You may think, “Ah, December! The time to ski!” But if you’re a business professional on a sales team with their eye on the ball, you’re probably thinking, “Ah, December! Looks about time to SKO!”
If you don’t get that reference, you probably aren’t familiar with sales kickoffs. Or that joke just wasn’t particularly good – either one.
But if you know that a virtual SKO is short for “virtual sales kickoff,” then you’re already ahead of the game! In fact, you’re probably the one in charge of it.
So, how can you get sales reps pumped up for the year ahead while saddling your sales teams with the new sales strategies out there? Keep reading! Go on, SKO!
See Related: What Is A Sales Kickoff?
Benefits of a virtual sales kickoff
Okay, maybe you’re not into the whole virtual sales kickoff event. But let’s just go through the benefits that these virtual sales kickoffs have to offer.
More cost-effective than in-person
If you’re used to your in-person sales kickoff meeting, don’t think you’ll be missing out on much when it goes virtual. While you may love an in-person event, if you’re the one in charge of it, you’ll also know how costly they can be.
And sure, it gets team members the gusto they need to get up and running. But don’t you want to save that part of your budget for the year to play the long sales game? And maybe get some awesome corporate entertainment at an affordable price?
(The answer is yes. Because the virtual world is not only other-worldly but a much more affordable one too!)
Ability to record virtual events
Raise your hand if you’re able to recite word-for-word an entire sales kickoff meeting and definitely didn’t start to drift in the back of the conference room. Anyone? Exactly.
And that’s probably the best part of a virtual sales kickoff event. Everything gets recorded!
So if one of your sales people had a great idea in the virtual kickoff but you can’t remember it for the life of you, just go back and watch the virtual sales kick-off again! Not only will instant access to your virtual sales kickoffs be great for optimal learning.
It’ll also help the whole team stay on track throughout the year! Because on-demand means no excuses whereas a live event might let it slide…
Collect feedback instantly
Of course you still want your sales reps to stay engaged throughout the whole of the virtual conference. So use digital tools to your advantage and start up polls, tests, and surveys throughout the virtual sales kickoff.
This way, you can get feedback from the entire sales team instantly. And not to mention it’ll make your virtual event all the more enjoyable and engaging.
Virtual sales kickoff ideas
We get it, we’ve all been there. So consider these virtual sales kick-off ideas an early Christmas present for you to plan for the upcoming year.
#1. Create awards for top performing salespeople
Typically, it’s nice to start off any virtual event with some good news. But if it’s the beginning of the new year, what good news is there to report if no sales have been made yet?
So look to the previous year and give out awards to your top performers! Generate excitement for a team member who’s been waiting to be recognized all year long.
And even infuse a little healthy competition to get other team members revved up for the year ahead. You can also hand out pain points for the past year to sales reps who had to take the most strife from customers!
(Just kidding. Every customer is great! Said every sales team ever because sales teams are the best and the customer is always right, right?)
#2. Bring in some keynote speakers
Start your virtual sales kickoff meetings right with some outside speakers or even a virtual emcee! Your sales team has heard your company goals over and over again.
It’s time to bring in some new ideas! Besides, every sales organization can use a little inspiration for the new year.
So make sure your sales kickoff agenda includes a special treat with some keynote speakers to get your sales team amped for the year ahead. Besides, then you’ve got a contact for the future and you may even find some new things to include in your company culture from their talks.
#3. Hire a virtual comedian
No, we’re not talking about having your family members chime in during your virtual event. We’re talking about a professional virtual comedian who can make your sales kickoff the virtual event of the year!
Let’s be honest. Sometimes, virtual sales kickoff events can run a little long. But with a little bit of laughter from a clean comedian, these virtual events don’t feel nearly as arduous as they have to.
Besides, at the same time that you’re getting folks to loosen up, you’re also fostering team building. Without specific team-building activities, we might add! Gosh, laughter really is the best medicine.
Bonus: How To Host A Virtual Gala
#4. Use breakout rooms to your advantage
Who doesn’t love a breakout session or two? Give your team members a break from the planning process to engage with one another in smaller groups.
This way, employees and sales reps can get to know one another better. Especially if they’re working in different regions and want tips on how to close sales wherever they are.
