Three Things EVERY Sales Kickoff Needs

Brain We’ve got Sales Kickoffs on the brain: Lots of our clients start off their year with a big event to galvanize their sales teams and start the year on the right foot. They bring us in to add an educational element to these fun events, taking advantage of having the whole sales organization in the same place to train them up on needed skills or enable them on new products and features. We love SKOs. They are fun to plan and let us create pithy units to create real learning experiences for our clients.

Of course, the content of each SKO is carefully tailored to our clients’ particular pain points: We like to do new product enablement, active listening skills, objection handling games, and more. Here are some things that we think EVERY SKO needs.


We know that your leadership has lots to say, and your message is important. But here’s the other thing we know. If you deliver your message in a way that lets your team put it into practice, they’ll have more fun… and their retention of the material will be much higher.


Run your numbers, and recognize your top performers in front of the whole organization. It will make them feel great, it will remind you of what is going well, and it will drive your team’s work ethic.


You made a schedule and you put presenters on it. But, every year, they run over their time, and the whole event gets derailed. Participants get impatient and irritated, and there’s not enough food. How to solve this? Get every presenter to give at least one dry-run of their presentation a week before the event. This means prior planning, including having the deck done before the much-loved last minute. But it also gives everyone a chance to get their banter down, and makes clear if your CMO is trying to fit 3 hours of material into a 90-minute slot.

So: Draw your team in with interaction. Recognize their efforts with awards. And respect their time with a healthy dose of prior planning.

How are your sales kickoffs going so far this year? If you are in need of a little help… drop us a line!