A successful sales kickoff event energizes the sales team and produces visible benefits for long durations. A sales kickoff brings your sales teams together to collaborate, share best practices, introduce product updates, and unveil new sales strategies. It can leave your sales reps confident, inspired, valued, and motivated to bring their A-game.
Thanks to technological advances, gathering sales teams together virtually is convenient and effective. Virtual sales kickoff events are also the perfect time to recognize and celebrate accomplishments.
Why Should You Host a Virtual Sales Kickoff?
If you are hosting your sales kickoff meeting in person, consider including virtual elements so those who cannot travel can still participate. Virtual events and in-person events with virtual features provide limitless opportunities, such as:
Show Your Stuff: You can create immersive virtual experiences to showcase your product portfolio. For example, give employees a virtual, interactive tour of product features, use cases, and benefits. You can engage the audience by using multimedia, like graphics, audio, video, animation, etc.
Be Accommodating: You can offer content in a simulive manner with different team members managing the attendee Q&A in different time zones.
Cost-Effective: Logistics and venue restrictions are no longer part of the picture, thus making it far more cost-effective and time-saving than an in-person kickoff.
On-Demand Content: Virtual event solutions like 6Connex allow you to record presentations and tasks so employees can access them on demand after the event has ended. This way, your team can replay the content and optimize retention.
Do More With Less: Since virtual events are more efficient and less resource-intensive than in-person events, you can regularly run short training events virtually to provide the latest information to team members.
Always-On Environment: You can create sales kickoff content throughout the year to add to the training materials and knowledge library in an always-on environment for your remote and global teams. You can also repurpose this content for future virtual sales kickoffs or onboarding new sales reps.
Gain Insights and Feedback: With virtual event platforms, you can connect with your team and gain regular insights and feedback by leveraging polls, Q&A, tests, surveys, etc. This will enable you to track the success of your event, check engagement, see how well the sales reps understand the material and identify and solve any issues.
Support Sustainable Practices: Hosting virtual events significantly reduces the carbon footprint associated with travel, venue utilities, and physical materials. By choosing platforms like 6Connex, you’re not only opting for an efficient virtual experience but also promoting eco-friendly practices. Need more proof? Take a look at 6Connex’s sustainability report here. We partnered with WSP, an International Standard for Environmental Management Systems (EMS) ISO 14001 certified earth and environmental science firm, and focused on sustainable business practices to estimate carbon emissions avoided when you host events on the 6Connex virtual environment platform.
With virtual event technology, everyone can come to the party, so make it a party everyone will remember. The virtual event platform team at 6Connex understands how vital a sales kickoff event is and has created a list of virtual sales kickoff ideas and themes.
Our first suggestion is to get creative and think outside the usual event box. Remember that virtual event solutions make almost anything possible. The more fun you bring to the party, the more inspired your sales team will be to return to the field and sell! Take a look at some activities you can add to your sales kickoff agenda.
Exciting Virtual Sales Kickoff Ideas
Following are some creative and engaging virtual sales kickoff ideas to revitalize your agenda.
Virtual icebreakers are fun activities that can help you get the ball rolling and generate excitement about the event. Virtual icebreakers help employees feel more at ease in a potentially unfamiliar environment, engage with peers early, and pave the way for better networking and communication during the event.
Some fun icebreakers include speed pitches, tricky questions, brainstorming sales objections, and the well-known ‘sell me this pen’ exercise.
Recruit a Celebrity Speaker or Influencer
Virtual sales kickoff events are the perfect opportunity to invite a celebrity guest speaker, such as a highly respected professional in your industry, a motivational speaker, or a highly regarded spokesperson representing your company, to present to your team. With virtual event technology, connecting with keynote speakers from anywhere worldwide is easier than ever.
Host a Virtual Happy Hour
Break the ice with a virtual happy hour. Yes, a virtual event looks different from when a group enjoys cocktails and mocktails together in person, but you can make it just as effective with some attention to detail. Pro tip: hire a comedian, magician, or a band to entertain the group.
Role-playing real-life sales scenarios can help your team prepare for customer interactions and enhance communication strategies. During your virtual sales kickoff, you can gain new insights into how different employees approach a sales scenario and guide them toward improvement. Enrich the activity by bringing in sales experts to share their experiences, tips, and tricks for successful selling.
