5 Ways to Get a High Approval Rating on Your Next Sales Kickoff Event

From new product launch planning and product orientations to practicing sales pitches, sales training workshops, quota setting to awards and celebrations, these kickoff events are pivotal company moments which set the tone for the new year ahead. And all experienced sales teams know that if these kickoff events are planned carefully, the incentive to show up and participate is maximized. If not, well… “been there, done that!” And your team deserves more. So here are five key recommendations from years in the events industry that can help ensure your next sales kickoff meeting’s a rousing success.
Sales Kickoffs

#1: Start Your Engines Well Before the Meeting Date

Engage your salesforce early by surveying them about their perspectives on achieving the upcoming year’s milestones. Ask questions like, “What’s the one thing we MUST get right to achieve X?” and “What are your biggest concerns about the competition?” This input is invaluable and reporting the findings at the kickoff event will ensure the conversation is relevant and flowing. Additionally, ignite some friendly competition before the event with a contest to build excitement and set a competitive tone.

Deep Dive: Use advanced survey tools like SurveyMonkey or Google Forms to gather detailed feedback. Consider incorporating a gamified element using platforms like Kahoot! to create an engaging pre-event activity that builds anticipation and energy.

#2: Put Your Team in the Driver’s Seat: From Goals to Action Plans

Passive presentations won’t cut it. Break your team into smaller groups and implement the IDEO model: Brainstorm, Prioritize, Prototype, Test. Let these groups translate overarching goals into tactical objectives, and then vet these for prioritization and contingency planning. By having the team define success factors and critical implementation steps, you foster ownership and accountability.

Deep Dive: Utilize collaboration tools like Miro or MURAL for virtual brainstorming sessions. These platforms allow for real-time collaboration, ensuring that even remote team members can contribute effectively to the planning process. And lean into other collaborative platforms like SWARM, which uses the biological principle of Swarm Intelligence to amplify the wisdom of any online team or group, quickly enabling more accurate forecasts, estimations, insights and evaluations.

#3: Alternate Work with Play - Rinse, Repeat

Avoid the monotony of segregated work and play segments. Research shows that alternating periods of intense work with frequent breaks enhances productivity and engagement. Integrate recreational activities that align with the meeting theme to maintain focus while providing necessary downtime.

Deep Dive: Incorporate team-building activities such as escape rooms or scavenger hunts that promote both mental breaks and team cohesion. Platforms like Go Game or Wildly Different offer customized team-building solutions that can be tailored to your event theme.

#4: Surprise and Delight Them

Unexpected elements can significantly boost morale. Whether it’s bringing in a celebrity guest, streaming a video message from a top client, or unveiling a new sales incentive program with a live band, surprises create memorable experiences. Ensure you build anticipation by seeding hints throughout the event.

Deep Dive: Partner with celebrity booking agencies like Celebrity Talent International or hire surprise entertainment through platforms like GigSalad. These resources can help you find the perfect surprise guest or performance to delight your team.

#5: Follow Through (All Year Long)

The momentum from a successful kickoff can be lost without proper follow-through. Recap key points at the event’s end and use analogies and themes from the kickoff to name initiatives throughout the year. Assign key lieutenants to track progress and set up a communication stream to monitor these initiatives. An incentive system can further motivate employees to contribute to the company’s “great idea database.”

Deep Dive: Implement project management tools like Asana or Trello to keep track of post-event action items and initiatives. Regularly update the team on progress and celebrate milestones to maintain engagement and momentum.

A well-planned sales kickoff event is a powerful tool to align, motivate, and energize your sales team. By engaging them early, making them active participants, balancing work with play, adding surprise elements, and ensuring consistent follow-through, you can significantly boost approval ratings and drive success throughout the year.

Plan Your Next Sales Kickoff Event with Us

Are you planning a sales kickoff event soon? Let’s chat! Our team at Metavent specializes in creating impactful and memorable events tailored to your needs. Contact us today to start planning.

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