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Top Line Tips


It’s Sales Kick Off (SKO) Season…Again

(Must read for those on the SKO planning team!)

It's sales kick off season again and you want a high impact, memorable event.  The agenda content should serve to kick-start sales for the year. Easy, peasy – right?  Not so fast.  It turns out that you have quite a diverse sales audience with varying levels of sales acumen.  Typical attendees might include:

Direct sales (Global sales team, mid-market sales team, small account sales team)

  • Inside sales
  • Channel sales partners
  • SME’s (Sales Analysts, other subject matter experts)
  • Sales Operations
  • Sales leadership

And the list could go on.  Talk about a challenge to find commonality!  We didn’t even mention the fact that your sellers may sell different products and services. What about the difference between your farmers and hunters?  Before you curl up under the auditorium chair, I have some simple suggestions.

First, determine your overriding goals.  Do you want to entertain, inspire or educate?  Most companies outsource this component.  My first simple suggestion is to call me.  My network is vast and I can recommend several dynamite keynote speakers, an entertainment program that includes sales tips backed up by a rock band and many remarkable sales trainers.  If you want to invest in growth and development for your sales organization around your largest, most complex opportunities, then I would throw my hat in the ring as your trusted resource.

Next, consider topics that have wide appeal but undeniable impact.  Four topics that I’ve found are popular and can be easily sized (based on how much time you have for training) are:

Pre-call planning

Win Themes™

Securing an executive sponsor

Competitive blocking

Consider the below model to test the impact of these subjects.

Results Model

Common close ratio: 25%

Add pre-call planning: +20%

Add account strategy work: +10 – 20%

Add Win Themes™: +10%

Add competitive blocking: +10%

NEW CLOSE RATIO: 75% – 85%

A final word of caution: external resources such as expert sales consultants, speakers and trainers book up quickly during the SKO season.  (January – March)  Book early to allow for customization.

Your SKO is sure to be a great event.  However, with careful planning and the right resources, it can be a transformational experience that pays big dividends throughout the year.\

Good luck and good selling!


The Perfect Book for your Upcoming Sales Kick-Off:

Invest in your executive selling efforts by giving your sellers the book that is guaranteed to enhance their sales performance.  The TOP Seller Advantage: Powerful Strategies to Build Long-Term Executive Relationships includes proven strategies to ensure sellers develop long-lasting executive access.


The C-suite executive perspectives at the end of each chapter reveal exactly how senior leaders view sales encounters and what would cause them to keep the door open for follow up meetings. Check it out at


About Lisa Magnuson:

Lisa Magnuson is an expert in corporate strategic sales and TOP Line Account™ revenue building. As a respected sales consultant and author, Lisa works with clients to build successful strategic sales programs that drive revenue from large new accounts and enable growth from existing high-value customers. Learn more at

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