SKO = Inspiration + Alignment + Education

By Elay Cohen
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For many, January is “Sales Kick Off” (SKO) season. We all want to make the most of our events. We’re investing a ton of money and resources to elevate our sales team results. It’s important to be clear on SKO goals, expectations, and outcomes. Writing a vision statement for your SKO event is a great thing to do and highly recommended.

I’m also a big believer in finding ways to build culture and connectivity with teams pre, during, and post SKO events. There should be a plan to leverage the days or weeks between the end of the year and the actual SKO event for folks to do some pre-work. Have you thought about asking everyone attending your event to record, before they show up, a short sixty second video? Here are a few questions you can ask?

What are your top 2016 sales goals?

What do we have to do to achieve greatness in 2016?

What’s your best deal win story and how did we win?

How have we created value for our customers?

What’s your most compelling customer story?

How will you crush the competition in 2016?

I promise the answers to these questions will light up your event when you show video highlights during your keynotes. There is nothing better than giving everyone a voice and video storytelling is the way to scale it. We continue to see innovative, forward thinking companies and leaders use video storytelling to prioritize, crowdsource, and share deal wins, customer stories, and winning objections. Imagine what would happen to your culture if everyone on your team recorded a short sixty second video and watched ten of their peers? The creativity we’re seeing is so inspiring. Besides the benefits of culture building, engagement, and connecting people, there are many quantifiable benefits too. Deal win videos result in faster time to ramp and deals closing faster. Customer story videos are great to drive deal urgency and build a culture of storytelling. Competitive objection videos result in higher in win rates. Here’s a SKO checklist to use for your planning purposes:

  1. Theme: Have a theme for the event. Make sure the event is tied to your go-to-market.
  2. Prework: Define prework video exercises like pitch certifications or 2016 goals video.
  3. Memorialize: Video record and capture all sessions to use content for future onboarding and post-event learning reinforcement.
  4. Give Back: Integrate philanthropy with your event by carving out time to give back to the community or a meaningful cause.
  5. Network: Create space in the agenda for teams to network, share best practices and get to know each other. Win as a team.
  6. Reinforcement: Build a plan for post-event reinforcement. Don’t leave people hanging. Share expectations and the coaching calendar before everyone leaves the event.
  7. Agenda: Don’t jam pack the agenda with too much. You have all year to coach, align and educate teams.
  8. Communications: Energize with communications from senior leaders getting teams excited pre, during and post SKO event.

Have a great start to your year and good luck with your SKO events.

What’s your experience? What innovative culture building ideas do you have or have you done to make your SKO events memorable?

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