Now that we’ve covered how to get the perfect sales kickoff (SKO) messaging in the first part of our three-part series, we’re diving into sales performance. In part two of our SKO series, we’ll talk about the best ways to make your top sales performers even better.
When you think about your sales kickoff planning are you only thinking about how to rev up your medium and low performers? Way too often sales leaders assume their top performers have already got it in the bag. It’s not to say they aren’t great, but do Olympic gold medalists stop training the second they hit the podium?
Wouldn’t it be impactful for your organization if your top performers could improve by even 10%? Staying stagnant in the sales industry means your competitors are quickly closing in on your success. Use these tips to stay ahead by investing in your top performers during SKO.
1. Treat Top Sales Reps Like Everyone Else
Your top sales performers likely worked hard to get where they are, and you and them both probably think they are doing just fine. And they are. They are your top performers after all. However, the true greats never stop looking for ways to improve. The first step in helping your top performers get even better during SKO is to stop ignoring them. In the past you may have let your top performers skip certain sessions, or walk out of the room for an “important” call. Stop treating them differently than the rest of your sales team, and make them get involved! Use your sales kickoff as a way to set the precedent for the year, and then follow through with it.
2. Get Feedback From Top Performers in Advance
Instead of assuming what your top performers want out of sales kickoff, learn from the best. That is, why not actually ask your top performers? Before sales kickoff begins, sit down with these specific individuals and ask them:
- What would help them improve even more?
- Do they have any roadblocks?
- What would be beneficial for them to see at sales kickoff?
Consider using a simple tool like SurveyMonkey to organize your data. By asking them in advance you can really hone in on what will help your top performers, and tailor breakout sessions and topics specifically for them. They will feel appreciated, and hopefully they’ll be able to walk away from your SKO with some useful takeaways.
3. Push Them to Be Industry Thought Leaders
Your top performers are killing it when it comes to their sales quota, but are they really maximizing their potential in their career? Help them capitalize on their success by building their personal brand. Your SKO is the perfect time to introduce this idea. Schedule a session that encourages them to attend more industry events, helps them speak more at conferences, and empowers them to share their expertise through your company blog. Your top performers will feel newly inspired and garner more recognition in their field, and you will benefit from having them associated with your organization as well. This type of breakout at kickoff will also be a welcomed break from product training and the traditional information dump.
Not to mention, building their brand will help grow sales because consumers trust people, not companies. In fact, 90% of people trust recommendations from people, as opposed to 33% who trust messaging from a brand. Helping your top performers become a known “person” instead of just an anonymous part of your brand will help take them to the next level.
4. Clear Their Plates
Did you know sales reps only spend one third of their time actually selling? Imagine what your top performing reps could do if they had more time to devote to prospecting and selling. You can’t get rid of all the day-to-day minutia, but you can make an impact. The same study showed that 31% of sales rep time was spent searching for and creating content. That means your reps could be spending as much time trying to create or find content than they are actually selling.
Use your sales kickoff as the introduction to new tools that your top performers can use to take their time back. Introduce easy video recording technology so they can quickly create demos or other resources on the fly. SKO is the perfect time to get them revved up about using new tools, and fit in an introductory training session. Follow up after kickoff with additional training sessions and opportunities for practice. Giving your reps time back that they are used to losing to finding and creating resources will free up your top performers to sell more.
5. Just Keep Training
It’s so tempting to ignore top performers when it comes to training. They are already at the top, after all. Instead of giving them a pass, just keep raising the bar. True top performers have an innate competitive spirit. Challenge them to break records, set new standards and hit personal bests. Help them understand that in order to continue to develop they need to continue learning.
Consider the spread of talent you employ when planning your kickoff. Break up the bigger group into different levels and mini-groups so you can tailor content to appeal to all of them. Spare your top performers from the intro level courses, and create some advanced learning opportunities they can truly get excited about. If you’ve been neglecting investing in training for your top performers, SKO is the perfect time to jump back in. But don’t forget, it doesn’t stop at kickoff. Take initiative to plan these types of opportunities and activities all year long for the best return on your investment.
The bottom line is, your top performers will only stay top performers if you invest in their future. SKO is the perfect time of the year to start doubling down on these key members of your team.
Stay tuned for the third part of your SKO planning series where we will dive into how to improve your sales manager enablement during sales kickoff.
Want More on Sales Kickoff Planning?
- Top Ten Tips to Perfect Your SKO Messaging
- How to Plan the Ultimate 2017 Sales Kickoff Meeting
- 3 Ways to Sustain Sales Kickoff Momentum All Year Long