While we may be experiencing Zoom fatigue, we have to accept that virtual and hybrid events are here to stay. Nearly 70% of companies plan to incorporate virtual components into their events. When it comes to hybrid sales kickoffs (SKOs), consider ditching the same-old dreary programming and get creative.
A long itinerary of live-streamed presentations quickly gets tedious – no busy sales professional has the attention span for that. You’re trying to energize your sales team, but this stagnant approach will leave them bored instead.
How can you level up your hybrid meeting to be engaging and fun? Leverage multimedia and interactive content. Throwing such an event requires ingenuity and planning but is achievable.
Let’s dive into the hybrid SKO playbook.
Throw out your traditional agenda and think critically about new ways to approach each subject. What session would be most impactful live? What content can be delivered asynchronously or on demand? How can interaction be incorporated? Be sure you don’t forget your online participants.
Consider these strategies to make content memorable.
Live presentations should be short and engaging. Analyzing previous talks helps identify dynamic speakers and hot topics likely to spark conversation.
Longer and more detail-oriented content can be delivered in other formats, like pre-recorded videos, handouts, small panels, simulated customer interactions and role-playing exercises, breakout sessions, and flash drills.
Delivering on-demand material beforehand allows sales reps to review the information more closely and prevents repetition during the event. Small groups and Q&A sessions reinforce information while also fostering connection and collaboration.
Crowdsourcing delivers engaging content. Sales reps don’t want to hear from the same company leaders over and over. Subject matter experts, team leaders, and high-performing reps can create unique content they believe will benefit the team. They often have different ideas and perspectives that enhance the event. For example, ask your top-performing reps to share their biggest wins and demonstrate how they closed the deal. This type of presentation inspires sales reps to use sales content.
The entire event doesn’t have to be about learning. In fact, it’s better if it’s not. Including other types of programming – such as recognizing top performers and anniversaries, holding contests, and scheduling social or team-building time – makes things more fun. Consider gamifying the experience with quizzes and poll questions (to generate friendly competition) or a sales pitch faceoff (to get creative juices flowing).
These are just a few options to consider. Understanding your team’s needs will help you create the right mix.
The work to put on a successful SKO continues after the closing remarks. The event contains lots of important information, but research shows most humans forget about 90% of what they learned within a week without any follow-up. To help sales reps retain information, provide reinforcement such as:
Reinforcement builds proficiency to help sellers articulate value and close deals.
It’s not too early to start planning for next year. Evaluate your most recent SKO to determine what went well and what did not. You can solicit rep feedback and suggestions. Gathering this information can help you identify ways to build on your success.
Hybrid SKOs shouldn’t be a gauntlet of virtual presentations. With the right mix of content, they can be memorable and provide just as much value as an in-person event. Think outside the box to give your sales team momentum into the new cycle.
As chief revenue officer at Allego, George Donovan is responsible for achieving the company’s customer acquisition and sales goals. A proven sales leader with over 20 years of sales, marketing, operations, and management experience, George is a sales enablement enthusiast who loves tools and systems that empower people.