sales kickoff meetingThe end of the year is a natural time to begin thinking about what went right and what could have been improved upon this year. Those reflections are important not only for taking stock of how the year played out, but also for helping to shape the coming year. The culmination of the reflection and planning will occur at your sales kickoff meeting.

At a kickoff meeting, Marketing and Sales will come together and align themselves around the same strategy, goals, and objectives for the coming year. As broad as that may sound, a kickoff actually needs to be very precisely planned to ensure success. Without proper planning and execution the sales kickoff meeting can spin off its axis and quickly lose focus.

To ensure your sales kickoff meeting remains productive, there are a few steps you can take prior to the actual meeting. Following these steps will start the meeting off on the right foot and have everyone on the same page.

Don’t Train at the Meeting

It can be extremely tempting to use a sales kickoff meeting as an extended opportunity to conduct trainings. With a captive audience the desire is strong to nail down techniques and processes. But conducting trainings is actually counterintuitive and eats away at valuable time.

Getting into the weeds of training defeats the purpose of a sales kickoff meeting. The meeting should be centered on the high-level strategy that the organization is striving for in the coming year. Venturing too far into the training territory will cause too many discordant discussions and sidebars.

Training work should be done prior to the sales kickoff. Take the time in the lead-up to the meeting to conduct the necessary trainings that will set the teams up for success. Think about it like building a strong foundation with practical training first, and then using the meeting to layer on top the high-level strategy that the training will align with.

Make Content Easily Accessible

With a sales kickoff meeting comes a veritable ton of content. There will be presentations, multimedia, one-pagers, and any other type of content you can think of. The larger the organization, the more exponential the growth in terms of content at a sales kickoff.

This content needs to be readily available not only for presenters at the sales kickoff, but also for those who will be attending. Simply sending out emails with attachments won’t do; those will be quickly lost in the shuffle and attendees won’t be prepared for the sales kickoff.

To ensure proper content distribution (as well as announcements regarding scheduling, events, etc.) an organization needs to utilize a central repository. Hosting content in one central location that is accessible to everyone will greatly improve the sales kickoff process.