Virtual Sales Kickoffs Must Look and Feel Different

Author: 
Russell Wurth

Although sales kickoffs will look different in 2021, the circumstances give companies the opportunity to plan a truly unforgettable event. The key to a successful remote SKO is tailoring the event to a virtual setting. Likely, each employee will be remote, separated from their team members and unable to genuinely connect with them during the event. This naturally leads to a lack of enthusiasm and makes it easier to get distracted by other things like their email, barking dog or family.

By acknowledging these hurdles and making a few adjustments, attendees can remain attentive and engaged. Switching formats regularly between live, pre-recorded and more visual presentations — like an animation with various speakers — will hold attention far better than relying on the same format.

Save your employees a headache and get right to the point. If you’re going to talk about the successes and challenges of the past year, sum it up in a couple minutes. Remember, the first hour of any event is the most important, so it should leave an impact on the attendees and make them excited to continue participating.

Taking time to let participants clear their heads after a long session can help prevent Zoom fatigue. It’s important to plan several breaks throughout the day, scheduling them so attendees can leave their computer for 15 to 20 minutes, and offer breaks that are interactive and get people moving (e.g., stretching or jogging in place to get the blood pumping).

Don’t stuff your kickoff schedule with speakers from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., let the event and your attendees breathe.

Russell Wurth is vice president of enablement at Showpad, a sales enablement platform.


Sales & Marketing Management is the leading authority for executives in the sales and marketing field.

Sales & Marketing Management is owned by Mach1 Business Media, LLC Minneapolis, MN.

Connect With Us

Sales & Marketing Management invites YOU to take an active role by joining the SMMConnect community.

Take advantage of your complimentary membership at SMMConnect.