Combat Meeting Fatigue with Creative Breakout Sessions
Zoom fatigue and webcam exhaustion are some of the most significant challenges of virtual meetings. To overcome these challenges and keep your team engaged, schedule breakout sessions to help employees step back from the event’s agenda. Some breakout session ideas include lightning talks, improv-led sessions, team trivia, photo booths, virtual ‘ask me anything,’ book club discussions, virtual coffee, etc.
Speed networking is one of the best team breakout activities. It can be an excellent opportunity for employees to learn about each other and interact. Employees can quickly introduce themselves to as many of their peers as possible and form connections with their colleagues.
Organize Fun Teamwork Activities
Incorporating strategic games and activities that require collaboration can improve team building and employee communication skills, making your virtual sales kickoffs more effective and memorable.
Team Work Activity Examples:
- You can host a virtual yoga class to help the team relax and boost their well-being. You can also try remote tai-chi as a light and effective alternative.
- Hosting a standup comedy challenge can be an excellent way for your team to have fun and bond with colleagues through laughter and light-hearted banter. Consider setting a theme for the jokes, such as competitors, coworker habits, sales, food, etc.
- Have team members share a photograph unrelated to work and explain why they chose it. This will allow the sales team to learn more about each other and connect personally.
- Use 6Connex’s gamification features and run polls, Q&A sessions, leaderboards, trivia, etc. Leverage video conferencing to host other exciting games and activities, such as:
- Virtual escape rooms
- Virtual bingo
- Murder mystery
- Virtual “Jeopardy”
- Coworker “Feud”
- “Name that Tune”
You can also add a touch of healthy competition to these games and offer prizes to employees based on their performances. Such engaging activities allow employees to enjoy shared experiences they can bond over afterward. They can also help build strong relationships, reward ingenuity, foster inspiration and motivation, and extend the life of your sales kickoffs.
Hold An “Ask Me Anything” Panel
Your sales team is your “boots on the ground,” dealing with customers daily. They have a wealth of information to share with less experienced colleagues in your organization. Organize an “Ask Me Anything” panel with your top sales representatives. Their role is to answer questions from the audience and provide helpful insight into their success.
Pre-Record Video in Advance
Storytelling through video is an effective way to inspire and educate in a virtual environment. Incorporate pre-recorded videos into your kickoff. Include customer testimonials, product launch information, sales incentives, and other entertaining content.
Host Awards Ceremonies to Celebrate High Performers
Hosting an awards ceremony is a great way to publicly acknowledge the team’s contributions, celebrate their successes, and boost their morale. However, replicating the experience of an in-person awards ceremony requires adequate planning.
Start the ceremony with a captivating opening act, such as a virtual music concert, dance performance, or motivational speech. With a grand opening act, you can grab your sales teams’ undivided attention and dive into the awards recognition.
Asking team members to create an imaginary magazine cover story is an effective way to foster a culture of recognition. Ask them to write about their challenges and how they overcame them, strengthening themselves or their team. You can send the necessary stationery and magazine templates to inspire creativity. By socializing such stories, you can encourage the broader team to visualize outcomes, set ambitious goals, and overcome challenges.
Test your Team’s Improvisation Skills with a Virtual “Shark Tank”
What better way to test your sales teams’ improvisation skills and help them hone their talk tracks than with a mock “Shark Tank?”
Divide the team into groups and ask them to develop an imaginary product using photos or objects and create a crisp sales presentation. The pitch must contain the brand name, tagline, marketing and business plans, sales strategy, reasons to invest, and other such sections.
Using 6Connex’s virtual event solutions, you can enrich the event by inviting sales influencers and coaches worldwide as guests or judges. A creative exercise like this encourages out-of-the-box thinking and might inspire fresh ideas for future marketing and sales campaigns.
Consider hosting goal-setting seminars during your virtual sales kickoffs. It will help you learn about the aspirations of your team members and uncover ways you can assist them in reaching their full potential. Ask employees to jot down their personal and professional goals and their definition of success.
You can help them achieve these resolutions by guiding them in the right direction and providing valuable resources, training materials, and growth opportunities. By tracking their progress in real-time and giving guidance, you can make your employees feel valued and boost their morale and professional performance.
Virtual Sales Kickoff Themes
Everyone loves sales kickoff themes. They help break the ice, create a memorable environment, and set expectations.
