SalesHood - Avoid These 15 Sales Kickoff Mistakes

Avoid These 15 Sales Kick Off Mistakes

I always appreciate when folks share lessons learned from mistakes. Here are some of my personal sales kickoff mistakes. (By the way, SKO stands for sales kickoff.) 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

Make the Most of Your SKOs – 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?

Check out this short video too:

About the Author

Elay Cohen

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.

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