Your Sales Kick Off – It’s A Lot Like a Good Email

Sales Marketing Alignment


Some things in life are just inevitable: death, taxes and of course your annual sales kick off meeting. In many cases, you receive an email around December 23rd highlighting the meeting, the rough agenda, and the set of presentations you need to pull together. It is in this moment you say to yourself – crap. How am I going to pull off putting together all this content and presenting it in a way that the sales team does not pass out on the spot?

Because this has happened to me too many times to count, my hope is I can put a new spin on this for some of you. Think of approaching your sales meeting presentations like great email marketing. Here are some things to consider:

1) Segment, be targeted. 

Not all reps are the same.They cover different territories and sizes of business. Keep that in mind when you are developing your content. Have content that is relevant and personalized for what they care about. A sales rep that covers large enterprise accounts will have different concerns than a rep that covers small start ups.

2) Have an enticing subject line or opening to your presentation.

Everyone has a lot going on, especially in a sales meeting. Reps are there to learn, but they are still working deals and have lot to do. Grab their attention! You have 30 seconds at the start of the presentation to hook your audience. Give them a reason to feel excited about your marketing programs. If you are successful getting folks interested upfront, it is more likely they will stay engaged.

3) Tell a story.

Think about your message and make it relatable. People respond better to a story rather than a list of bullet points. You can talk about objectives and programs, but map them to fun images and analogies because it will increase the likelihood your key points are understood and remembered by the team. How many times have you seen slides that are in an undesirable font (like Trebuchet) and there is not a drop of white space left on the slide? We all have a lot to convey – but you can speak to it. Like a good email, keep text to a minimum.

Exhibit A – Not so good.

4) Be brief. 

Everyone is busy and most people have a limited attention span. In John Medina’s Brain Rules book, he states most people can pay attention for about 10 minutes and you have to capture their attention in the first 30 seconds! Identify the top three things you want to convey in your presentation. Focus on those.

5) What is the CTA?

What do you want the outcome of your presentation to be? What are you asking of your team? Make sure you articulate next steps or what you need your audience to do to ensure you are driving towards the desired outcome.

Here’s wishing you a great Sales kick off.  Make them effective, but make them fun!