Chances are that your sales reps won’t be inspired by a generic ‘teamwork’ or ‘excellence’ theme. You need a fresh and exciting theme that energizes the reps for their work ahead.
Select a theme relevant to your business goals that will resonate with the team. It must be a catchy, concise, simple, and optimistic slogan that your sales team can identify with. It will set the scene for an engaging, meaningful, and memorable event.
Some sales kickoff theme ideas that can ignite a call to action and leave a lasting impression on your sales reps include:
- Culture of Excellence
- All In!
- Above And Beyond
- Fired Up!
- Level Up!
- Raising the Bar
- No Limits
- All Systems Go!
- Ain’t No Stopping Us Now
- All in this Together
- Break New Ground
- Touch Down
- In It to Win It
- Ignite and Win
- Journey to the Top
- Full Speed Ahead
- Portraits of Success
- Raising the Bar
- Reignite and Re-Imagine
- Shoot for the Stars
- Resilience in Action
- Building Bridges
- Diversity Drives Success
- Data-Driven Decisions
- Sustainability and Sales
- Together towards Tomorrow
- Virtually Unstoppable
Ensure Your Virtual Sales Kickoff Theme Resonates
For the sales kickoff to resonate and your message to stick with the audience after they leave, ensure that you incorporate the theme throughout the virtual sales kickoff team-building activities, speaker topics, etc. Then, stick to the theme year-round.
To generate enthusiasm for the theme and create event momentum, focus on the benefits of participating in the event and how it will positively affect the organization and its overall success. Let your team know what they can achieve by participating in the proposed activities.
Spotlight Case Study: The SonicWall Transformation
SonicWALL Inc. — A titan in the realm of network security and data protection. With a suite of products ranging from firewalls to cloud security, they’ve been the guardians of digital realms for countless businesses.
Imagine having a global cyber security team, spread out across continents, all needing to come together for a Sales Kick-Off (SKO) event. The challenge? Making it engaging, accessible, and without the hefty price tag of a global in-person gathering. SonicWall was at this crossroads, seeking a solution that would not only be cost-effective but also capture the electric atmosphere of a physical event.
Enter 6Connex with its state-of-the-art virtual environment platform. SonicWall’s SKO was transformed! Picture this: live webcasts, buzzing “Hot Topic” Q&A sessions, and a treasure trove of resources right at the fingertips of attendees. But that’s not all. An exclusive executive lounge became the hub for direct interactions, with leadership and product teams on standby to dive deep into discussions. And for those craving visual content? A video wall was the gateway to crucial insights.
To foster unity, SonicWall played a masterstroke: they made live session participation a must for their global sales force. This ensured every representative was in sync, connected not just to the content, but to each other.
- Over 4,000+ Webinar views
- 15,000+ Content item views
- 7,000+ Visits to the product booths
- An impressive 6+ hours Average viewer attendance time
- A staggering 80% Savings compared to a physical event
SonicWall’s sales force was able to log into the virtual SKO from their home offices using desktops, tablets, or smartphones to view content, connect with peers, and receive the latest security solution updates from the product management team. SonicWall was able to record the training content for valuable reuse for both new employee training and channel partners.
While some of the sales force preferred to connect face-to-face and were therefore hesitant to participate in a virtual SKO, they were pleased to discover the virtual experience allowed for exceptional interactivity, responsive discussions, and fluid communication.
Thanks to technological advances, gathering sales teams together virtually is convenient and effective. Virtual sales kickoff events are also the perfect time to recognize and celebrate accomplishments. Read the full case study here.
Virtual Sales Kickoffs for the Win!
Even if hosting a virtual sales kickoff is new, don’t hesitate to experiment with different and creative ideas. Leverage the opportunity to foster connections within your team and show them you are committed to their success.
With innovative and fun virtual sales kickoff ideas, you can make the event exciting and engaging for your employees. At the same time, you equip them with all the relevant knowledge and skills required to thrive in today’s increasingly competitive market.
Sales kickoff events that combine virtual and in-person activities are the way to go in 2023. For more ideas, download The Ultimate Sales Kickoff Playbook, loaded with real-life examples of sales kickoff events. Then, request a virtual event platform demo today to learn more about how 6Connex can help you transform your sales kickoff into an unforgettable experience.