Push vs. Pull: Transform Your Sales Kickoff from Obligation to Opportunity

rethinking your sales kickoff agenda

Sales kickoffs typically involve a lot of pushing.

Your product team pushes out new features or bundles. Your enablement team pushes out a new training calendar. Your executives and sales leaders push out some new process or methodology they read about in a book (and maybe even have the author come speak and sign copies!).

But you know that when you try to push something on people, no one is really that excited about it.

So why are you so pushy at your sales kickoff?

Instead of just pushing content to sellers, build an event that your sellers are excited to attend and want to “pull” as much out of your kickoff as they can.

What would that do for your 2024 bookings? How would that change your 2024 enablement strategy?

Shifting your mindset from pushing content to empowering sellers to enthusiastically pull valuable information themselves could have a tremendous impact on performance, engagement, and learning outcomes—not to mention meeting your revenue goals.

how to stop pushing and start pulling value at your sales kickoff

pull your teams into your strategy

Your sales kickoff will certainly include a portion where you communicate your overarching corporate strategy and strategic plans for the year.

But often, sellers understand your strategy but don’t have a clear idea of how they’re connected to it. Those high-level goals don’t translate into concrete actions.

To ensure every seller in the room gets on board, you need to provide your teams with not only the strategy but exactly how you (and they) will execute it.

That means re-examining your strategy through the lens of specific growth plays you might be executing—each focusing on a unique approach to achieving targets.

Picture with the title prioritize your growth plays and then names and explains the five growth plays: Acquisition (Disrupt Status Quo Bias to win new business), Win-Backs (Show how you've changes to reclaim lost business), Margins (protect profitability and pass on price increases), Retention (Reinforce Status Quo Bias to renew existing business), and Expansion (Leverage your relationship and evolve your solution to grow customer spend).

Once you determine which growth plays to focus on, identify the teams to execute each one and the resources they need. This is the foundation of exactly how you will execute your revenue growth strategy.

With this in place, you can communicate exactly what each person needs to do and why they need to do it. When sales reps understand the goal and have clear direction on how to reach it, they feel more motivated to execute the plan.

Plan your revenue growth strategy with this e-book.

pull your sellers’ eyes open to fix their blind spots

Coaching will be an essential part of your sales kickoff. And it’s probably one area that your sellers feel gets pushed upon them.

You might have picked a training topic that your sellers or sales managers think is a gap. But sellers have a limited perspective and don’t always see what their buyers see. In fact, data from over 100,000 deals shows that 50–70 percent of the time, sellers and buyers give different answers for why a sale was lost.

If you can tell your sellers the training is based on what their buyers say about their performance, they’ll sit up and pay attention.

The key to doing this effectively is to start by gathering buyer feedback before your sales kickoff—generally at least 90 days before is a good benchmark. Then you can examine the data, look for overall trends to shape the event, and build training tracks that address the major shortfalls identified through the feedback.

After your kickoff, you can then follow up with individualized coaching and development plans based on each seller’s specific needs.

By including your buyers’ perspectives, you shine a light on your sellers’ blind spots, spark their competitive nature, and capture their focus to pull more value out of the coaching you provide at your sales kickoff.

Learn more about how to obtain and use real buyer feedback in this e-book.

pull your sellers into a virtual approach

While your sales kickoff will probably be in person, most of your interactions with buyers aren’t anymore. So use your sales kickoff to show sellers how to make every digital conversation count.

This starts with helping them with their initial outreach and virtual discovery conversations. Your prospects are inundated with contact requests, robocalls, and noise that your sellers need to rise above to capture their attention. You need to find ways to help your sellers ask smart discovery questions, ignite interest in your solution, and ultimately secure sales meetings.

Part of helping your sellers get noticed is creating a better digital presence. If they can build their credibility and reach through social media and content sharing, they’ll stand out to your prospects. And once they do have a sales meeting, they need to deliver your message virtually so the buyer stays engaged and remembers it after the presentation is over.

When your sellers recognize these digital skills as key to driving pipeline, they’ll be eager to further develop their proficiency. Arming your teams with digital selling skills ensures they can have more impactful virtual interactions this year.

Empower your sellers to make their digital presence and communications more memorable with this e-book.

use your sales kickoff to pull in more revenue

Your sales kickoff sets the tone for the year. Pushing coaching and content that isn’t helpful is going to produce mediocre results. But you can have a more productive year ahead if you pull your sellers in and show them how to execute your strategy, how to use buyer feedback, and how to win in a digital-first environment.

When your sellers own their development and success, you transform your sales kickoff from obligation to opportunity.

Eric Nitschke

Eric Nitschke

VP Commercial Enablement

Eric Nitschke is a sales and marketing veteran with expertise in written and visual storytelling, and a track record of helping companies break down complex ideas and offerings into simple and compelling stories. As VP of Commercial Enablement, Eric develops launch strategies around Corporate Visions' portfolio of services and ensures the messaging and sales enablement content is consistent and powerful.

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