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As an organization, what is your top goal? You probably want to generate as much revenue as possible, right? For that, your sales team and your sales processes play a primary role. Hence, your sales team needs to be well-informed, motivated and ready for action.
One great initiative to keep your sales team updated and engaged is a sales kickoff. It lets you evaluate your strategy, inform your sales teams, and encourage them to perform well in the field. Taking this kickoff virtual will ensure you get everyone in the loop, regardless of location and time zones your team is in.
Just like a regular sales kickoff, a virtual kickoff event is a unique opportunity to set the stage for sales performance over the year. In most cases, this is the biggest meeting for an organization. Here, you can launch their sales strategy of the year and also inform your sales teams about future product launches.
Furthermore, this meeting lets your organization set the tone for its sales culture. It is often used as a platform to highlight victories and reward outstanding performances. In addition, it can also serve as a way for your sales employees to communicate with each other and their managers. Therefore, it combines planning, evaluation, and networking in one place. With the virtual version, this place is the online event platform, with all the functionalities of in person events.
There are many reasons why a virtual sales kickoff is the way to go. First of all, you do need to gather your sales teams in one place at least once a year. If your teams are scattered across different locations, this might be difficult. A virtual event lets everyone attend and be part of the proceedings. Working from home or in different locations often means that your team is working in silos, and this virtual sales kickoff the perfect opportunity for you to bring them all together.
Furthermore, a physical event would take ages to plan and would be quite costly. A virtual sales kickoff is a great alternative. You can simply delegate the hard work to your online event hosting platform, and focus on your sales strategies and processes. This will also require a much lower budget and less resources. There are also many other reasons why you should host a sales kickoff regularly.
This is the primary objective of any sales kickoff. So, you can discuss your upcoming sales targets and expectations with your teams. In addition, you’ll evaluate your past performances and future plans, with input from team members. This way, sales strategizing will take place in a responsive and organized manner, with feedback included. Furthermore, employees will know what their targets are over the coming year and can prepare themselves accordingly.
In many cases, your sales team will not all be in one place. Whether your employees are scattered in the same country or all over the word, a virtual platform lets you gather them in one place. If you opt for only a physical event, important team members may miss out if they’re unable to travel and you might lose the opportunity to brief teams in far-off locations. Therefore, a virtual kickoff ensures everyone is on the same page and that there are minimal scheduling conflicts.
If you simply have a presentation about your past sales performance, then the virtual platform is the best place to share it. You can present this data to everyone involved and they can even save and download the information for reference. They can easily review it later, in their own time.
A motivated staff is one of the best tools you can have in your arsenal. A virtual kickoff is the perfect opportunity to instill this motivation. As you go over the past year’s data, you can highlight excellent performances. Then, you can reward the relevant team members, so they feel encouraged to perform even better next year.
It is important for your sales reps to know your products and processes thoroughly. This will equip them with the knowledge they need to convince clients and close deals. A virtual sales kickoff event lets you share all the information your team needs. In addition, you can update them about any planned changes or product updates. You can even hold product demonstrations so that they can get as familiar as possible with the upcoming launches. With a virtual event, your employees can go through this information whenever they want,if they save the relevant documents and presentations.
A company’s values and culture are the backbone . You need to reinforce your values, vision, and mission regularly. If there are any reorientations in these values your employees must know of the changes. A sales kickoff is a great way to communicate with your teams regarding the same. In addition, you can also take this as an opportunity to reinforce HR processes as well as share client communication strategies. This way, your whole team will be on the same page.
Sales teams may not get the opportunity to network among each other much. This is especially true if they’re in different locations, or are often on the field. So, a virtual sales kickoff lets them connect,share their experiences and expertise. In addition, they can even have breakout sessions to discuss specific topics and improve their sales strategies. Not just that, they can simply interact with each other and develop positive professional relationships.
Use the virtual sales kick off to celebrate your sales department. As they are tasked with quite a challenge, they deserve to have their own special day at least once a year. Treat these kickoffs as positive annual events where employees not only prepare themselves for the coming year, but are also celebrated for their efforts. This will ensure that they feel valued and try their best to outdo their performance targets.
In conclusion, there are many benefits and reasons for holding a virtual kickoff event. Therefore, you should plan your own event soon before the new sales calendar begins.
When you host a physical sales kickoff event, there are numerous costs to consider. A major chunk of your budget will simply go into renting a venue. Then, you also have to spend resources and time in setting up the event. At the actual event, you also have to pay for refreshments. In addition, if you have team members flying in from all your locations, you also have to pay for their travel and lodging.
You can avoid all these costs if you go for a virtual event. This way, you can also save a lot of time. You won’t have to do much of the setup yourself. Instead, you can just get an event hosting platform to do it for you and also avail their customer support in case of any technical issues. On top of that, the hosting cost will be much lower. Therefore, you can get more for less. So, a virtual event is much more convenient and less expensive than conventional sales kickoffs.
Now that you know why you should host a virtual sales kickoff, you can move on to planning your own event. It is quite convenient to host one, and the results are quite impressive, especially with the little time and effort you have to put in.
