We've been writing a lot about executing an effective sales kickoff. While we aren't event planners nor do we center our business around giving big room keynotes, we do know something about aligning a major event to an important business strategy. Done right, sales kickoffs can often be the driver of company change. The event that marks the change from doing things the old way to the new way of operating.
If you're charged with coordinating your company's kickoff, this may be the year that you have to change the way you operate. Perhaps you understand that this event can be the time for change, but you need to get your leadership on board with executing the event a little differently in order to drive that change. Here are three ways to get more buy-in for what you want to do at the sales kickoff:
1. Align the Event to Overall Company Objectives
The best way to get leadership on board with any initiative is to align it with an overall company objectives. If the event has it's own goal that doesn't have a clear connection to a company initiative, others will see it as a "sales only" program. For example, let's say your company is moving to subscription pricing. The goal of this pricing shift is to create recurring revenue that will improve your chances for selling the company. You could say the goal of your sales kickoff is to enable the sales team to sell the new products (which have subscription pricing) OR you can set the objective is to improve RMR by 15% in the quarter following the kickoff. Perhaps the two are the same, but the latter shows how the event directly aligns to company goal of driving RMR. It will be much more difficult for others to get behind the initiative if it isn't seen as advancing a company initiative.
2. Set Clear, Measurable Success Goals
Setting clear and measurable objectives is critical to actually being able to measure your return on investment. The objectives should be clear for every role in the room. What do you want people to do at the end of the event? How will you measure success? Remember to set both long and short term objectives and make sure you can quantify them in some way. People will be more likely to sign up for adjusting the sales kickoff, if there are clear measures of success.
3. Cross-Functional Buy-In
Much like aligning your event to a broader strategy, getting a cross-functional leadership team behind your initiative ensures that there are company-level, business implications to making the event a success. Determine the positive business outcomes you'll likely achieve by executing it in the way that you want. Make sure those PBOs are relevant to the different departments you're looking to get on board with the event. Make sure you have specific commitments you want them to make as it relates to your event. Perhaps it is to help you measure success in the sales process. Maybe you need new proof points from marketing. Whatever it is, ensure you're being specific in your cross-functional asks.