rawpixel / Pixabay

Early sunsets, trees exploding with color, and Jets fans tearing out their hair after yet another mind-blowing loss. Yes, it’s the season for planning National Sales Meetings. Also known as fall. Yearly sales kickoffs seem as deeply woven into sales culture as Rolex and Glengarry Glen Ross quotes. In the pre-digital days, there weren’t any better ways for sales leaders to align and train their teams. But in a world of ubiquitous mobile, video and social technology, might the days of the NSM be numbered?

Everyone loves parts of sales kickoffs. Nothing strengthens teams like reconnecting in person. Highly anticipated launches build excitement behind new products and campaigns. Recognition in front of our peers properly rewards extraordinary effort. And embarrassing late-night behavior fuels laughter for months and years afterwards.

Other parts, not so much, like lost selling time, narcissistic motivational speakers, high costs and yet more time away from home. Poorly prepared presenters who just mail it in frustrate leaders and send reps to their mobile phones. From a cold, hard ROI perspective, maybe the National Sales Meeting SHOULD go the way of Blockbuster Video.

But curiously, rather than burying the venerable National Sales Meeting, mobile video is giving it a new, stronger lease on life. Customers are using mobile and video platforms to improve sales training and reinforce information taught at the NSM by:

  • Swapping PowerPoint for live interaction:why waste valuable team time listening to presentations when they could easily be recorded and watched ahead of time? Free up group time to question, clarify, debate and expand. And/or cut the schedule down a day.
  • Spreading the knowledge:record valuable kick-off sessions to share with employees outside sales, future sales hires, and reps that want to utilize it again later in the year. It doesn’t take a professional AV team. YouTube not Hollywood.
  • Ensuring sellers remember and apply what gets rolled out:our brains start losing new information the day after we learn it, and up to 90% within a month. A little reinforcement learning after the event cements knowledge in long-term memory for reps to utilize in sales conversations.

National Sales Meetings powered by mobile video boost ROI by reducing costs and lost selling time, leveraging valuable content more broadly, and ensuring the new things sales team learn truly impact performance. The team gets more mileage from all the hard work that goes into an NSM and more value from the valuable time spent together.

Best and Worst National Sales Meeting Memories

We recently ran a “Best and Worst National Sales Meeting” contest on LinkedIn, where we asked sales pros to share some of their most memorable (best and worst) experiences from past NSMs. We received a lot of inspiring (and hilarious) responses, but some of our favorites included anecdotes about firewalks and board-breaking exercises, company-wide dodgeball tournaments, and of course, memories of connecting with seldom-seen colleagues from around the globe. On the other end of the spectrum, one rep shared his experience of getting stuck in Boston for three days after a Nor’easter, while the hotel gradually ran out of food. To take the cake, a similar storm waylaid the team the following year – although not quite as badly!