We’ve been living in a world required to pivot from business-as-usual in person to Zoom meetings, and now to a mix of both. Many companies are continuing to consider various strategies to plan and host an effective, engaging sales kickoff.
According to a recent event participation survey conducted by MarTech, respondents rated the likelihood of attending an in-person event in the first half of 2022 a five out of ten. About 27% expressed interest in attending events in-person only, 34% preferred to attend virtually, and 39% wanted to participate in hybrid events with both in-person and virtual components.
Regardless of their location, sales teams need the right talking points — and an infusion of morale and excitement — for a successful start to 2022.
What’s a sales kickoff?
Companies hold sales kickoffs (SKO) internally at the start of each year. Intended to offer business growth strategies and have everyone on the same page, SKOs also educate, inspire and motivate sales teams.
Before the pandemic, companies hosted SKOs in person. These experiential events included opportunities for:
- Sharing best practices
- Updating sales strategies
- Boosting sales teams’ enthusiasm for the new year
- Learning about new products and updates
Since then, SKOs — like many other business operations — have gone virtual. Sales leaders now seek to elevate their virtual venues to platforms that have the power to inform, inspire and connect teams in preparation for hitting and exceeding 2022’s sales goals.
A playbook for virtual SKOs
Zoom fatigue is real, and working remotely can often result in too many meetings. According to a study by Korn Ferry, 67% of employees feel they spend too much time in meetings, and the time demand hampers their productivity.
Sales professionals also continue to struggle with engagement — 36% of respondents in the State of the Event Industry Report: Third Quarter 2021 listed it as their top challenge.
While socializing won’t quite be the same and skipping 2022’s SKO isn’t always an option, companies can still deliver a high-impact virtual or hybrid SKO that engages, entertains and motivates their sales teams.
Virtual or hybrid SKOs offer other benefits, too. Firstly, they’re cost-effective. Thanks to technology that allows distributed teams to connect virtually, companies can save money by not flying everyone to a central location. Organizations will save thousands on venue, hotel, transportation and catering costs.