In the B2B world — and in life — preparation is the first step to success. Imagine if you went into every meeting without an agenda. There would be a great deal of “uhms” and uncertainties, wasting valuable time and resulting in inefficient meetings. The bottom line is you would not go into an important meeting blind, and your revenue kickoff (RKO) should not be any different.
As we quickly approach the latter half of the year, it is time to start prepping for your RKO event. This is the time to be creative and excited! Do not forget to take a look back on your past sales kickoff events, identify what you did right — and what did not work so well. Being well-prepared will instill confidence in and allow more opportunity for a successful event. In order to kickstart your kickoff planning, let us examine three necessary actions to cover: choose an engaging theme, create a meaningful agenda and start promoting your event.
Choosing a Theme
Choosing a theme can be difficult, but we are here to help! Your theme should be both fun and impactful. Deciding on a theme may seem like a small detail, but according to HubSpot, a theme will make your RKO memorable, impactful and help you stay on track. A theme gives you a rallying cry for pre-event, event and post-event messages of your program.
With a strong theme, your RKO efforts will resonate with your teams and invoke excitement. Your RKO event is your chance to inspire your teams and give them the tools they need to help your organization succeed, but it is also a chance for you to strengthen team morale. When choosing a theme, ask yourself questions like: “Is my company in a period of high or low morale?” and “What are your company’s pillars or values — and how can this be reflected in your theme?” Last year, I created a list of 13 questions to help you choose the perfect theme for your organization’s RKO if you are looking for inspiration.
Creating a Strong Agenda
Once you have the theme, create an agenda that aligns with it and that will provide the best chance for success. Think about the day. What month are you holding your RKO? How long will your RKO run? These factors and more should be considered when working on your agenda.
Plan an agenda that makes sense. Jumping into how your teams can improve likely is not the way to go. Start slow and build your way up. Perhaps start the day with hot coffee, introductions and ice breakers. From there, the natural flow of the event should lead you to look into performance over the past year as well as objectives for the year ahead. Ideally, after a long stretch of informative content, you will follow with a fun activity before a break.
Once you are back from a break — short refresher or longer with some intentional networking — consider holding a demonstration if you did not do that before the break. For example, if you spent time explaining to your teams how they should execute calls with buyers, ask for a few volunteers and have them act out a buyer interaction. This gives your teams a chance to practice what they have learned and see it in action.
How you plan your RKO is up to you, but a good rule of thumb is to have a healthy mix of fun activities and informative content interspersed with opportunities for networking.
Promoting Your Revenue Kickoff Event
While the actual execution of this step comes much closer to the time of your event, it is a good idea to plan how you will promote your event. In this stage, you can keep your plans as loose or precise as you want. There are many benefits to building buzz for your RKO including: giving your teams a heads-up of when the event is taking place, creating excitement amongst your teams and giving yourself a chance to be creative. The bottom line is that creating your RKO likely is not the most fun you have had all year. When planning how you are going to promote your RKO, you have the chance to make it as exciting or as formal as you want.
A great way to promote your RKO is to use your theme. If you chose a pop culture element as your theme, use that in your promotion! The goal is to inform your teams of when the event is happening, so they are prepared and to create excitement around it.
Access the Sales Kickoff Planning Playbook
Gain exclusive access to our expert-crafted sales kickoff planning playbook and make the most out of your planning time.