Successful Sales Enablement Events
by Arnab Dey Sales & Marketing 20 December 2022
Successful selling is really a simple formula: offer a product or service at a price your prospect can afford that satisfies that potential customer’s need, and there’s no reason why the sales enablement can’t proceed.
But it’s sometimes surprising how some people manage to interfere with that process by either saying the wrong things or quoting absurdly high prices.
One thing is certainly true. Some people don’t so much have the Midas Touch – whatever they touch, it turns into gold, so much as the ‘crumble touch’ where everything they get involved with turns to dust! Some people just shouldn’t be involved with sales.
As Gordon Gekko once famously said about a particular entrepreneur in the movie Wall Street:
…if this guy owned a funeral parlor, nobody would die!
But in reality, what’s the best way to ensure that a sales team is all pulling in the same direction to achieve successful sales figures for their company? One technique that is becoming ever-more popular is an event known as a sales kickoff.
It’s all kicking off…
A sales kickoff – or ‘SKO’ is an in-person event, often held at the beginning of a new financial quarter-year, where sales teams receive training and inspiration about their company’s latest products or services. Such occasions tend to be 50% motivational and 50% informational.
The sales enablement normally kicks off with an inspiring speech from the company’s top head of sales. Then they hand over to other executives to bring the audience of salespeople up to speed about success stories over the last quarter and areas that show room for improvement.
There are usually breakout sessions led by specialists in their respective fields, then networking opportunities with salespeople from other branches of the same company.
It might be the only time in several months that the sales teams from, say, San Francisco and New York City ever get into the same room to share tips, war stories, and anecdotes.
A good SKO will also allow time for decompression, where celebration with something cold, alcoholic, and fizzy allows everyone to unwind and chill out while toasting their hard work over the previous few months.
SKOs normally last a couple or three days – they are intended to be team-building as well as practical.
A good agenda for an SKO would probably consist of the following:
- Rewarding top sales performers and analyzing their successful techniques
- Establishing quotas and expectations for the coming period – setting goals and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
- A sales enablement salary lies between $132,000 to $140,000.
- Reviewing and analyzing recent historical sales results
- Demonstrating any changes to corporate policy and procedure
- Introducing and training people in any new sales technology tools – including advances in digital marketing
- Allowing people to network and make new connections
- Schedule role-playing exercises for common objection handling from prospective customers.
Gamification And Decompression
Some SKOs can involve gamification and team building events like ‘escape rooms’ or ‘laser quest’ sessions – some even include a day’s outdoor ‘paintball’ warfare – often popular as salespeople tend to be highly competitive by nature.
But as the Work From Home (WFH) culture ever advances, in no small part due to the post-Covid-19 pandemic, SKOs can also be held virtually. They’re never so much fun that way, but at least you don’t have to get dressed up for the virtual SKO, and you probably won’t end up getting drunk on free Prosecco and insulting your boss!
Virtual sales enablement platforms and sales enablement tools are also much more cost-effective, offer much better attendance rates from any location in any given country or even from other continents, and the events themselves are much simpler to scale.
The WFH concept has also affected the way in which companies are run. Many job losses have been made in favor of outsourcing such functions as Human Resources, IT support, and accounting. The process is known as external corporation servicing, which is popular amongst magnates who make money but not so much with people who lost their jobs.
Hedging Your Bets On Future Sales Performance
Let’s not forget that sales enablement isn’t ‘one size fits all’. It’s true that the principles of successful sales hold true across many industries and business sectors.
Still, there are going to be clear differences between an SKO held for a hedge fund investment company and one for a landscape gardening organization (working with different types of the hedge!) or, perhaps, a construction company.
Though, here’s a sobering thought. With recent international events concerning the Ukraine / Russia conflict and post-pandemic supply chain issues, inflation is rampant in many countries. It’s currently running at 11% and higher in some EU countries and the United Kingdom, with the USA faring slightly better at just over 7%.
With inflation comes higher prices and tighter wallets. It’s bad for businesses, jobs, and livelihoods. Those sales enablement agendas will no doubt contain training on many techniques for handling objections from prospective customers about why prices have soared when the products remain largely the same.
In difficult conditions, only the strong survive, which is all the more reason to ensure that any organization’s sales training is the best it can be.