Sales Kickoff Messaging Tips

It’s that time of year – sales kickoff (SKO) time! In honor of the most inspiring sales period during the year, we’re launching a three-part series all about your SKO. First up? We’re talking about how to perfect your SKO messaging.

Messaging is the name of the game when it comes to your sales kickoff success. Everything you’re investing comes down to whether or not your reps “got it.” All the money, time and resources are going towards getting your team revved up for the new year, and making sure they understand your new goals.

Improve your SKO messaging and event ROI with these 10 quick tips for success:

1.  Design a message related theme.

A theme shouldn’t be randomly chosen, it should be focused on the messaging you’re trying to convey. If your main goal revolves around launching a new product, your theme should too. If your goals are all about growth, then your theme should be too. Use it as a tool to reinforce your message.

2.  Review the previous year.

Give a short review of where your organization landed for the previous year. Talk about wins, and cover areas for improvement. Then, tie in your messaging as a solution and motivation to achieve new goals and improve on past performance.

3.  Use transparency as a motivator.

Be transparent when you’re talking about goals and metrics. Show reps exactly where you were last year, and where you need to be this year. Explain why it matters. Being transparent with your SKO messaging will help your reps feel like they are a part of something bigger and working towards actual goals instead of just a commission.

4.  Add in competition and gamification.

Add some level of competition or quizzes so there is extra motivation to retain the messaging and information. One survey even said 79% of participants said they would be more productive and motivated if their learning was more similar to a game. During your SKO, you can create an in-person leaderboard, or post one online so reps can keep track of their performance and award the winner at the end with a prize.

5.  Build in Q&A time.

Leave time for questions. It will help your reps feel heard but also alert you to any areas you may have forgotten, or any lingering confusion about what you’ve presented. Analyze patterns within the Q&A to see if you need to create any follow up meetings or materials post-kickoff to reinforce your SKO messaging.

6.  Provide crystal clear examples.

Give clear examples. If you’re presenting new messaging surrounding a specific product or service, give examples of other reps who have had success. Explain how it has ultimately helped their client. Paint the picture for how reps will use this information in the real world.

7.  Use role-playing.

People retain more information when they are learning via “doing.” Build in some role-playing to keep things exciting and to help your reps learn by practicing what you’re preaching.

8.  Use data to support your SKO messaging.

It’s one thing to explain why something is important, and it’s another to actually show it. Avoid giving your reps any room to question your messaging by supporting your plans and goals with actual data.

9.  Reveal new incentives.

If you’re providing extra incentives around new goals for the new year, your sales kickoff meeting is the perfect time to unveil them. Reinforce the importance of your messaging by showing how your organization will reward those reps who succeed at it.

10.  Communicate and Reinforce.

The best way to get your SKO messaging to stick is to reinforce it. Kickoff will be a blast and your reps are going to get revved up. But what about a few months down the line? Remember, 87% of training is lost within 90 days. Plan meetings, sessions, speakers, coaching sessions and training to make sure your reps are continuously practicing what they’ve learned. With regular practice and reinforcement the original investment you’ve made at SKO will last the entire year.
Stay tuned for parts two and three filled with tips on getting the most out of your sales kickoff this year.


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