The New Year is here and marketers are scrambling to build their marketing presentation for Sales Kickoff. During the first quarter of each new year, almost all B2B companies that sell via a direct model with kick off the new year by meeting with their teams for two or three days in a hotel or conference space. Usually marketing organizations present for 30 to 60 minutes, with some presentations going well and some not so well. Below is some insight on the content to include in one’s marketing presentation.

It’s a given that there will be too much content, time slots will be shifted or eliminated, something will get added to the agenda, the food will be bad and 80% of what is presented will not be remembered. Specifically, here’s the typical Sales Kickoff Agenda:

  • Welcome & Introductions
  • CEO Company Update or State of the Union – the vision and direction for the company
  • Year in Review – highlights and lessons learned from the prior year
  • Financials – revenue expectations for the current year, expenses, profitability, budgets, compensation plans
  • Key Note or Motivational Speaker
  • Technology – vision, strategy, use cases
  • Customer Showcases
  • Product Roadmap – insights into new solutions and additional functionality
  • Win Highlights – walking through the top 1 – 3 big deals for the year
  • Pricing
  • Sales Cycle Management – territory management, the selling process, discovery
  • Sales Tools – Demo and Presentation
  • Competitive Update
  • Sales Skills Training
  • Role Playing
  • Sales Automation
  • Marketing Update
  • Close
  • Dinner and Team Building

Here are a few key points for marketers to remember. First, it’s a sales meeting and the vast majority of topics are sales-specific. Next, a lot of topics will be packed into a schedule that will run over as presentations will be moved when presenters are not available. Last, the marketing group will have 30 – 60 minutes of what is typically a two-day event.

The focal point for marketing’s Sales Kickoff presentation should be to communicate how marketing helps sales generate revenue. Building the sales pipeline, converting opportunity and providing sales tools to increase sales cycle velocity are what sales teams value most. Resist the temptation to use the presentation time to communicate abstract, qualitative initiatives that will not impact revenue in the next four quarters.

How to Guide

Create a How to Guide for sales reps to leverage marketing resources. The How to Guide should show the direct sales organization how to leverage account-based marketing fundamentals. The guide should focus the direct sales team on how to leverage the existing data sources to develop a one-page account intelligence brief, how to bridge the account intelligence insights into relevant messaging, the appropriate discovery questions and a 3-5 step nurture process including emails and phone scripts.

Sales & Marketing Quick Reference Card

A Sales & Marketing Quick Reference Card (QRC) is a one-pager that summarizes the company’s unique selling proposition, the solution’s positioning, the target opportunity areas, discovery questions and objection handling.

The QRC is a one-pager to be leveraged by direct sales, business development, inside sales reps (ISRs) and the sales development reps (SDRs) that make outbound calls and receive inbound calls. The primary purpose of the QRC is to assist in lead generation and lead follow-up activities.

The QRC is not designed as an all-encompassing document with every response to every permutation of every possible question. To do that requires a messaging framework and the documentation of some fundamental go-to-market building blocks.

The QRC is not a complete call script but it helps get everyone on the same page by providing consistent messaging that supports the brand, the value proposition, target titles, ideal project scenarios, discovery questions and the key objections and how to handle them.

Emails and Scripts

When contact is made with a prospect, the persona and the stage of the buying process should be identified. Then the best assets (and formats) should be used to engage in a meaningful and relevant conversation with the prospect — in an automated way.

A minimum sequence of 10 touches (emails and scripts) should be created to follow-up with each lead through marketing and sales automation tools. This should include meaningful and relevant messaging, call to actions and digital assets.

Account Intelligence

Background information on each targeted prospect should be available to each sales person before they attempt any communication (email, phone or face-to-face communication). The goal is to make a connection based on information, insights and value.

Information should be gathered to populate a “dossier” for each targeted prospect within a company. Information will be summarized from available resources, organized in a sales-ready format and include:

  • Current and past positions
  • What the prospect indicates as their area of responsibility
  • Education
  • Groups
  • Hobbies and interests
  • Recommendations
  • Summary of the last earnings call
  • Key initiative in the organization
  • Hardware installed at their company
  • Software installed at their company

Easy as 1,2,3,4

Again, there is always too much information communicated at Sales Kickoff and even if a sales person was interested in all the material it is impossible for them to retain it. When a sales person goes back to work on Monday, what are they supposed to do? Make it easy for salespeople:

  • Provide them with the presentation and audio
  • Create a hard copy so they can physically reference the content
  • Create a nurture path and replay each key step with graphics, texts and links

Step One: develop account intelligence profiles using, LinkedIn Sales Navigator, Crush Reports, Hoovers, and Leadspace to gather the right information before approaching an account.

Step Two: Access and send the prebuilt nurture emails to contacts one creates

Step Three: Have the Quick Reference Card in hand when making calls

Step Four: Refer to the call scripts that have been created to support each email. Become familiar with the digital assets used in the emails that were sent.

Follow these guidelines and the marketing presentation at Sales Kickoff will be very well accepted by the sales team. More importantly, the marketing resources will be adopted by the sales team and make a tangible difference in acquiring new customers.