First of all, you should set a budget. Consider how much you’re willing to spend on your sales kickoff, with all planning and implementation costs included. Make sure you have this budget written down with proper allocations, so that you know exactly how much to spend for what aspect. This will be easier than setting a budget for a client-targeted event. This is because you don’t have to consider marketing and outreach costs. So, you can make do with quite a manageable amount.
You need a well-developed sales kickoff agenda. This will map out the entire event plan. Decide whether you want a one-day event or want to hold the kickoff meeting for multiple days. Then, choose what sessions you want at what time. Make sure you space out information-intensive sessions and have breaks and recreational sessions in between. This will offer the attendees some reprieve and help them absorb information more easily.
This is what can make or break your virtual event.You need to choose the right hosting platform for your virtual sales kickoff. There are a number of virtual event hosting companies out there, but you need to make the best possible choice for you. To do this, take a look at platform features, customer support, delivery timeline and interactivity. Also consider how much of the setup you’ll have to do yourself. Some platforms give you the technology solutions to host your event, but with no support or guidance.
Once you pick the right platform, then you should choose the features you want. There are many excellent features which come with standard platform packages. However, if you really want to go all out, opt for some great advanced features as well. These include integrations, upgraded immersive 3D environments, single sign-on, and custom avatars. These will help you host a truly remarkable event which your sales team will remember for ages. In addition, once you get the hang of the event hosting process, you can hold quarterly evaluations on the same platform.
When you have all your features and platform picked out, then you can invite the attendees. As sales kickoffs are internal, this should be fairly simple. You’ll just send out an email invite to your employee inbox and then have everyone check in on the day of the event. These invites should include the date and time, along with the agenda and any registration links and forms. Furthermore, you should send out reminder emails and internal promotional content. This internal promotion may include Slack reminders, messages in internal groups or whatever communication channels you prefer.
If you want, you can also invite external speakers at this stage. They can expand your sales team’s expertise and also add an interesting element. In addition, they‘ll bring something new to the table, which can benefit your sales and revenue statistics.
So, it is fairly simple to host a successful virtual sales kickoff event. Therefore, you should start the process and get ready for your upcoming sales year.
Now that you know how to set up your virtual sales kickoff, you should choose exactly what features you want. While you may have certain requirements of your own, there are a few elements you must include for the best results. These will help you get the engagement and interaction you want. In addition, you can also make plans and set up meetings according to everyone’s convenience. Here are a few features which will serve as the core of your event.
First of all, you need to hold webinars and panel discussions. These will be the main aspects of your sales kickoff. After all, you need to present your strategy, discuss plans, and have meetings with your sales teams. webinars are the best way to go about it. Make sure you include interactive aspects like Q&A sessions and polls to keep the conversation flowing. Furthermore, make the agenda for each webinar clear and record it for future viewing as well.
You need to keep your employees engaged and motivated as well. Therefore, it is important to let them have some fun during the event. Gamify the virtual sales kickoff to make sure they enjoy their time. Start off with a scavenger hunt, so that people relax and are more receptive to information. Also include a virtual photo booth, so that sales reps can upload their pictures, and have a contest where the most popular picture wins. Incentivize winners with small prizes to keep things interesting. This way, your team will feel like they’re appreciated as well.
Of course, you want to give your teams the chance to have their own breakout discussion sessions. Networking lounges are an excellent way to give them this opportunity. These lounges can be made private or can be open to everyone. Here, people can just unwind and have discussions apart from the webinars. They can even use these lounges to relax and unwind with each other. Make sure you let your teams know about these lounges, so that they get the chance to communicate with each other.
Make your top sales performers feel appreciated with their names up on a public leaderboard. These leaderboards give attendees the chance to see their numbers up on the screen, and be proud of their accomplishments. Make sure you place these leaderboards in prominent places in the virtual venue. Also make it a point to publicly laud the top performers and reward them in some way.
Celebrate your sales team’s past performance in a formal way with a virtual award ceremony. You can host this in the auditorium and include commemorative speeches from the CEO and other senior members. You can even pre-record these if there are any scheduling conflicts.
Then, name the top performers and acknowledge them publicly like at a conventional award ceremony. You can have the actual physical awards sent over to their locations later. This award ceremony is a great way to encourage your sales teams and make them feel valued.
You should enable your sales teams to chat with each other and with other teams present using various features. Use the livetext, audio, or video chat options to help them connect and talk to one another 1:1 or in a group.
In addition, they can also participate in public chat rooms, where they can even keep track of their conversations. Furthermore, they can also create breakout rooms for specific people and topics.
These days, most people use their smartphones to log in online. Therefore, it’d be much more convenient for everyone if you also offer a mobile event app. This app will let the attendees access all the features via their phone and simply attend the virtual sales kick off on the go! This way, they can participate in the event even if they’re out on the field. They can also download and save the information they need for later. Therefore, this mobile event app is especially useful for active sales teams.
To sum up, there are numerous features you can include in your virtual sales kickoff. However, there are a few that are necessary, so you should consider adding as many features as you can to give your sales teams the best possible event experience.
Here are a few key reminders for you to consider when you want to host your own virtual sales kickoff event.
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Shanzay Asim Haider
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