Make Sales Meetings Count By Including Training At Your Next Kickoff Meeting
Too often, sales kickoff meetings are considered an obligation rather than an opportunity. Sellers, eager to engage with customers watch the clock waiting to get to the next call.
Meanwhile, discussions of performance and goals get lost in charts and figures. We assume that sales kick-off meetings must be this way.
This assumption is wrong.
Sales kickoffs are great opportunities to energize a sales team, ensure they are clear on the strategy for the year and cover important updates.
They’re also opportunities to train or introduce a training initiative.
There are a few considerations for sales and learning leaders who are thinking about including a training element as part of their kickoff.
The Sales Kickoff Meeting Agenda
Let’s face it, there are times where you can be very strategic in planning the launch of a training initiative and carve out time at a sales kickoff meeting. And then, there are times where you are just trying to fill a slot of time and take advantage of having all your salespeople in one place.
In the latter, the key is to be realistic about the outcomes you expect.
If you only have 90 minutes, it will be very difficult to expect that your teams will change their behavior.
Alternatively, you might consider shifting the focus of your 90 minutes to an overview of things to come or exposing your teams to new concepts. The outcomes you are aiming for in this case are knowledge transfer, engagement, and awareness of concepts – not behavior change. Just be clear with your stakeholders and sales team on the outcomes you seek.
If you have the time to take a proactive approach to integrate a training element into your sales meeting, then you should consider allotting a serious amount of time for the training.
For example, we have seen top-performing sales organizations dedicate two full days of their kickoffs to training!
Resources & Attendees
The approach you take to injecting training into a sales kickoff is tied to your audience size and the set-up of the training location.
For many large sales organizations, you are at the mercy of the location. Consider whether you need to adjust your strategy to be more of a speech that is intended to energize. If you have the benefit of breakout rooms then you have more flexibility.
Ensure that whatever topic you choose is tied to the strategic direction of the company. We have seen organizations pick an easy topic that isn’t aligned to the strategy. Those sessions tend to lack buy-in from the sales organization. It’s wasted time.
A review of a really important topic or a refresh of a critical skill that is tied to the strategy is better than covering a topic that isn’t aligned to the strategy.