Sales Leadership: 10 Sales Kick-off Ideas


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While working with a client last week it became obvious that we are moving into the time to prepare 2012 budgets, new compensation plans and something most sales manager’s don’t take enough time in developing; their 2012 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 their plans to make 2012 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 booked for five events already. However just because larger organizations are planning their formal conferences it doesn’t mean as a sales leader you shouldn’t be planning an event for your sales organization.

A yearly 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. However the basics of any sales kickoff event should include the following planning ideas. These ideas’s are not in any order of priority.

  1. 1. You should announce 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” or Nike’s: Just Do It! Are two examples, comment below on your ideas for your sales theme for the year!
  2. 2. Include time for sales training on sales skills. You might hand out a sales training book, as a gift to each salesperson, this will be your first quarter “must read” book. You can use the book for extended sales training during your meetings. Also roll out your first quarter sales training plans.
  3. 3. Announce a first quarter sales contest. (see previous blogs for ideas)
  4. 4. Announce a 2012 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. The roll out should include written rules and pictures of the location, etc. See my book: Creating High Performance Sales Compensation Plans, for idea’s on sales contests.
  5. 5. Describe and show your marketing plans for the first six months. This will show the salespeople how your organization is planning to support the sales team.
  6. 6. Schedule the president of your company to give a short message on his/her philosophy on sales and the culture of your organization.
  7. 7. 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 it early in the afternoon, if your event is a full day meeting.
  8. 8. Make sure you make the meeting fun! As the sales leader work on activities that create the right culture and teamwork, create a game that everyone participates in during the event.
  9. 9. Make sure each salesperson presents their “Business Plans” for 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.
  10. 10. Bring in an outside speaker. This could include a customer telling of their satisfaction with your firm, a sales trainer or a motivational message that propels your team to excellence. See for more idea’s:

This is your time to bring a coordinated program that sets the tone for the new year. Make sure you take the time to do it right. What additional ideas do you have?

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Ken Thoreson
Acumen Management Group Ltd. "operationalizes" sales management systems and processes that pull revenue out of the doldrums into the fresh zone. During the past 13 years, our consulting, advisory, and platform services have illuminated, motivated, and rejuvenated the sales efforts for organizations throughout North America.


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