How to Cure the Post Sales Kickoff Hangover

Dan Perry

Everyone just left the hotel. You had the entire sales team in town to jumpstart and kickoff 2018. You had a big keynote speech from the CEO and a rally cry from you, the VP of Sales. Product group breakouts, sales enablement training sessions and financial updates from the CFO consumed the agenda. And everyone had a good time at the team-building event and awards dinner. You leave thinking this is going to be our best year yet.

But how can you maintain the momentum? 

Your CEO and CFO just spent a big portion of the budget on the event. Flights, hotel, meals and taking everyone out of the field for several days all are weighing on them. They want to see an ROI from this event. 

Companies spend untold time and energy to SKO agenda planning, logistics, speaker prep, and so on. Yet shocking little effort is spent on post-event strategy. Getting real behavior change after SKO doesn't just happen. You can't just "hope" the ROI will come. 

There are three actions you must implement immediately to get results now. These things (in order of importance) are:

  1. Sales Manager Focus: Without their support, your 2018 Initiatives are dead. It’s your sales managers that execute your sales strategy. Putting a company-wide focus on them is critical to success. But what does ‘focus’ really mean? It requires five core areas of emphasis for coaching: 1:1 Sessions, Field Rides, Weekly Sales Meetings, Monthly Training Meetings and Individual Development Sessions. One of our most popular blog posts explains these in detail.  Read it here
  1. Weekly Deal Strategy Sessions: Closing deals makes or breaks the year. Group emphasis on these deals will help your team focus on them. This will ultimately show you what deals to put resources on and what deals to ‘punt.’  Pulling this off successfully means establishing a weekly deal strategy session agenda and cadence. Based on deal volume, each weekly session is focused on the best deals per rep. You do this by determining where it is in the customer’s buying process and the next steps. This is key because most sales people rush the deal. Slowing down early to speed up late defines what these sessions are all about. You can now also determine if the training at the SKO is being used. 
  1. Core Key Performance Indicators Emphasis: Let’s face it, there are some KPI’s that are more important than other ones. When it comes to sales, win rate, average sales price and sales cycle length are the core ones. All the others feed these big three. Make sure everyone in the organization knows their personal metrics as well as the company benchmarks. You can then measure others like product penetration, new vs. cross-sell/up-sell or customer lifetime value/customer acquisition cost ratio.

Sales Kickoffs are great events. They provide much needed culture building and sales training. Everyone gets together to discuss how to do their jobs better. People learn from each other, network with their seldom-seen peers and collaborative to sell more deals. But if you want to make sure these things are more than a boon-doggle, you must have an action plan post SKO. Implementing these key actions will help increase post-SKO adoption of the learnings. As a result, sales will increase. Not only will you make your number, the CEO and CFO will feel the money spent was justified. 

Let us know if you need help either planning your SKO or post-SKO implementation. Our proven experience can make a difference and increase your sales performance. Tell us how here. But no matter what happens, don’t let hope be your strategy. 

Dan Perry

Dan Perry

Daniel Perry is a partner at The Brevet Group. He leverages nearly 30 years of experience leading sales teams and helping complex sales organizations become elite performers.