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What You Can Learn From How We Run Our Annual Sales Kickoff Event

annual-sales-kickoff-event

Our Annual Sales Kickoff is next week.

To celebrate, we thought it’d be fun to give you an inside look at what goes into the construction of our event.

2023 could be a rough year financially for everyone, so we hope this information can help smooth out the ride.

We can’t snap our fingers and make money magically appear in your pockets — although we sure wish we could — but there may be some useful tactics here to help get your team in a better position to succeed.

So let’s get to them:

Why Hold a Sales Kickoff Event In The First Place?

If you know you’re about to enter rough waters, you’re going to want to properly motivate your team and get them excited about the challenges ahead. 

A Sales Kickoff event is primarily held to train and empower the sales team. But. It also serves as a gathering point for the entire RevOps team, where all are welcome to share updates on what we're all working on. This is because we want to highlight the importance of the RevOps and Sales Team, working together, to reach our quotas for the year ahead.

In his book, “Drive,” the author Daniel Pink identifies three ways in which to properly motivate your team: Autonomy, Mastery, and Purpose. 

The Sales Kickoff Event, when designed properly, can help give your entire team, Sales and RevOps, the key to unlocking each of these three skills and working with each other to strengthen them.

A successful company trains their employees to be autonomous, develop the skills they need to master their current role, and a purpose to keep showing up every day.

In the age of Quiet Quitting, holding a sales kickoff event can be the difference between having a sales team that’s going to do the minimum, and a sales team that’s highly motivated to do the most it can to help the company succeed.

A Successful Sales Kickoff Event Establishes Purpose

Events like this provide an opportunity for the management and leadership team to explain the WHY behind everything that’s being done. Understanding and appreciating that WHY is what gives your team purpose and, hopefully, the motivation to complete their tasks successfully.

At Cirrus Insight, we help give sales professionals their time back. With just one example, our team scheduling and email blast features allow sales professionals to reach more potential prospects in less time, and removes the headache we all know and love of the back and forth emails to set up a time to meet.

successful-sales-kickoff-event

This time we free up can then be used by those professionals to expand their skillset. This is a huge win for both the individual and for the company they work for.

So, there’s a purpose for doing what we do that goes beyond selling you software.

If we just relied on explaining the features of Cirrus Insight, and not the benefit, that’s not something that motivates employees. “It saves you time” is a good start.”But “It saves you time that you can use to reinvest in yourself and close more deals” is better. There’s a reason we can all get behind. Who doesn’t want to close more deals and make more money while helping others? That’s the gold standard of capitalism. 

The Why is also critically important because having a shared purpose is what builds team unity. 

We’re all moving in the right direction, toward the same goal, and this is a goal that’s going to help people live more meaningful lives, because time is a finite resource, and being able to give it back to people is incredibly powerful.

That’s the kind of message you can rally and unify the troops behind.

Do you see the difference?

There’s a huge difference between selling salesforce productivity software, which we do and we do well, and selling technology that will legitimately help someone solve a problem we all have: Needing more time in their day. And then, not only giving them that time, but also leading with the suggestion of how to spend it in order to make themselves, and their company, more money. A thing we all want.

The benefit. And the universality of why that benefit matters, is what makes it special and establishes purpose.

Autonomy and Crystal Clear Communication

The most successful, and properly motivated, employees have a crystal clear picture of how the company is doing, what it needs to be doing, and what steps they can take to help the company to achieve its goals.

Again, this sounds simple enough, but simple often isn’t the reality. We can’t stress enough how important transparency is in establishing good communication among the team.

During our Sales Kickoff event, we want to make it known what our revenue targets are, and how that breaks down for each sales team member on a monthly, quarterly, and annual basis. 

We also let the sales team know all the different options and levers they can pull if they need help. 

