It’s All Hands On Deck for Sales Kickoff Planning

With fall behind us and the end-of-year holidays ahead, some of us are feeling good about our football teams (fly Eagles fly), while others…well, we’ll just let sleeping dogs lie on that one. But speaking of favorite teams, it’s just about that time of year to bring everyone together at the sales kick-off.

You can set your iWatch to it. Sometime in early October (for those who plan), first week in December (for the reactives), kick-off planning commences. Someone’s fourth job will be to ensure that the festivities—the location, speakers, breakouts and team-building activities are ready to go. While time to pull this off will be limited, the abundance of ideas and possibilities are not.

What sales leader doesn’t love to ideate? When we spend the money to get the whole sales team together, we have to make it count, do doubt. But does the ram, cram and jam method (agenda packing) really serve our interests?

Remember the Ebbinghaus research, like a good friend that’s always there to remind us how information leaks out of people’s heads after just a few hours. Want to test that idea for yourself? Ask a few salespeople to give you a rundown of the key points from this past year’s kick-off. How many actually remember what the planning committee obsessed last fall?

Truthfully, what most remember was how much fun they had at the bar. This year, consider adding a line item to your kick-off planning conversations. Isolate the need-to-know kick-off content from the extras. Then, discussion with the team how you will reinforce these critical items after the event. Think in terms of 30, 60, 90 days – what do we want people to keep top of mind and what do we want them to do differently.

Bottom line: Find intentional, yet low effort ways to keep your priority kick-off content in the forefront.


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