Sales teams thrive on collaboration, camaraderie, and internal competition to hit their quotas. Sales kick-off meetings are therefore a crucial activity to motivate the team, celebrate successes and build relationships between team members and build trust with their sales managers.
As a sales manager or team leader yourself, you’ll know firsthand how in-person sales kickoff meetings foster relationships and motivate the team. There’s just something about being together in person that really engages people and helps them connect.
However, since the pandemic began, virtual sales kick-off meetings are increasingly becoming the norm, not only because of work-from-home policies but because more and more companies are now hiring remotely in order to attract the best talent. So it looks like virtual sales kick-off meetings may be here to stay, regardless of the pandemic.
Are you finding that your team is not as engaged as they were at in-person team events?
If so, then this is pretty common as more and more people suffer from “Zoom Fatigue”. As sales meetings get underway, your team may become distracted, simultaneously checking emails and attending to chores at home. Distractions and home and feeling disconnected from you and their wider team could mean they’re not as focused or involved as they would be at an in-person event.
The big question is, how do we recreate the same level of collaboration and activation in a digital-first world?
In this blog post, we look at innovative ways in which senior sales leaders keep their people engaged during virtual sales team meetings.
10 tactics for a more inspiring virtual sales meeting
When shifting from real-world to virtual meetings, it's human instinct to simply duplicate the event workflows and structure. But that just won't do.
Digital meetings need new, realistic goals to be set, more calls-to-action for everyone participating, and fun activities that will capture the imagination of remote attendees.
On that note, here are some tips for planning for your big sales kickoff meeting:
1. Warm-up the attendees
Share in advance, a sneak-peek of the virtual sales kickoff event to get your team excited. Apart from the trailers, you may share snippets of interviews with the speakers who will be presenting at the event, an event schedule, and even leave feelers about a new compensation package that will be unveiled at the event. You should also send goodie bags, with gift vouchers, inflatable hammocks, and customized tech products, that will help build excitement around the kickoff meeting.
2. Add a touch of fun and mystery
Off-site events are common during these sales meets. Since your team can't experience them in the real world anymore, the next best thing would be a virtual escape room and other team-building events.
3. Don't skimp on the celebrations
Award ceremonies are always a big draw during the sales kickoff meetings. So what if everyone cannot be in the same room for the awards presentation? Ensure the physical trophy (and maybe a bottle of champagne) is delivered to your top performers ahead of time. This will enable your team to celebrate in style with their loved ones when the award is announced.
4. Gamify the strategy and learning sessions
To engage your attendees and influence their actions, you could add fun, friendly challenges to the event and reward positive actions. Leaderboards based on daily quizzes, pitch competitions, and other activities that add pep and increase audience interaction are what will make the event more memorable and effective.
5. Book feedback slots with current customers
What is missing in the world of sales is good case studies. In fact, just 21% of executives feel like they have relevant case studies to share with their team. To bridge this gap, you ask current customers to host virtual sessions for honest and real-time feedback. The customers could share success stories and issues with the current sales process that could help strategize better for the next quarter.
6. Make the content more consumable
As the meetings go virtual, you are battling with compressed attention spans of attendees. Kickoffs that are a day to a week-long just won't cut it anymore. Today, it's important to make the event’s content shorter, and more dynamic.
For one, you could split attendees into breakout rooms for group exercises. Also, pepper the event with short segments of speeches of five to seven minutes, show a short video, conduct a short interview, etc. Also, limit the program to not more than 3 hours a day.
7. Enable networking
Something that a lot of sales persons look forward to is the networking at kickoff meetings. Luckily, many virtual event platforms allow attendees to have live and private conversations with each other, as the speakers or presenting.
8. Keep two-way communication channels open
Apart from chat, you could also run regular polls and live Q&A sessions that get participants speaking about the sessions and contributing their points of view.
9. Digitize all event collateral
From brochures, sales plans for the new quarter, event programs, and speaker bios to activity worksheets and feedback forms there is so much paper that is found in physical sales events. The good thing with virtual kickoff meetings is that all of that collateral can be shared and acknowledged using an eSignature solution like Signeasy. Not only does it make the documents contact-free, but also saves on the cost of printouts and couriering.
10. Collect event feedback
Virtual events are still a new thing, so it's difficult to get it all right from the get-go. Did the salespersons find the event to be helpful? Was it engaging? Were there any sessions that were not clear? Answers to these kinds of questions and more can be sought out after the virtual sales meeting so that the next one can be improved based on the feedback.
If you are ready to start planning your next virtual sales kickoff, start planning early and don't hold back on investing for this event.
Afterall, your salespersons are the backbone of your organization, and keeping them up-to-date and excited about their future in your organization is priceless.
Show your sales team that you’ve got their back both at the virtual sales meeting and in the day-to-day workings of the company with an eSignature solution.
Request Demo for Signeasy and see how it revolutionizes your document workflows.