Studies have shown that 75% of people learn by doing, so it is only natural that your kickoff event includes exercises that support this learning style. Hands-on exercises and role-play activities can greatly increase your teams’ retention rates and make your kickoff efforts stick. Now I would like to share five of the strongest skill-building activities to consider weaving into your revenue kickoff (RKO). After all, the objective of your program is to enhance the behaviors of your team — not just “check-the-box” training. When you do this right, you help set forth better buyer-seller interactions that Seek to Serve™ for the long-run.
1) Simulated Buyer Conversation
By running a simulated version of a buyer conversation, your teams will feel more comfortable when it is time for a real conversation.
The exercise: Split your teams into groups of two. One person will act as the salesperson and the other will act as the buyer. Set a scenario for them and have the pair act it out. The person who is acting as the buyer should put themselves in the buyer’s position. What problems would they be facing? What qualities would they be looking for in a solution? The person acting as the seller has an easier task of immersing themselves in the role of the salesperson. They should remember your organization’s value proposition and think about solutions that would serve this hypothetical buyer.
The benefits: You and your managers can see where your salespeople shine and where they may need some extra support. You can even take it a step further and have one person come to the front and act out the same scenario with you, and as a group you can analyze what they did well and what needs work. Just remember to foster a safe space for your salespeople to learn, which includes making mistakes.
Bonus! Consider having a manager play the role of buyer in one of your scenarios. This often amps-up the attention of all parties involved, including the manager.
2) Solution Demo
Holding a demo of a solution allows your teams to build confidence and knowledge in what they are selling.
The exercise: Choose a solution from your portfolio — ideally one that is a priority for your kickoff. Give the audience some guidelines (length of the demo, what aspects should be highlighted, etc.). For a clearer example, any demo should be pithy and highlight the value of the solution so consider setting a time limit of one to two minutes. Choose a few people (or ask for volunteers) to come up and demo it for the audience.
The benefits: Running this exercise gives you insight into how versed your teams are in a solution and the buyer use case(s) being addressed. You also can ask your teams if they have questions about the solution itself or what to include in a demo. Much like the buyer interaction exercise, this is an opportunity to correct and reward aspects of the demo.
Bonus! If you introduced a new product / solution in your kickoff, use it for this exercise.
3) Follow-Up Call
Practicing a follow-up call is a great way to prepare your salespeople and relieve any anxieties they may be feeling about a vital sales activity.
The exercise: Give your teams a scenario where three days ago a buyer purchased one of your solutions. Have a few people simulate a follow-up call — either with predetermined buyer answers or having another person act as the buyer (like a sales manager or product manager).
The benefits: You get to see how your salespeople (or client success / client experience teams) are interacting with buyers. You also can analyze if the questions your teams are asking are valuable and if they are leaving room for buyers to choose your organization again when they run into a problem.
Bonus! This exercise is more customizable, so it can be as detailed or as general as you would like.
4) Client’s FAQs
Before your kickoff, send a form to your buyers asking them to send you any questions they have about your solutions, organization or anything really. By having your salespeople familiarize themselves with these questions, they will be ready to answer anything and solve your buyers’ pains faster.
The exercise: This can be done in medium-sized groups or as a larger gathering. Choose a few questions your buyers are asking frequently and have your teams answer them.
The benefits: Your teams should be able to respond to these questions with little to no trouble. If you find they are struggling, consider spending extra time on areas where they may not have answers.
Bonus! With this exercise you can add in more fun! Consider treating this activity like a game show and offer a prize to the team that answered the most questions correctly — especially if this ties into your kickoff theme.
5) Ideal Buyer Profile
Your teams should know their ideal client profile (ICP) like the back of their hand. Use this activity to put that to the test.
The exercise: Like the FAQ exercise, this one will be similar to a quiz. You can start by listing a generic quality or two of an ICP and slowly reveal more distinct qualities as the activity progresses.
The benefits: This activity gives you some insight into how familiar your teams are with your organization’s ICPs. As always, if you notice some struggle, take time to go over your ICPs, why you chose them and how your salespeople should use these details to improve / inform their selling approach.
Bonus! If you have not already, create a Power Profile™ your teams can reference easily. It is also important to note that every organization sets their ICPs up differently, so customize this exercise to best fit your organization’s needs.
Plan the Perfect Kickoff Program for Your Organization
A strong start often results in a strong finish. Make the most of your RKO planning time with Mereo’s RKO planning playbook.