I always appreciate when folks share lessons learned from mistakes. Here are some of my personal sales kick off (SKO) mistakes. I hope they serve as reminders of what to avoid doing with your teams. I’ve experienced every kind and size of SKO event in every corner of the world and also written a lot on SKOs too. For reference you can check out:

Next Generation SKO events – click to read

Culture First At SKOs- click to read

Make the Most of  Your SKOs – click to read

What Will Your SKO Vibe be? – click to read

Here is a list of 15 mistakes I made running over fifty SKOs over the last fifteen years. The list isn’t prioritized.

Mistake #1: Having people sit for over 30 minutes without any music or video stimulation.

Mistake #2: Waiting too long to book hotels and flights.

Mistake #3: Not giving teams pre-work to do before SKO.

Mistake #4: Not giving teams something to do the weekend after a sales kick off to keep the momentum going.

Mistake #5: Forgetting to include healthy snacks (and coffee) throughout the event.

Mistake #6: Working too hard and playing too hard. You can’t do both.

Mistake #7: Rolling out new untested technology to drive event engagement leaving people with more frustration than benefit.

Mistake #8: Not including all salespeople and sales teams, quota carrying and non-quota carrying, in an event that flies people into a central location.

Mistake #9: Running keynotes as death by powerpoint presentations without attendee engagement.

Mistake #10: Not scheduling time to rehearse presenters and walking through presentations before showtime.

Mistake #11: Using the sales kick-off event to share department updates. Save it for a follow up note, email or webinar call.

Mistake #12: Trying to do too many things at once at the event.

Mistake #13: Not setting time aside for professional networking and meeting peers from around the world to get know each and form cross team relationships.

Mistake #14: Not doing enough inspiration, alignment and motivation time versus traditional training and education.

Mistake #15: Not documenting a vision statement that all content publishers and event participants understand.

What are some of your mistakes?

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