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Tips and Ideas for Hosting an Engaging Virtual Sales Kickoff Event

Monday January 11, 2021

Woman attending a virtual sales kickoff on her laptop with a group of coworkers on a Zoom call.

CEOs and Revenue Leaders are looking for new ways to organize engaging and impactful sales kickoffs (SKOs).

With the prevalence of distributed workforces, however, hosting an in-person event is becoming costlier and more challenging. From flying your entire team out to finding a centrally located venue, the costs add up.

If you’re a business leader searching for ways to save money, you might be wondering whether a virtual SKO can be as effective as an in-person one.

The good news is that, with proper planning, virtual SKOs can produce the same results as in-person gatherings while significantly cutting costs.

Considerations For Your Virtual Sales Kickoff

The most important consideration when planning your virtual SKO is that you can’t simply take your in-person SKO agenda and transfer it online. It’s important to make sure that your SKO is designed to fit a virtual setting.

 

Gartner shares the following considerations for virtual kickoff meetings:

  • Break down the event into multiple mini-sessions: Conduct your sessions across multiple consecutive days to minimize the occurrence of “presenter fatigue” and accommodate the schedules of teams located in different geographical areas.
  • Concise messages and reinforcement: Virtual meetings require more concise messaging. To drive messages home, incorporate interactive exercises that allow the audience to apply and practice what they’ve learned.
  • Programming for inspiration and morale building: One of the main goals of any kickoff is to celebrate success and motivate for the coming year. Include special sessions dedicated to this.

The purpose of your SKO is to motivate, educate, and unite your team. Additionally, it provides a great chance to clarify objectives and set goals.

5 Virtual SKO Themes

Salesforce recommends structuring your SKO around specific themes. One approach is to allocate separate days for Celebration and Inspiration, allowing for focused and impactful sessions on each topic.

Here’s a list of five themes you can consider, as well as live virtual experiences that you can incorporate into your agenda.

1. Inspiration

Virtual SKOs are an excellent opportunity to inspire your team. Having a day dedicated to inspiration is an excellent way to accomplish this.

Some things to consider for this theme include:

  • Hiring inspirational speakers
  • Sharing success stories
  • Sharing positive customer testimonials
  • Hosting an inspirational team building event

Teamraderie has a wide range of experiences intended to inspire your team. One of our live virtual experiences features Summer Sanders, a four-time Olympic medal winner in swimming. In “What If We All Wore Speedos at Work”. Summer leads the discussion on the importance of vulnerability for team performance.

For example, in sales, “vulnerability” refers to seeking assistance and acknowledging any pipeline difficulties or deals that are unlikely to be finalized.

2. Curiosity

Curiosity is an excellent theme for an SKO. Curious teams tend to have lower levels of anxiety, and greater overall psychological well being.

Your SKO is a great time to foster creativity in your team.

Consider:

  • Hosting a brainstorming session
  • Learning a new skill
  • Hearing how others have successfully leveraged curiosity

Our virtual wine tasting experience can help your team connect and learn from a team that has successfully created a culture of curiosity.

Your team is sent two bottles of famed Chateau Montelena wine. You’re joined by a wine educator and historian who tells the story of a man who purchased a crumbling 150 acre estate in Napa Valley–and four years later had the winery producing the #1 wine in the world. In this experience, your team will learn the elements of a ‘culture of curiosity’ and discuss how to make them a part of your team–while tasting two of the world’s most famous wines.

3. Appreciation

Kickoffs present a unique opportunity to tell your colleagues (including members of adjacent teams) what you value about them and encourage other team members to practice appreciation. For this reason, it makes a great theme.

For your next virtual SKO, consider:

  • Awarding top performers
  • Recognizing individual employees
  • Giving your team an opportunity to express appreciation for one another

Our recognition and appreciation experience can facilitate this positive interaction. In this experience, your team will be given the chance to express their appreciation for one another. Hosted live by a team building expert, this workshop is the perfect way to make your appreciation theme impactful.

4. Authenticity

Authenticity is important for leaders and employees alike, particularly in an increasingly virtual world. This makes it an excellent theme for a virtual SKO that can benefit your company at every level of leadership.

Consider:

  • Reviewing your existing messaging
  • Aligning your team to ensure a seamless customer journey
  • Hearing from a speaker on how to be more authentic

If you’re hoping to facilitate important conversations surrounding authenticity, consider our authenticity in communication experience. In this experience, multi-platinum artist and National Poetry Champion IN-Q joins you live to perform and lead the team through writing their own poems of self-discovery.

5. Empathy

According to Harvard Business Review (HBR), empathy is a critical skill for leaders. However, in a virtual environment, it’s difficult to communicate with empathy.

A virtual SKO is an excellent opportunity to build empathy among your team members and help them learn to convey it in a remote environment. This makes it a great opportunity for a theme.

Consider:

  • Facilitating discussions on how to build empathy
  • Learning from experts on how to increase empathy
  • Enjoying a team building experience designed to increase empathy

Our empathy through improv experience connects your team through interactive virtual improv games. Facilitated by an improv and team building expert, you’ll learn how to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and respond appropriately to their emotions.

Make Your Next Virtual SKO a Success

Searching for inspiration to elevate your SKO to the next level? Explore our extensive guide to organizing a triumphant SKO. Teamraderie is here to support you in creating a memorable and successful virtual kickoff, providing valuable insights and ideas to make your event truly exceptional.

Learn how to maximize your next SKO with Teamraderie, or check out our 60+ virtual experiences that are perfect for your next virtual event.

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