January 24

Do Sales Kickoffs Cost You Money or Make You Money?


This is the time of year in the sales profession when companies bring their sellers together for the purpose of education, motivation and a roll out of new products and services.

Sales kickoffs are a big investment of time and money.  So is the investment worth it?

My answer is a resounding Yes!

As a former vice president of sales, I quickly realized that accounting systems don’t capture the true ROI from a sales meeting. Accounting systems are good at capturing expenses incurred from conducting a sales kick-off: food, lodging, speakers, entertainment. But these same systems are not good at capturing the revenue resulting from the many intangibles produced from a great sales kick-off.  Intangibles such as:

  • Team building. Stand in the lobby of a hotel or conference center hosting a sales kickoff and you will observe salespeople giving each other a hug, high five or a handshake. Human beings crave being part of a social network. It’s the way we are wired.

A sales kickoff provides the opportunity for up close and personal conversations. These conversations are much more powerful than email or one more like on Facebook.

  • This education comes from workshops and keynotes. It also comes from good old hallway conversations. In the busyness of life, many sellers simply don’t take the time to network with their colleagues and learn what they are doing to acquire and grow business. One idea can help a salesperson better serve clients and make more money.
  • This might sound trivial in the big picture of competing and remaining relevant -- until you see and hear the stories from salespeople who participated in the theme party that had a great band. “Oh, my gosh. That was fun!” Again, in the busyness of work, many salespeople, sales managers and senior executives simply don’t take the time to play with one another.

Anyone reading this blog still wish we had adult recess? I rest my case.

Now, if you need to do the math to justify the meeting, here are some numbers to consider. Let’s suppose you have 100 salespeople and each has a $1 million sales goal. After your sales kickoff, each seller gained something to make them more effective, let’s say 5% more effective. A 5% improvement on these numbers is a $5 million increase of the top line. I think that math works.

Sales kickoffs, conducted the right way, will make your sales organization money.

Good Selling!


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