organizations often have different themes, agendas, and goals. However, one thing that almost always rings true is how Enablement wants the attendees leaving event.
So how do you keep these feelings on the forefront of your seller’s brain beyond just the few days following SKO? How do you bring the motivation and excitement to your entire fiscal year? Here are some ways Seismic’s Enablement Team are keeping that SKO energy a part of all of our Enablement services and initiatives and keeping that energy throughout our sales team.
According to the Social Science Research Network, 65% of people are visual learners. If you really want someone to remember what you said, use a visual. Whether it be an epic picture of a mountain to signify the obstacles your team has overcame this past year or (as our sales leadership is known to use) an iconic photo of Muhammad Ali on an early morning run, these pictures leave us with a certain feeling. By bringing these photos into future sales meetings, QBRs, virtual workshops or emails to the team after a big win, these visuals can help drive that SKO spirit beyond the first quarter.
Salespeople don’t necessarily love homework. Not a complete shocker there. However, if you want to get people thinking back to the main event, a little post-work or even a mid-year certification never hurt anybody! If a seller begins to expect these post-SKO “to-dos”, you will find them more engaged and dialed in than ever before. You may get some grumbles here and there, but if you make it a regular part of your cadence, you will find that most Sellers want to improve their craft and will leverage the chance to do so.
Revisit Your Theme
Why not make your theme live beyond SKO? A monthly article about the theme and highlight some rock stars on the team, or rebranded monthly sales meetings to reflect that theme, will reinforce the learnings you capitalized on at SKO. Either way – the more you bring the theme into the rest of the year, the more that energy will be brought in as well. These can be subtle or obvious but the more they see it, the more the energy will shine through.
Support from the A-Players
A-Players. Every sales organization has them. They are the sellers who are constantly exceeding quota, scoring big deals, and most likely they have a strong social selling game. These are the people that the new sellers walking in the door want to emulate. Aligning with these sellers will push your methods and ideas through the entire organization. Chances are, they want to better align themselves with you as well. Who doesn’t want to be in the know on Enablement initiatives coming down the pipeline?
Having a group of internal ‘enablement advocates’ has been crucial to our team’s recent success. Seismic Enablement gathers a group of the top sellers and brings them in for quarterly meetings. Not only will this group give it to you straight with feedback directly from the field, they will also be your biggest champions in helping to bring the SKO energy throughout the entire year.
Sales Leadership Buy-in
Last and certainly not least is having executive sponsorship. At the end of the day, Sellers listen most closely to Sales Leadership. Making sure that you align your theme, messaging and imagery with your team is crucial in making it stick and making it last far beyond SKO. There is no greater way to fire up a team then a late Sunday night email from a Sales Leader, motivating and preparing the squad for a brand-new month. And if he or she can incorporate some of the excitement of SKO in that email, even better.
In a world where more and more events are being cancelled and moved to a virtual format, it is important to make your sure you make your Sales Kickoffs as impactful as can be. The only thing better than the feeling a seller has post Sales Kickoff is the feeling an Enablement team will have when they bring that SKO energy far beyond Q1.