CRO Guide To A High Impact Virtual SKO
- by Elay Cohen
- October 15, 2020
- Sales Kickoffs
SalesHood - Sales Enablement Platform
We are seeing many organizations struggle to make virtual kickoffs highly impactful and engaging. Executives across sales, enablement, and operations are asking us for help to re-imagine kickoffs for the new normal. They are looking for innovative ways to energize and educate their remote teams with purpose and collaboration. We recently launched SKOx to help companies energize, align and educate their remote teams during a virtual kickoff experience.
Here are ten tips for sales leaders and CROs to consider when planning out your upcoming kickoff events.
As we look to the future and hope for a better 2021, be clear on company and revenue goals. Set goals that are attainable and at the same time inspirational to push teams to do more. Write the goals down. Communicate them clearly to your teams. Get all your teams aligned around the goals. Measure the goals and correlate program activity and initiatives to revenue outcomes.
We conducted industry wide research with hundreds of sales and marketing leaders on the future of sales kickoffs. The report will give you insights on fresh ways to engage and energize your remote teams at your upcoming virtual kickoffs. One of the findings was that 87% of survey respondents believe the top 2021 sales kickoff goal is to energize teams, followed by team alignment, sharing success and building confidence. Creative themes are always fun to come up with. Get your teams involved in the theme name. Make the theme diverse and inclusive.
With remote teams and a virtual kickoff experience, we have a unique opportunity to include all of our go-to-market teams and every customer facing employee in our programs. First, make sure all of your content contributors and executives are aligned on goals and the theme. Then, make sure the program is personalized and relevant to all go-to-market teams. This can be done by balancing broadcasts with role-based breakouts that are both synchronous and asynchronous.
Most companies and leaders are still thinking about their kickoff experience in days. It’s time to shift mindsets to think about a virtual kickoff experience in weeks and months. Space out the broadcasts. Insert self-paced and team-based learning. Make learning and coaching an ongoing activity. Integrate the kickoff content with the rhythm of the business with deal reviews, prospecting and team meetings.
With a virtual kickoff extended over weeks and months versus hours and days, we have an opportunity to make learning more consumable and accessible. Share topics and concepts in bite-sized learning modules. Get your teams learning, practicing and then applying their knowledge to real deals. Setting up a kickoff experience with micro-learning content, coaching and certifications is actually a more impactful way to get our teams up to speed and to reinforce important topics. Click to learn more about micro-learning.
Get your front-line managers to play active roles in virtual kickoff experiences. Create coaching huddle templates and meetings in a box for front-line managers to execute with their teams and make sure they are mapped back to kickoff goals and themes. Get your teams practicing and learning from each other with facilitated meetings held by your front-line managers. Click to learn more about sales coaching.
Get your teams learning by doing. Most revamp their corporate pitch and messaging and most use a kickoff meeting to get their teams aligned. With a virtual kickoff experience, messaging alignment and certifications can be executed at scale. Pitch challenges can be set up to drive up collaboration and competition. Get your teams practicing your pitches including elevator pitch, corporate pitch, demonstrations, objections, stories and every customer conversation. Create micro-pitch challenges and watch your teams become conversationally competent. Click to read about SalesHood’s 10 step pitch process.
Get your teams to collaborate with meaningful connections. Ask your teams to record their personal stories to get to know each other. Make stories a big part of your kickoff experience. Stories can be who they are, what they do, personal wins, goals and anything that ties back to your theme. Click to learn more about the power of video storytelling.
Boost sales productivity by getting your teams sharing and watching video win stories before, during and after your virtual sales kickoff event. Highlight the hard work from the past year by celebrating key wins and successes throughout the business. Congratulate top performers and encourage others to achieve milestones. Record key win stories to share with the broader team and define what success looks like.
Data captured in your manager-led coaching sessions and pitch practice challenges are your best leading indicators to know if you’re on track to hit the Revenue targets you presented to the revenue teams. Correlating the data captured in SalesHood to your CRM performance data is key. Doing so will give you the insights necessary to know if Enablement programs support generating enough pipeline or increasing sales velocity.
Here are some additional resources and stories on virtual SKOs.
Domo Virtual SKO Success Story – click to watch
Trinet Virtual SKO Success Story – click to watch
Seagate Virtual SKO Success Story – click to watch
Elay Cohen is the author of SalesHood: How Winning Sales Managers Inspire Sales Teams to Succeed and the co-founder of SalesHood, a SaaS sales enablement platform and community for sales professionals. Elay is the former Senior Vice President of Sales Productivity at Salesforce. Recognized as the company's "2011 Top Executive", and credited for creating and executing all of Salesforce's sales productivity programs that accelerated its growth from $500M to $3B+ in revenue. The sales training and sales support innovations delivered over these years by Elay and his team to thousands of sales reps resulted in unprecedented hypergrowth. He also created the Partner Relationship Management (PRM) category.
Based on my experience leading Sales Productivity at Salesforce, accelerating revenue from $300M to $3B, we’ve packaged our proven methodology into SalesHood, helping client after client achieve record breaking revenue growth.
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