So this way, you don’t have any member of the team that gets to the end of the quarter and is in danger of missing their target. Everyone is up front with what we need to do, and how, and we have solutions available in place for team members who need them.

crystal-clear-communication

In addition, during our sales kickoff event, it’s also an opportunity for all departments, not just sales, to share what they’re working on to help the sales team achieve its goals. 

For example, when we do our upcoming sales kickoff event next week, yours truly is going to present on what the overall Content Strategy is for 2023. In that presentation, I’m going to explain how the content provides material for the sales team to utilize in their efforts to bolster their chances of success. But it’s not just marketing that presents at a Sales Kickoff Event.

There are also presentations by Customer Experience, for example, who talks about what they’ve got going on. And that presentation is then followed up by the IT team. And then the Product Team. You get the point. But just for emphasis: Everyone comes together to share information so that the Sales Team has a full picture of the year ahead and how we can help each other reach our goals.

What’s this got to do with autonomy? Everything.

Because happy, motivated team members are also autonomous. 

And you can’t have full autonomy to work on your job without knowing the who, what, when, why, and how of the company

That’s why our Annual Sales Kickoff events are designed for crystal clear information sharing from all parties. Because the more knowledge you have as a sales team member, the easier it is for you to explain, communicate, and convince prospects to work with us versus any other company or option.

This knowledge allows sales team members to work independently and hit their targets, but also to know where and who they can go to for help when it’s needed.

Mastery Of The Skills Needed to Succeed

If you’re reading this article closely, you’ll notice I said that Cirrus Insight’s software is designed to give professionals their time back in order to invest in themselves and upgrade their current skill sets. That’s something we do internally as well, which brings us to Daniel Pink’s last point about training employees to be properly motivated: Mastery.

Believe it or not: No Sales Person pops out of a box fully formed and ready to give Alec Baldwin’s character in Glengarry Glen Ross a run for his money in closing deals. 

A successful sales team is one that is constantly learning and honing the skills they need to succeed. And the best way to do that is in a friendly, safe, and welcoming environment provided by the company. A Sales Kickoff Event is a perfect opportunity to do just that.

These events are also a great opportunity for the management and leadership team.

There’s a lot of pre-work that goes into these events. And part of that involves management getting together and figuring out what skills are needed to hit the new revenue targets, or reach new business types that the company previously hasn’t tried to bring in. 

mastery-of-skills

Once the leadership team gets on the same page, those skills can be identified and proper training can be offered.

But you’ll note I said “proper” training here. That’s because a mistake that’s often taken by other companies is to just bark directions at the sales team. You don’t want to do that. It’s not an effective way to learn. Instead, you want to be as interactive as possible. (We really like the approach Zoom Info took here with incorporating online video, as one example.)

As Dale Carnegie pointed out in “How to Win Friends and Influence People”, the best way to convince and motivate someone to do something is to have them reach the conclusion you want them to reach on their own. Your role then is to provide the guidance, time, and opportunity to help your sales team reach the conclusions you want them to reach.

Find out what the skills are that are needed from the management team. Look at ways those skills are presently being taught (hint: YouTube is a great place to start when searching for new and unique ways to teach something). Then, develop a game plan that involves breaking your sales teams into small groups so that they can work on building those skills together.

We have an article coming up on one particular kind of exercise you can run, but we encourage you to think outside the box. 

As long as you’re not lecturing, and the skills being taught are being taught to small groups who must work together to reach an objective, THAT is the kind of situation you want to strive for during your annual sales kickoff meetings.

Hopefully we’ve provided you with enough information to consider for your upcoming Annual Sales Kickoff Event. And if you’re still looking for more helpful do’s and don’ts for your event, we recommend this terrific resource.

 We’re really looking forward to ours in Raleigh, and we hope you’re looking forward to yours as well. 

It’s a great opportunity to make your sales team happy, motivated, and trained to battle with the tough times ahead.

BJ Mendelson
BJ Mendelson

BJ is a Content Strategist with Cirrus Insight.

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