Want your kickoff event to keep folks on their toes? Do a lightning round of breakout sessions and get team members to come up with short presentations to share with the entire group.
Could be advice on how to hit the sales quota while working remotely. Or any tips for cold calling remote prospects!
A successful virtual sales kickoff will saddle sales reps with some tricks up their sleeves. So do an improv session and get folks to sell something they haven’t even heard of until the words come out of your mouth!
A virtual sales kickoff meeting wouldn’t be complete without a goal-setting workshop. Besides, even if you have your own goals for the year, we’re sure your sales team also has a couple ideas of their own.
So give the virtual event platform and pedestal (so to say) to your employees. And get their take on how to make this the best year ever!
#5. Organize murder mystery events
Whoever said that there was no place for fun and games at a sales kickoff clearly has never been to one with some fun events planned. So why not make the group step out of the comfort zone with a murder mystery activity?
Sales reps need to be able to string things together in their day-to-day profession. And a murder mystery is no different.
Okay, maybe a real murder mystery is a little bit more high stakes than selling products. But the critical thinking and reasoning still translates, right?
Besides, this type of event will get folks to put their heads together to figure out an obstacle. And isn’t that what a sales team has to be particularly good at doing together anyway?
#6. Work on team-building with virtual escape rooms
If murder mysteries aren’t your jam, then set up a virtual escape room. Similar to a murder mystery, an escape room gets colleagues to work together.
And if you want to take it an extra step further, divide your sales team into teams. Then, time who can figure out the escape room fastest.
Nothing like a little healthy competition to start the year out on a good note, right? Besides, isn’t competition the driving force behind sales altogether?
(Yeah, that’s right. We’ve done our homework. We’re not just telling you to play random games at your virtual sales kickoff event.)
(Although, do keep in mind that we know what we’re talking about in our next bullet point. Scout’s honor.)
#7. Add some fun elements like virtual yoga
Okay, okay, some people might think that a virtual sales kickoff meeting is the last place to do yoga. But if you’ve been sitting at a computer for hours, trying to come up with new sales strategies and getting to know new employees, you’re probably tuckered out.
So take a break. Do some yoga and get back into your body.
Not only will this be a fun story to remind folks of later throughout the year. But it will also influence your company culture.
Especially in this day and age of self-care and working from home, taking the time to reset and rejuvenate is more important than ever. So having a little time for yoga in your virtual sales kickoff won’t hurt anything.
Besides, it might even be another form of a sales strategy! No, really, think about it.
Yoga is all about finding your inner breath and calm when everything else is storming around you. What could relate more to the role of a salesperson than this?
If that didn’t convince you, then we don’t know what will sell. Ha! See! We kept our calm and managed to make you chuckle. Just a little bit, right?
#8. Send out gift bags before your virtual SKO
You’ve got to give a little to get a little. And the best way to start off your year is by giving.
Besides, it’s the giving season anyway, right? Even once January rolls around. So send out some gift bags to your sales reps and inspire their trust in you early on in the season.
After all, your virtual sales kickoff is a time to start new traditions and get reacquainted with the people you’re working with. So you might as well start off on the right foot with a little goodie you can send out in advance.
And before you think that people will be sick of presents and gifts, think again. Everybody loves getting something. Even if it’s a candle or a block of soap.
Okay, maybe amp up your present game a little bit if that’s what you’re planning on. Either way, your sales team will appreciate the thought and care behind the gifts.
And you’ll start the year off with them knowing how much you value them. So don’t be afraid to let a little merry slip into the new year!
Let’s go SKO!
After you ski, it’s time to SKO. And hopefully by this point in the blog post, you’re actually laughing at that joke!
Your yearly sales kickoff meeting is the perfect time to welcome in new energy. With brand new faces, activities, strategies, and more, you’ll start the year off on the right foot.
And you’ll just keep walking from there. Maybe you’ll even get into a nice sprint in the coming months too!
Keep Reading: What’s The Best Virtual Gala Platform?
Adam Christing is a professional comedy magician, virtual MC, and the founder of CleanComedians.com. He is a member of the world-famous Magic Castle in Hollywood and a popular corporate entertainer, magician, and virtual speaker.