December 21st, 2015
Sales Leadership: Ten 2016 Sales Kick-off Meeting Idea’s
While working with a client last week it became obvious that we are moving into the time to finalize 2016 budgets, compensation plans and something most sales managers don’t take enough in developing their 2016 Sales Kick Off meeting.
Already many larger organizations are booking their sales conferences for the first quarter where they will invite their sales teams, vendors, resellers/partners to hear plans to make 2016 the “best year ever”. Keynote speakers, breakout sessions, new marketing plans and product demonstrations will all be coordinated to increase enthusiasm, salesperson belief and excitement that the New Year will bring. I know this because I am already booked for five events already. However just because larger organizations are planning their formal conferences, it doesn’t mean a smaller sales organization shouldn’t plan a Kick-Off event.
A New Year sales kick-off meeting can be organized as an off-site/overnight 2 day program or as simply as a ¾ to a ½ day event. You should schedule them no later than mid-February and many firms will hold a mid-year event as well. However the basics of any sales kickoff event should include the following planning ideas. These idea’s are not in order of priority.
- A theme for the New Year. This should be a positive statement of your major objectives and something that can be reinforced throughout the year. “Be Brilliant on the Basics” is only one example.
- Include time for sales training on sales skills and hand out a sales training book that will be your first quarter “must read”. You can use the book for extended sales training during your meetings. HINT: Roll out your first quarter sales training plans.
- Announce a first quarter sales contest. (see previous blogs for ideas)
- Announce a 2016 yearly sales contest, this should be a big prize for exceeding the salesperson’s quota. Examples include: a trip to a resort, a cruise or a trip to an island. Remember these kinds of incentive programs are not expenses but paid out of incremental revenues/profits. Your announcement should include pictures of the location, etc. See my book: Creating High Performance Sales Compensation Plans, for idea’s on sales contests. www.AcumenManagement.com
- Describe and show your marketing plans for the first six months-at least. This will show the salespeople how your organization is planning to support the sales team.
- Schedule the president of your company to give a short message on his/her philosophy on sales and the culture of your organization.
- You may or may not announce your new compensation plan at this event, it all depends upon the degree of change you are making. With minor changes, it’s a great time, with major changes schedule a separate meeting. HINT: Do not roll out the new compensation plan as the last topic of the meeting, schedule early in the afternoon, if your event is a full day meeting.
- Make sure you make the meeting fun! As the sales leader work on activities that create the right culture and teamwork.
- Spend time having each salesperson presents their “Business Plans” for the first half of the year. Based upon the number of salespeople this can be done by breakouts into regions, smaller groups or as a single group. These business plans include not only forecasts but personal commitments to activity levels and professional growth.
- Bring in an outside speaker. This could include a customer telling their satisfaction with your firm, a sales trainer or a motivational message that propels your team to excellence.
This is your time to bring a coordinated program that set’s the tone for the New Year. Make sure you take the time to do it right.
What additional ideas do you have to make your Kick-Off special?
Ken Thoreson “operationalizes” sales management systems and processes that pull revenue out of the doldrums into the fresh zone. During the past 17 years, our consulting, advisory, and platform services have illuminated, motivated, and rejuvenated the sales efforts for organizations throughout the world.
He was recently ranked for the third year in a row by Top Sales World magazine as one of the Top 50 Sales & Marketing Influencers for 2015.
Ken has written 5 books, his latest book is: SLAMMED! for First Time Sales Managers, Ken provides Keynotes, consulting services and products designed to improve business performance. Need more sales management resources? Check out his Sales Management Tool Kit or the Acumen Project and his new Ignite Your Sales Team online video training program for sales leaders.