As you ramp up for 2021, it’s time to consider what your virtual sales kickoff is going to look like. Unlike some events which have been postponed or canceled, sales kickoffs are essential to driving success. While current conditions necessitate kickoffs to be delivered virtually, they can be just as effective as in-person experiences when planned, executed, and analyzed strategically. In this post, we’ll walk you through the basics of delivering a successful virtual sales kickoff.
Aligning sales strategy around your company goals should be your number one priority. Before you begin working out the details of your event, define the outcomes you’d like to achieve. Determine what your reps need to know to drive company progression and the tools they’ll need walking away from the kickoff.
Build a cross-functional committee of sales, marketing, events, product, and finance to ensure that you get the input you need from each team. Be sure to set up a streamlined channel of communication for your committee so that you can easily send and receive approvals.
Without a physical venue, virtual kickoffs require strategic web layouts, new integrations, and a solid plan for generating engagement. Keep in mind the principle of form follows function as you set up your kickoff. Above all, you’ll want to ensure that your reps can navigate through the entire event without getting lost.
Consider what your reps need easy access to as you build out your website. Layout is everything. Ensure that your agenda is easily accessible and that important sessions show up front and center so that your reps won’t miss them. Neatly organize sessions so that your reps never have to guess which session is next.
With millions of new streaming provider options, it can be difficult to decide which one to integrate with your event management platform. While it may be tempting to forget the event management platform altogether, remember that virtual events are temporary, and you don’t want to separate your virtual kickoff data from your future physical data. Instead, opt to use an all-encompassing event platform that can also stream sessions.
The great thing about virtual events is that they are not necessarily time-bound. With on-demand content, you can extend training for weeks beyond your actual start date for continuous learning and development. Organize your on-demand content in a way that will help you achieve your event goals. Many organizations have chosen to serve up their content in familiar, Netflix-style channels.
If you are planning on a longer sales kickoff, be sure to set up email reminders to prompt your reps to come back each day. Highlight keynotes, group meetings, training courses, and other daily activities in each email. Reminder emails are also a great way to recap what was taught the day before and supply your reps with the associated resources.
The best way to guide engagement is to build out targeted agendas for your reps. Tailor your agendas to fit the needs of each of your reps. For example, you may suggest product training and 101s for new reps, whereas you might organize more technical deep-dive sessions for tenured reps. Position your targeted agendas on your event website somewhere where your reps can easily access them, such as the sidebar.
Other ways to drive engagement include chat functions, surveys, demos, and 1:1 meetings. As virtual attendees tend to have more distractions than regular attendees, plan shorter sessions for your reps and plan in larger breaks so that your reps can check their email, take a quick call, or respond to a demanding child.
The number one struggle for sales teams when hosting a kickoff is proving the business value of the event. Without the proper tools for analyzing their kickoff, sales teams have been forced to approximate their event’s success. Now that events are virtual, teams can track duration and clicks, which yield thousands of valuable insights. Select an event management platform that will allow you to measure the real-time performance of your reps. With a real-time view of event performance, sales managers can gauge reps’ session enrollment, attendance, and partner engagement.
Making the Most of Event Metrics
For reps who are underperforming, managers can assign certain sessions geared towards improving performance or ensuring they meet with a high performer to share knowledge. In addition to allowing you to act in the moment, the right event management platform will enable you to think towards the future.
As mentioned above, physical events will return, and when they do, the insights that you gathered from your virtual event will be invaluable. Being able to visualize your reps’ performance year-over-year will empower you to further recognize high-performers, assist those who are underperforming, and strategize for your team as a whole.
Not every platform has all the tools needed to deliver a winning sales kickoff. To discover how RainFocus optimizes sales kickoffs for success, click here.