5 Things All Sales Leaders Need To Do At This Year’s Sales Kickoff

Your sales kickoff sets the tone for the year, so it's imperative that you adopt best practices to inspire and motivate your sales team. Aside from fun team building activities and having a great agenda, here are 5 things sales leaders can do to ensure they have a productive and successful sales kickoff. 


Communicate Goals 


Sales kickoff is your chance to talk to your team about new company goals and sales targets, and how you plan to achieve them. If you're changing territories, comp plans, and/or quotas, take this time to explain the reasoning behind the changes; and don't forget to use data to prove your case. Assure your team that the goals you have are actually attainable and that you are doing what you can to set them up for success. 


Analyze Past Performance 


Reflecting on the previous year or quarter will not only help you identify top sellers (who should be recognized and celebrated at your sales kickoff meetings), but will also show you opportunities for improvement. Look at your wins and losses, look at the territories and teams that performed well and those that didn't to see what knowledge can be gained from all of your performance and plan data. Come to kickoff prepared to talk about why you think things went well in some areas, and not so well in others, and how to plan to improve things this year. 


Keep Open Communication 


There's a huge difference between a lecture and a presentation, and nothing is less motivating to your sales team than sitting through a lecture at your kickoff meetings. To avoid this, make sure your presentations (and any guest speaker's presentations) include captivating slides, interesting stories, and allow for audience participation. Keep your team engaged by mixing up some different presentation styles. For some pointers, check out Hubspot's article on 6 different presentation styles that are effective and easy to adopt. 


Compile a Flexible Agenda 


Going into sales kickoff without an agenda would be completely insane, but it would also be insane to have an agenda you can't adjust. While it's important to have a schedule and structure, you also want to be sure that you create an agenda that leaves room for adjustments. Nothing is worse than having to stop short on discussions because you have to adhere to a strict agenda. This year, leave room for sessions that might run a little longer by planning for longer breaks that you can "borrow" time from, that way you and your team can focus on the topics they really want to discuss. 


Create a Post Kickoff Plan 


Don't just set and forget your team after kickoff, Jim Lane from Artizen Sales offers some great tips for post-event activities to ensure you keep the sales kickoff momentum going in this guest blog


Getting your sales team together for kickoff is very valuable, yet can be quite stressful for those putting together the event. While you're busy trying to pack a years worth of information into a few days, remember these meetings are meant to inspire and motivate your team, so don't forget to have a little fun! 


Alex Dwyer

Written by Alex Dwyer

Alex is the Senior Marketing Manger at OpsPanda who has an extensive background in running dynamic marketing programs for tech startups. Considered a “marketing athlete” by her colleagues, Alex enjoys working closely with Sales teams to ensure the successful alignment of both the Sales and Marketing departments. In her spare time she can be found thinking about, talking about or being at Soul Cycle, as well as reading New York Times Best Sellers and planning her next global adventure.