It’s that time of year again! This month, marketing and sales teams are prepping for your annual sales kickoff meeting or SKO. This meeting is vital to securing a successful year in sales and solidifying your sales enablement strategy, but it can be tricky to get right.
Your SKO offers a rare opportunity to foster alignment between your sales and marketing teams and content plays a big part in the day’s activities. You will need content that helps run the event (agenda, presentations, etc.), as well as new and existing sales enablement content to help the sales team meet the year’s goals.
A major role of the marketing team during this meeting is to help educate your sales team on what materials are available for them to use and how to use them effectively. Marketing should also provide opportunities at the SKO for feedback from sales reps so they can modify existing content or create further content that better aligns with your sales strategy.
Pre-SKO: Get organized
Before creating new content for your sales kickoff, you will want to take inventory of the content your marketing team has already created. This is a good opportunity for sales and marketing managers to review the content library to figure out what’s missing from a higher level. It also saves you from time wasted reinventing the wheel.
In addition to a mini content audit, it’s also important to organize your content in a way that will make sense for your sales team and allow them to efficiently find what they need. For example, it might be helpful to sort content by the buyer persona it is targeted toward, and by which stage of the marketing funnel it is intended for.
To make content easy to find, you will want to designate a central location accessible to both the sales and marketing teams (and likely design, too). One great option is HubSpot, which offers storage for all your marketing and sales enablement materials and allows you to build workflows to incorporate them. This ensures each piece of content is being used the right way at the right time.
Figuring out which pieces of content you will be including in your sales kickoff will clarify what you need to highlight during the event and make sure you don’t leave anything out.
Content that drives sales and marketing alignment
Now that existing content is organized and available for your sales team to hit the ground running in the new year, let’s consider what new content you may want to create to help run your SKO.
One of the most basic pieces of content you should prepare for your sales kickoff meeting is an agenda outlining the activities for the day and when they will occur. Having an agenda will ensure that the event runs smoothly and keeps your teams engaged. Be sure to build in time for attendees to take a break, socialize, and have some fun.
You should distribute the agenda both in advance and on the day of the meeting. Sending an agenda out ahead of time will set attendee expectations and build excitement while having a copy for attendees to use during the meeting will keep everyone engaged and make it easier for the organizers to stay on schedule.
Annual marketing plan presentation
In order to effectively communicate with clients, the sales team needs to not only understand sales goals, but also be clear on the marketing department’s initiatives for the year. Be sure to include a presentation describing these initiatives and why you’ve settled on them, plans for lead generation, and any other strategies the marketing team intends on deploying in the new year.
It’s also a good idea to review both last year’s struggles and major accomplishments. Positive reinforcement will always be welcome and it’s good to give the team something to celebrate while going over what didn’t work is important information for the team to understand.
For effective sales and marketing alignment, the sales team needs to understand the marketing campaign timeline. If they don’t, this presentation is a perfect time to incorporate that change. Discuss how the campaign calendar is structured and how the sales team can use it to prioritize which marketing materials to use and when.
Product Training Workshop
To sell a product, it’s a given that the sales team needs to understand what the product does, but it is also vital for them to know how it’s being marketed. Work with your product marketing team to develop a workshop for your SKO. This training will help your sales team understand how to best position new products and features, and thus sell more effectively.
The workshop should discuss content that has already been created and where to find it, as well as train sales folks on how to use it in relation to the product features it was designed to support. Sales scripts and email templates should be dissected to make sure they are incorporating the most recent marketing materials and messaging.
Make time for two-way conversation, too! Feedback given by the sales team should be taken back to the marketing team to bring a day-to-day perspective on content and fix anything that isn’t working during the sales process. This feedback can also guide the creation of future marketing materials and promote alignment between sales and marketing.
Videos are a valuable resource that can be shown on the day of the SKO meeting or provided afterward. For example, you could feature a hype video to get attendees pumped up at the start of the event, or show a Q&A from one of your clients to help make sense of the customer experience.
In addition to video content, you’ll show at your SKO, you may also consider the video content you can create at SKO. Consider recording any live performances from speakers or panels at your event so that attendees can have access to it after the meeting is over. These videos can even be used for marketing and sales purposes, depending on the content.
What better way to keep attendees engaged than to ask them for input? You can send out surveys pre-event to get an idea of what they’d like to see on the SKO agenda. Employees will feel heard when their ideas appear on the schedule and be more invested in the event.
Don’t miss this opportunity
These are just a few of the great options for content you can provide at your annual sales kickoff. The most important thing to remember is that whatever content you decide to use, be sure that the sales team is clear on how to effectively leverage your marketing efforts and can easily access the right materials.
Need help creating content for your SKO? Realizing your sales team might need new enablement materials for the new year? We can help! Our team at Content Matterz will make sure you have the right content on hand to help your sales team succeed. Contact us today for more information.
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