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Sales Leadership: The Importance of a 2011 Sales Kickoff Meeting

Perhaps 2010 was a great year for your sales team or perhaps it was a struggle and a disappointment. In either case, starting to plan your 2011 sales kickoff event is an important action during November. Why?  There are many reasons to make sure this event is properly orchestrated:

  1. Keeping your team excited and motivated is essential. A new year means all your sales numbers go back to zero -- that can be emotionally draining for salespeople who for the past few years have struggled with challenging economic conditions.

  2. A new year means you can celebrate your success stories from the previous year. You MUST focus on building belief that your team has "moved" forward and make note of all successes-even the minor ones.

  3. You can announce your yearlong sales contest at your kickoff meeting. This needs planning and arrangement. The Guru is a big believer that every sales team should plan a trip or event for all quota achievers.

  4. Have fun. The event should include a speaker, music and an upbeat mood. The speaker could be a sales trainer or motivational program or even an existing customer how can provide a testimony of your great product/services. This will show your commitment towards investing in your team.

  5. Create a theme for the sales kickoff meeting and use the same theme for the entire year. This theme should be your motto and something you can build on during the year at all your sales meetings. You could tie the theme into your third sales contest. Let me know what you think are the best themes you have heard or used in your sales career.

  6. There may be a new sales compensation plan announced. If the changes are somewhat new or perhaps negative to the salespeople, you must plan the rollout carefully. Never announce the new compensation plan at the end of your sales kickoff meeting; you will want to roll out the plan halfway through the event.

  7. You might consider having members of the technical or sales support teams attend portions of or all of the meeting. It builds teamwork and they may also be part of your program.

  8. Arrange for the company president to speak and provide their vision for 2011 and commitment to the sales team.

Whether it is a half-day event or a full day, a well planned, exciting sales kickoff event will go a long way towards "kick starting" your 2011.

Posted by Ken Thoreson on October 26, 2010 at 11:59 AM


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