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The 7 Biggest Pitfalls of Traditional Sales Kickoffs

Traditional sales kickoffsSales kickoffs (SKOs) are the perfect way for your sales organization to celebrate past wins, set sales goals, and communicate new strategies. They can also cost hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of dollars to execute, cut into critical selling time, and don’t often result in a sales team that is equipped to sell better.

Here are the most notorious pitfalls that sales organizations run into when planning and executing their SKOs:

1. They’re crazy expensive.

Costs add up quickly: the venue, lodging, meals, drinks, flights, rides, hosts, speakers, entertainment, and giveaways. Your company is probably looking at spending thousands, hundreds of thousands, or even millions of dollars to put on its annual kickoff event. From an ROI perspective, it’s crazy to justify that kind of price tag when the data shows those results are mixed at best.

2. They don’t have a lasting impact on employees.

While in-person events can feel impactful in the moment, how much information are your sales reps truly retaining? Research shows that on average, it only takes a week for people to forget 90% of the information presented to them. Similarly, ES Research reports that up to 90% of sales training efforts have no lasting impact after 120 days. Is the amount you’re spending on your SKO worth it, if your targeted audience is only walking away with 10% of what you intended after seven days?!

3. It’s unrealistic to cover everything during one kickoff.

Based on the statistics mentioned above, it’s unproductive to cram a year’s worth of selling best practices, motivational tactics, and goal-and-expectation-setting into a 2-3 day event that will actually be meaningful.

4. The opportunity cost is high.

Your sales reps hear it all the time: tIme is money. When your entire sales team is required to travel to and from a kickoff event, they’re losing critical selling hours. Not only can this affect their outcomes and commissions, but your quarterly sales numbers are going to take a hit when you pull your entire sales staff off the job for longer than absolutely necessary.

5. The way your employees consume content has changed.

By 2025, millennials will make up 75% of the global workforce. As a generation that has mostly grown up with the internet, millennials tend to reject traditional learning methods in favor of modern tools like video. Continuing to hold in-person annual SKOs might be falling short with employees that would prefer a more streamlined, digital experience.

6. More often than not, they miss the mark.

It’s not uncommon for companies to focus more on the kickoff event than the kickoff objectives. Sure, bringing in a motivational speaker and hosting post-session happy hours are important; you want to get your sales reps energized, and networking is a big part of the job. But too often, companies put more energy and resources into the social elements of a kickoff, instead of enabling its sales organization with tools that will actually help them sell.

7. Sales reps aren’t given proper post-event support.

Sales reps can usually point to the two times they receive formal sales training: when they’re onboarded, and at the annual sales kickoff. Your reps need to have access to continual training in order to retain the information they need to optimize selling -- and research shows that companies who offer continuous sales training will see up to 50% higher net sales per employee than companies that don’t.


So what's the solution to high-cost and ineffective SKOs?

To keep up with the demands of an increasingly modern and tech-savvy workforce, more companies than ever are livestreaming their sales kickoffs - and it’s working.

Curious about livestreaming your next SKO? Take a look at our 9 best practices for livestreaming your annual sales kickoff to learn more, or request more info from Brandlive.

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