Flip the Sales Kickoff (and Sales Training)

Quota is a BearPhoto Credit: Peter Stevens

Let’s face it.  Quota is a bear.

It never stops.  Q4 is here now.  But 2015 is only three months away.

And quota only goes up; never down.

The question is: Are you gonna get the bear?  Or is the bear gonna get you?

One way to get the bear is to get off to a fast start.

And one way to get off to a fast start is to have a great 2015 sales kickoff.


But Typical Sales Kickoffs Suck

No PPT. No Cry.

No PPT. No Cry.

Tell me if this sounds familiar…

  • We spend a ton of money taking our salespeople out of the field or off the phones for 3-4 days
  • We stick them in a room.  Everyone in the company sprays a firehose of information at them.  We crush their souls with Powerpoint
  • Within 30 days, everyone forgets 87% of what they’ve learned and goes back to the same old behavior
  • The CFO sends us a meeting invite to discuss “questionable expenses” from the kickoff

Sales kickoffs are great for many reasons.  You can build personal relationships.  You can fire up the sales team.  You can recognize top performers.  You can align the team around a common strategy.

But many sales kickoffs suck for learning because “learning by lecture” is too passive.  We need more “learning by example” and “learning by doing.”

There’s a better way.


Flipping the Classroom

Flipping the classroom is new approach to education.  It reverses the traditional roles of lecture and homework.

In the traditional model, the teacher lectures the students in class.  Then the students do their assignments at home, maybe with the help of a parent.

In the flipped model, students view short video lectures at home before class.  Then they do exercises in-class.  They collaborate on projects.  They get personalized coaching from an expert teacher.

Traditional vs Flipped

Sal Khan, CEO of Khan Academy,  made this model famous when he created YouTube videos to tutor his niece.  School teachers soon assigned his videos to their students and the movement took off.

Flipping the classroom reduces failure rates, improves outcomes and engages students.


Flipping the Sales Kickoff (and Sales Training)

Courtesy of Republic of Korea

In the same way, you’ll improve your sales team’s behaviors and engagement by flipping the sales kickoff.

So what would the process look like?

1. Make videos

4-6 weeks before the sales kickoff

Decide what you want people to learn.  Pick your best salespeople and experts on these topics and make the videos.  People can make great videos themselves with their smartphones.

Some of your topics might include:

  • Role plays of common sales scenarios
  • How I engage prospects with insights in the first conversation
  • How I teach the customer X
  • How I tell the story of X customer
  • How I ask questions to uncover needs
  • How I create a pain chain with the prospect
  • How I develop champions
  • How I negotiate for access to other stakeholders
  • How I handle X objection
  • How I differentiate us vs the competition
  • How I uncover the prospect’s buying process and create a close plan
  • How and why we won X deal
  • and a lot more!

You can post these videos to an intranet, shared drive or a system like Kindoo.

2. Watch videos and practice

2 weeks before the sales kickoff

Salespeople watch the videos and practice their own responses – whenever and wherever it’s convenient for them.

If you have a system like Kindoo, you can see who watched which videos and how engaged they are.

3. Practice, assess and certify

at the sales kickoff

Instead of hammering your poor salespeople with Powerpoints

  • have more interactive discussions
  • practice with exercises, role plays and feedback
  • assess and certify your people

4. Make more videos

at the sales kickoff

Take advantage of the fact that people are in one location.

You’re going to hear some great new stories and sales techniques.

Create a budget-friendly movie studio in a conference room.  Make more videos of your top salespeople and experts.

In fact, you can make professional business videos for an investment of just $240.35.

5. Share more videos and practice more

after the sales kickoff

People will watch these videos over and over again as they prepare for sales calls and meetings.


In Conclusion

Try flipping your sales kickoff and sales training.  You’ll get more engaged, more proficient salespeople.

If you’d like more tips for sales kickoffs and sales training, subscribe to our newsletter.

We’ll be publishing more practical tips throughout Q4.

Happy Selling!


Posted in Sales Training, Video

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This blog is for sales leaders who want practical tips on how to sell more effectively and build great sales teams