Company Sales Kickoff meetings (SKO) are a huge investment, but are you getting a good return?

Company Sales Kickoff meetings (SKO) are a huge investment, but are you getting a good return?
Photo by wes lewis / Unsplash

The new year is coming and you are planning your sales kickoff. You might take last year’s agenda (or find one online). You might even dig up the feedback you collected from everyone after last year’s event.  

Sounds like you are ready. You have a proven agenda and you are listening to the crowd’s feedback. So what can possibly go wrong?  Although collecting feedback is important for getting your team engaged with the sessions, you will never learn from them which topics they misunderstood or didn’t catch at all.  

One of the main goals of an SKO is to align everyone on the same yearly goals, and to get them to work in sync following the sessions. Unfortunately, SKOs are not Ted talks. The amount of information people need to digest is massive. The biggest problem of company meetings, especially when they are remote with many participants, is to get everyone engaged.

This is a tough challenge during a standard all-hands meeting, and the challenge increases tenfold during an SKO.  A common phenomenon is to discover misalignment during the SKO sessions, as different departments present their agendas and conflicts surface. If you manage to overcome the embarrassment, you will find that this is an excellent opportunity to create alignment going forward.  

The most important question you should ask yourself is: Are we utilizing this opportunity to align the teams and equip them with the right guidelines that will serve them during the year?  

The hard truth is that probably not. You are investing a lot of our company’s time and money (even if you are not flying people this year), and your ROI is not very good.  

You should ask yourself if you are really seizing the opportunity to accelerate your team, and if not, ask yourself what follow-up actions are missing to capitalize on the SKO investment.