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5 Ways to Get Greater ROI out of your Sales Kickoff


Remember from last year’s Sales Kickoff?

The theme?  The awards ceremony?  That awkward moment when the VP of Marketing tripped walking toward the podium?

What about all those great new selling tactics your sales team was introduced to?  How many of those are actually being used 10 months later?

Here’s a sobering fact:  77% of what we learn within a week is forgotten.

If you want to get greater ROI out of your Sales Kickoff, you need to make sure your sales team receives, retains and applies more of these valuable selling tactics. That means part of your planning should include how to make those behavior-changing messages as memorable as possible.

  1. Get Presenters Stage-ready:

No matter how great the content, a poor speaker’s message will fail to have a lasting impact on any audience.  Sales Kickoffs present some unique challenges for company executives and presenters inexperienced in speaking to large groups.  Hire experienced stage presenters or schedule rehearsal time with a presentation coach for executives and new presenters.

  1. Connect the Dots between Presenters:

It’s much easier for people to remember things that are connected, so let individual speakers know who/what topic they are following and ask that they briefly connect the dots for their audience.   For example:

“In the last session, Kathy shared a new tool that will help you quickly and easily identify the right contacts when prospecting.  Now, we’re going to talk about how to find and share content that is customized to each prospect to improve your message open rates by as much as 50%.”

  1. Frame Individual Sessions:

Session speakers rarely have enough time, so they often cut out important presentation elements at the beginning and end of their sessions that are vital for attention and recall.  Ensure that each speaker delivers a clear, concise opening that highlights what they’ll be learning and a succinct closing which summarizes key takeaways and (this is important) ties them to the specific value for the participant.  In the example above, the value of the session “improve your message open rate by as much as 50%” was clearly stated up front and would also be reiterated at the end.

  1. Increase Activity in all Sessions:

How many of your speakers are just talk, talk, talking at your team?  Content delivered in this fire-hose style is difficult for anyone to remember – let alone busy sales reps!  Ask speakers to include some type of audience involvement. Whether it’s live polling, breakouts, or mini-exercises, the more senses involved, the more your sales team will remember the experience.

  1. Create a Follow-up plan

You’ve generated a great deal of excitement, don’t let it die out!  Leverage that energy shortly after your SKO with a plan to reinforce key learnings and put new behaviors to the test.  Ask speakers to do follow-up emails or webinars.  Have participants report on learnings or results. Create a contest focused on using new skills.  Keep the momentum going to maximize your investment.

Bottom Line:  If you want to get greater ROI out of your Sales Kickoff, take control over what you want your sales team to remember.  Incorporate proven tactics that will improve audience recall in part of your planning.




Julie Hansen is the Author of Sales Presentations for Dummies, a Keynote Speaker, and Presentation Coach.  In 2018 she was named one of the Top 35 Most Influential Women in Sales by SalesHacker.


2 Responses

    1. Thanks so much Debbie! Companies invest so time and money in SKO’s, it just makes sense to devote some of that effort into ensuring salespeople are walking away with valuable information!

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