Your sales team is smart, charismatic, and high-energy. They can also be busy, easily bored, and forgetful.

So what can you do to keep them engaged for 1-3 full days of sales kickoff meetings?

Create an Experience Pick a theme for your SKO and turn it into an experience. Incorporating your theme in signs and presentations is a start. But we live in a 3-D world and the more senses that are engaged, the more we remember something.

Imagine your SKO as a game show, with a host, players answering questions about what they learned in the last session and competing against each other for prizes (salespeople are competitive and incentive-driven, after all). How much more likely do you think your sales team is to remember what they learn in this type of setting?

Prioritize Content to Leave Room for Breaks You want the team’s full attention, and you have to squeeze too much content into too little time. What’s the solution?

It sounds radical and impractical, but it’s 100% worth the time and interdepartmental struggle it may take to decide what must be communicated in-person at SKO and what can be presented virtually in the weeks following. Because if you jam-pack as much as you can into each day, you can bet your team is spending time distracted, worrying about how they’ll fit the five must-do customer calls into the 15 total minutes of break time allotted.

DO Sweat the Small Stuff  The details matter. Your sales people work hard and bring in big $$$. The more appreciated they feel, the better for employee retainment; the more exciting you can make the show, the more attention you’ll sustain.

Location matters (geographically and venue). People care about music selection and entertainment. Good food matters. Lighting and sound design make a difference. 100 little things add up to the overall impression that this was a fantastic event.

(Need help producing your event? Contact AVT Productions.)

Share Success Stories Real-life examples are always more captivating, and easier to understand than the theoretical. Tell it from both sides – the client and your top sales person.

For example, pre-SKO, gather details from a few clients around why they bought and what’s working for them and present that information. Then have a panel of those top salespeople who sold the accounts interviewed live on stage, with a Q&A at the end. This is a great learning experience for new (and less successful) sales reps.

Keep it Positive & Recognize SKO is a time to rally the troops! The tone should be upbeat, and it’s important to recognize those who have succeeded since the last time you all got together. Not only is this ideal for those in the spotlight, but it’s also a powerful motivator for all your reps to keep their eye on the prize, so they are the one’s up there next year.