<span id="hs_cos_wrapper_name" class="hs_cos_wrapper hs_cos_wrapper_meta_field hs_cos_wrapper_type_text" style="" data-hs-cos-general-type="meta_field" data-hs-cos-type="text" >Tips for a better SKO in 2024</span>

Tips for a better SKO in 2024

Q4 is a tough quarter for sales teams. You're trying to close out the year strong and close as many deals as you can. You're also in the thick of planning for next year, which includes sales kickoff planning. 

Whether you call it SKO or RKO or something else entirely (FKO, GTMKO, Company Kickoff), you're probably trying to finalize yours. Here are some of our favorite do's and don'ts for a great sales kickoff. 

SKO Do's

  • Hold your kickoff in person if possible, which becomes especially important if your team is remote.

  • Build in downtime for reflection and internalization. Give attendees time to digest all the information you're sharing. 

  • Try the trade show approach, where different teams across your company set up interactive booths to share updates with sales reps (lots more on this idea in Jerry Phar's LinkedIn post).

  • Come up with creative, fun and inclusive social activities that appeal to a broad swath of your team. Give people time to socialize with their colleagues and refill their energy cups. 

  • Schedule time for sales reps to present best practices, lessons learned and wins. 

  • Tell customer stories. Bring actual customers in to present if you can, or record videos of their use cases. Let sales reps ask them questions. 

  • Make it interactive. Give attendees time to discuss and ask questions. Get the audience involved. Think of engaging discussion topics and formats. 

  • Be sure you factor in the time your sales team will be away from their phones with adjustments to quota for the quarter. 

  • Send out some materials in advance to help attendees prepare. Or schedule a pre-event activity to get folks warmed up. Make sure everyone is ready. 

  • Pick good music. This may seem like a silly thing to worry about, but a great playlist during breaks and for speaker walk-ons can make a huge difference to the audience's energy. Here's an SKO playlist I've used in the past. 

  • Consider incorporating a charity or volunteering activity for a social event. It's a great way to give back while providing together time for your team. 

  • Follow up after kickoff with summaries, additional materials, and other things to be sure attendees retain what they learned. 

SKO Don'ts 

  • Schedule a "management parade" where every executive gets time on stage. That overwhelms attendees. Choose the right speakers for your goals. 

  • Over-schedule and over-present. You may only have a couple days for your SKO, but don't try to cram in too many things. You have to be selective and focus on the things that will have the biggest impact. 

  • Rely on alcohol at every social event. Provide non-alcoholic ways for teams to socialize. 

  • Schedule only white men to speak. Come on, it's almost 2024. Get some diversity up on stage already.

  • Pay too much for hollow motivational speakers. Is that generic LinkedIn sales influencer really worth a $25-$50k speaking fee? Find speakers that actually resonate with your audience. 

  • Schedule only trainings and lectures. Two days of nonstop PPTs will exhaust any audience. Build in a variety of formats and content. 

Want more ideas? Check out the conversations in these LinkedIn posts from Russ Somers and Jen Allen-Knuth.

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