- Sales reps have 2000 hours /year (50 weeks x 40 hours/week)
- Sales Kickoff is a week . (1 day to travel in, 2.5-3 days of meeting, 1 day to travel home)
- You have now burned one of those available weeks on SKO or 2% (40 hours is 2% of 2000)
- Assume 1MM quota for easy math.
- 2% or 20K in topline revenue
- Assume a sales force of 250 people
- 250 x $20,000= 5MM in topline revenue.
- $500,000 for sales force (2Kper head to attend—$500 plane ticket, $1500 food, hotel, transportation for 4 days)
- Speakers, AV, Conference rooms (50K)
- For a group of 250 people, you have sacrificed 5MM in topline and at least 500K in bottom line.
This is too much risk. Now you may be saying:
- “Hold on; we have big news and this is our venue”
- “We need to get the group together to give out quotas and comp plans”
- “We always get the group together once per year; this would be a morale drain”
- “We do training at this event”
If you want to eliminate the risk and guarantee an ROI, focus the meeting on 1 thing: 2012 Sales Strategy. To do this, here are five best practices and the timeline to do them to help you prepare:
#1 – Identify – where is your sales force on the Sales Management Maturity Model. Where is your industry, competitors, products and sales force? (Oct 1- Nov 1) Identify
#2 – Align – Ensure the sales strategy and corporate strategy are connected. Connect these two in a meaningful way with each of the key functional groups and have them attend the kickoff. Lean on them to present their area of expertise in bringing the strategy to fruition. (Nov 1-Dec 1)
#3 – Publish – declare the investments you will be making to the sales force. There are two types:
- Performance Conditions—announce what you will be working to improve to support them and why. (Lead Generation, Sales Performance Management dashboards, Key Account Management program and tie these back to the sales strategy)
- People—announce how you will be investing in them. How will their sales training be improved? How will their career path advance in 2012? (Dec 1- Jan 1 via email, text, internal communication—announce some teasers; make it a big deal)
#4 – Cancel keynote speakers – the only outside attendees you should have should be linked to your sales strategy and 2012 sales improvement efforts. A new speaker for 90 minutes that the team has never met and will never see again has no ROI. These are tactics of the past that have proven to never move the number.
#5 – Celebrate Failure – talk about 2011’s failures. Where did you miss and why? We often see leaders shy away from this public transparency. The sales force knows what you didn’t get done; open up and share what you learned. This level of vulnerability will endear them to your strategy.
Call To Action
You cannot afford to host a meeting without an ROI. If you go ahead, follow the plan above and it will be a hit; I have seen many that have. If you are on the fence, cancel it and reinvest these sales training dollars and employee hours where an ROI is guaranteed.