For sales leaders, a new year marks new opportunities to help their organizations succeed. And it also means planning a sales kick-off meeting to set goals, ensure everyone is on the same page, and generate excitement and inspiration for the year to come.
And that’s for good reason: if you want to hit sales targets and organizational goals, motivating and empowering your employees is the first step.
Inspiring your team in 2023 starts with an effective and motivating sales kick-off meeting. Here’s how to plan one.
Sales Kick-Off Meeting Basics
The best place to start for how to plan a sales kick-off meeting is with the basics. From there, you can build something unique and engaging.
Select a venue for your team that adds value to your meeting. It should be big enough to comfortably accommodate everyone with the support and amenities you need.
Here are a few options:
- Meeting room: Coworking spaces offer on-demand meeting rooms that are fully appointed with A/V equipment, comfortable seating, coffee or tea, and support from on-site staff. This is a great option for remote or hybrid teams who need a space to come together.
- Auditorium or larger flex space: If your meeting will feature a keynote speaker or is for a large team, you may consider a space that accommodates everyone like a small auditorium or flexible event space.
- Restaurant: You may also choose to host your sales kick-off meeting in a private section of a restaurant or other hospitality location. This is best suited for small teams and shorter meetings.
Just as the right space impacts your meeting, the right timing does, too.
A sales kick-off meeting should align with the beginning of the new year, but be wary about scheduling it the first day everyone’s back to work after the holidays. Give everyone a few days or weeks to settle in so they’re at their best for the meeting.
You also want to consider the length of the meeting. It should be long enough to cover everything you need to say, but short enough that it respects everyone’s time.
This looks different for every company and sales team, so be mindful of what works best! Large teams may decide on a multi-day retreat-style meeting, while smaller teams can be successful with a half-day meeting.
Whether it’s a catered lunch or some gourmet muffins and coffee, treat your team to something delicious. Good food is an essential part of how to plan a sales kick-off meeting, so don’t leave it until the last minute.
Depending on the length of your kick-off meeting, incorporate break times so everyone can grab something to eat, stretch their legs, and connect with their colleagues on a casual basis.
9 Tips for How to Plan a Sales Kick-Off Meeting
With the basics in place, it’s time to take things up a notch. Here are 9 things to incorporate into your sales kick-off meeting to motivate and inspire employees.
Send Materials in Advance
You want your sales kick-off meeting to be engaging and interactive, so sending some important materials in advance helps bring your team up to speed. You don’t have to then waste time covering everything in detail at the beginning of the meeting.
Here are some ideas on what to send:
- Practical information: Time, place, food, dress code, and what to bring.
- Year-in-review report: Circulate an overview report of what happened in the previous year so you have something to build on.
- Meeting agenda: Give people a quick snapshot of what to expect during the sales kick-off meeting.
You may also get team members to prepare for the meeting by compiling their sales data, questions, challenges, or anything else they want to bring to the meeting.
- Why it matters: You’re inviting participation from the beginning and setting an expectation for thoughtful participation.
Start With Team Building
Begin your sales kick-off meeting with team-building activities. While some people roll their eyes at the thought of icebreaker questions or games, they can be highly effective when done right.
- Why it matters: Intentional team building increases employees’ sense of belonging, which leads to a 56% increase in job performance.
The next section of your sales kick-off meeting should be dedicated to collective team wins. You can highlight sales goals that were met and acknowledge individuals who went above and beyond.
This may also be a good time to incorporate some of our extraordinary team appreciation ideas.
- Why it matters: This sets a positive tone for the rest of the meeting while acknowledging your team’s hard work.
Set Specific Goals
Spend some time outlining specific sales goals for your team. These should be quantifiable and measurable targets that everyone on the team is working towards. Some examples include:
- Increasing revenue by 7%.
- Improving customer retention by 10%.
- Onboarding four new sales team members.
- Schedule 50 customer demonstrations each week.
- Decrease customer churn by 15%.
Your goals will be specific to your company and product or service. They need to align with broad company targets while remaining realistic for your team to achieve.
- Why it matters: Specific targets provide a clear direction for sales professionals.
Along with clear and specific sales targets and goals, you should spend time outlining any bonuses, incentives, or commission that your company offers.
- Why it matters: Many sales professionals are motivated by commissions and bonuses, especially if it makes up the majority of their income. It’s important they know exactly how this works in order to do their best work.
Have Multiple Speakers
A kick-off sales meeting shouldn’t be a monologue from the sales manager. Instead, shake things up by inviting multiple people to speak. For example, you can include people like:
- CEO or founder: Bring in someone who can motivate your team by casting the vision of the company as a whole.
- Customers: Bring in the customer voice by asking long-standing clients to offer input on their experience with your company.
- Team members: Ask your top sales staff to share some tips, tricks, or insights to the rest of the team.
- Keynote speaker: An industry expert could be just the person to fire up your team!
You can also create open space for dialogue and questions to ensure that multiple voices are heard throughout the meeting.
- Why it matters: Multiple speakers and voices keep the meeting engaging and relevant.
It’s important to set aside time for questions. You can do this through an anonymous method (i.e., text in questions to a number) or simply open the floor to dialogue.
- Why it matters: Creating space for dialogue affirms that everyone’s ideas and concerns are valid. It also may bring up issues that were overlooked.
Offer Training Opportunities
A great value-add to your sales kick-off meeting is training or upskilling opportunities. This will equip your team with the knowledge to improve their skills while showing a company commitment to professional growth.
You may choose to include training as a direct part of your kick-off meeting or simply review the options that are available to your team.
- Why it matters: Training is a practical next step for your team members. It will help boost their performance while providing meaningful professional development.
Determine Your Next Steps
Leave the meeting with an action plan. You can actually crowdsource this with your team so that everyone is on the same page. Ask questions like:
- What are the immediate next steps for everyone to take? (E.g., determine personal sales targets, enroll in training opportunities).
- How can we keep each other accountable and motivated? (E.g. quarterly meetings, Tuesday morning check-ins).
- What information or resources do you need to meet these sales targets? (E.g. outline of incentives structure, new policies and procedures).
Include this information together with the meeting minutes so everyone has a roadmap for success.
- Why it matters: You don’t want to invest time and effort into a meeting just to leave everyone wondering, “Now what?” An actionable plan keeps things moving in the right direction.
Your sales kick-off meeting for 2023 sets the tone for the rest of the year. These 9 tips on how to plan a sales kick-off meeting will help you inspire and motivate your team while providing all the important information they need for success.
Looking for an incredible venue to host your 2023 sales kick-off meeting? Then book a tour of your local Launch Workplace today.