Backyard barbeques, family vacations — and a sales kickoff event?
With restrictions lingering at the beginning of the year, many B2B organizations missed their chance for an in-person sales kickoff in the typical first-quarter window. Yet in-person sales enablement engagements have benefits that virtual alone cannot meet — and many B2B leadership know this. So a number of sales leaders are planning sales kickoff–type trainings and events this summer as a way to boost skills and morale.
If your sales team too could benefit from a boost of energy and training, consider bringing them together this summer. Even if not for a full-blown sales kickoff event, in-person gatherings can give your teams a much-needed opportunity to refresh and re-energize after years apart in a wash of virtual demands. Here are the most important elements you need to consider as you navigate a summer sales kickoff–type event.
PRACTICE REASON AND FLEXIBILITY
Two main logistical issues arise for summer business travel: availability and skyrocketing costs.
The reality is, many of your salespeople might already have travel or family vacation plans on their diaries. Summer is a busy time for many folks. Your leadership team should expect this and be understanding. Pick a date and notify your sales team. Some cannot make it due to a prior summer commitment? Let them know that is OK and they will be brought up to speed when they return — and they can catch the next sales enablement engagement.
In addition to availability, in-person sales engagements of course cost more than virtual. Airfare is incredibly expensive right now. Food and lodging add extra expenses — not to mention any morale-boosting or culture-building activities your leadership may want to incorporate into the agenda. The benefits and outcomes from in-person events justify those extra expenses, though.
Plus a recent Gartner survey found that 73% of chief sales officers (CSOs) estimated their organization’s budgets would increase by an average of 17% this year. And 84% of these sales leaders planned to allocate 20% more funds to sales enablement compared to 2021 levels. Make the most of those bigger budgets by focusing on what matters most in your summer sales kickoff gathering and tightening spend where you can.
HYPER-FOCUS YOUR IN-PERSON TIME TOGETHER
If you have not brought your sales teams together for the last two years, it may be tempting to overload the schedule at your summer sales kickoff. Resist that urge. Three main areas of sales enablement will give your organization the most payoff:
- Buyer Personas: Many buying organizations and buyer journeys have shifted a great deal in the last two years. How have your buyers changed? How has access to decision-makers gotten easier or harder or just plain different? How can you continue to best serve them?
- Differentiated Value Proposition: On a related note to buyer personas, how is your organization’s value messaging serving your buyer’s needs here and now? If your company is like most organizations, your value proposition has shifted over the last two years during the pandemic either because the challenges your buyers are facing have evolved and / or differentiated enhancements of your solution have elevated the value you can offer. How can your sellers share your product or service as a solution to your buyer’s problems — and how is that solution better than any other option?
- Selling Tools: Virtual selling has demanded new technologies and tools. What do your salespeople have at their disposal to tap into for buyer meetings? Do they understand how to use these sales kits and virtual tools? Has marketing and / or product developed new tools salespeople have not had the chance to practice and role-play with? How can they be using them better?
Prioritize what would be most effective to cover during an in-person engagement and what can be left for virtual meetings and follow-ups thereafter.
SUSTAINABLE SELLING SUCCESS
While you gather your sales team this summer for a sales kickoff event, empower them to Seek to Serve, Not to Sell™. This selling philosophy encourages salespeople to put buyers first in a selling culture that often feels void of value-exchange, authentic relationships and trust — resulting in sustainable revenue gains and more. Download the guide to get started now.