As the 2011 calendar year winds down, many sales enablement professionals are working on their sales kickoff initiative for the coming year. These large-scale events are an integral part of annual cycle, where the sales team converges on a fully prepared hotel for a days-long pep rally full of content sessions, vision-setting, and plenty of networking. Many of the sales kickoffs we hear about, and participate in, are focused on motivating and inspiring the sales force to hit their annual quota, or better yet, set new sales records.
While a healthy dose of motivation for the sales force is always important, next year's sales kickoff may require a healthy dose of reality as well.
It seems the expense of sales kickoffs is being scrutinized more than last year at higher levels of the organization. In fact, many of sales enablement professionals we talked with this quarter are being asked to justify the sales kickoff investment by their CEO. On top of that, sales leaders are asking for a more specific description of what's going to happen in the sales kickoff, and how the content in the event is going to help their salespeople drive the sales process forward. Both of these views – the view from the top and the view from the trenches – converge at a seemingly simple, yet often difficult to answer question:
"What's the expected impact of the sales kickoff next year?"