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An Easy Way to Drive SKO Participation and Success

An Easy Way to Drive SKO Participation and Success

Categories: Sales Kickoff

In the flurry of SKO planning, it’s easy to get bogged down on the details. You and your enablement team are making a slew of decisions — who’s presenting, where are you doing it, what’s the agenda, etc. While those details are important to your overall success, don’t lose focus on your most important asset, your salespeople.

Keep the focus on your salespeople by making your SKO meaningful to each and every one of them. Tailor your event in a way that will be impactful to your entire sales organization, leaving them motivated and prepared to hit KPIs and achieve company growth goals. Drive SKO participation and success with the three I’s. Keep your salespeople (1) informed of the SKO plan, (2) included in its development and (3) in control of executing after it’s over. Here’s how to make it happen.

1. Inform your team of the company's strategy and their role in it.

The SKO is your opportunity to articulate what’s expected of your salespeople next year and how you’re going to help them get there. With likely aggressive growth goals for next year, put in a concerted effort now to keep your top performers engaged during your SKO and beyond. Use that moment in time, where you have your team’s full attention, to inform them of:

  1. The direction your company is headed.
  2. How it will impact your salespeople, including what changes to expect and how they may need to adjust their sales rhythm.
  3. What’s in it for your salespeople, long-term. What are the positive business outcomes they will receive by executing against your strategy?
  4. Your plan to help your salespeople succeed next year.

Once your salespeople are informed of changes, expected goals and potential outcomes, they’ll better understand the “why” of the event and be more likely to participate in what's being asked of them. 

2. Include your team in the sales initiative.

You may know where you’re seeing execution gaps across your sales organization, but it isn’t always easy to pinpoint what your team needs to overcome those challenges. Where are your sales teams getting stuck? What skills, capabilities, knowledge, can you provide to help them overcome their execution challenges? Leverage your people for relevant and accurate answers to these questions. Include them in the planning. Let the SKO planning happen with them, instead of to them

Work with your managers to identify what they need to improve seller skill sets and overcome execution challenges. Have your managers poll their salespeople and report back on where reps, account teams, BDRs/SDRs are getting stuck. Are there internal bottlenecks that you were not aware of? Are they getting stalled in deals that they don’t belong in? Are they constantly being delegated down to low-level technical buyers or losing to specific competition again and again? Use their insights as you design your SKO and develop the strategy for how you’re going to equip your sales organization to succeed next year. Once you have their insights, build your strategy accordingly and align it to your SKO deliverables, activities and presentations.

3. Make sure they’re in control of how to execute moving forward. 

If you want your salespeople to execute against your strategy for next year, what you roll out at your SKO needs to be relevant to your salespeople’s daily activities. Put your salespeople in control of their success. Give them what they need to execute after the event. 

Here are a few best practices: 

  • Avoid developing content that’s too theoretical for your sales team to use on live deals. 
  • Avoid investing heavily into tools that your team won't see the value in using.
  • Prioritize resources wisely, on deliverables that your team will actually use to make an impact on their deals.
  • Equip your managers with actionable ways to drive long-term accountability.

Execute an Impactful SKO

You need time to execute an impactful SKO. Get your people’s input early so you can align your SKO agenda, deliverables and activities accordingly. We’ve got sales kickoff resources and timely best practices that will help you start moving in the right direction. Use them as you work to develop a motivating SKO that moves the needle.

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