How to host a stellar sales kickoff

The end of 2020 is upon us (thankfully), which means it’s time to look ahead to the next 12 months.

If you’re a sales leader, planning your annual sales kickoff event is probably at the top of your to-do list…or at least it should be. Even in uncertain times, it’s important to get your sales team thinking long term.

Keep reading to learn what a sales kickoff is, why these kinds of events are valuable to sales teams, and five tips you can use to ensure your kickoff is a huge success.

What’s a Sales Kickoff?

A sales kickoff, SKO for short, is an annual meeting that allows sales teams to set goals for the new year, align strategy, and motivate reps. SKOs are typically hosted in January or February, though this isn’t a hard and fast rule.

Most SKO events last at least a full day, if not more, which means they require a significant investment of time and resources. Let’s talk about why the investment is worth it.

Why Host a Sales kickoff Event?

“Hmmm…” you’re thinking, “sales kickoff events sound great, but are they really worth the effort?” While we can’t answer that question for you, we can say with absolute confidence that SKOs are beneficial to the companies that host them. Here’s why:


SKOs give sales leaders the chance to establish their goals for the new year and make sure everyone on the team knows what they are. When your reps understand your company’s main objectives, they can focus their efforts on high-impact strategies to help achieve them. This level of clarity will do wonders for your team.


SKOs are the perfect time to educate sales reps on new and/or updated products. That way they can sell them to prospects with complete confidence. If you take time to dive deeper into the various benefits and features of your products, your sales will increase.


Finally, a well-structured SKO will completely re-energize and motivate your sales team. As you know, rep enthusiasm is essential to high sales numbers. By building up excitement in your reps via inspirational speeches and award presentations, you can boost their energy levels.

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REGISTER FREE 5 Tips For Your Next SKO

The benefits of sales kickoff meetings are clear. Now the question is, how do you host one? Keep the following five tips in mind and your next SKO will be much more successful.

1. Understand Your Goals

Your objectives should form the foundation of your entire SKO, which means you have to actually know what they are. By taking time to define your goals, you’ll ensure your meet-up is both productive and successful. There are two kinds of goals you should set:

Business goals: What do you want your sales team to achieve this year? Examples could be, “Boost revenue by at least 10%” or “Break into X market.” Don’t plan the rest of your SKO until you know exactly what your business goals are.SKO goals: You should also plan specific goals for your sales

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