How to make your SKO last forever

BY:  Rebecca Herson
February 22, 2022
6 MIN. READING

Your SKO was an awesome event, but what happens now? The energy of your sales kickoff shouldn’t end when it does – after all, your sales enablement team, marketing people, and sales personnel invested massive amounts of time, money, and effort to make it a success.

Now that you’ve brought everybody together, shared your messaging, and communicated your company values, you want to make sure that the effects last for longer than your toothpaste. Here are 5 tips for reinforcing your sales messaging once the SKO is a dot in your rearview mirror.

1. Keep the SKO going

Who says your SKO has to end in Q1? Put the virtual tools and skills that you’ve gained during the pandemic to good use, and extend your SKO beyond its expected end time. Hold mini-SKOs at regular intervals throughout the year, like having your sales teams “meet” online once a quarter to debrief, bond, and refresh their knowledge.

Make sure all the sessions, skills, tools, messaging, etc. that were presented at the SKO remain available to sales employees. It should be easy for sales employees to remind themselves about what was said in X session or to re-watch the keynote speaker at double speed. Send videos to all sales teams, so they can return to the SKO whenever they like.

2. Drip feed practical reminders

Your SKO event was inspirational, but hopefully it was also practical. Ideally, you’ll have translated all your high-level marketing messaging and company values into practical, actionable pieces of advice that your sales employees can put to use instantly.

Don’t leave them to languish in a silo for the rest of the year. Instead, slice up your value propositions, product information, messaging, and more into bite-size videos and posts, and drip feed them to your sales teams throughout the weeks and months that follow, even if you already gave them a thick folder (or digital file) that contains all the material.

3. Reinforce the SKO messaging with AI role plays

It’s already well-known that people forget the vast majority of new material ridiculously quickly – some 80% of what you transmit at the SKO has already been forgotten 24 hours later! Instead of tearing your hair out in frustration, take steps to reinforce the material you taught across the long term.

One tactic is to use Second Nature’s AI-driven simulations to build ongoing practice into your SKO and maintain it after the event ends. Second Nature’s AI-powered role play modules enable sales employees to keep practicing new skills and refreshing their mastery of new information. Create a regular sales coaching cadence for your employees and set up a micro-learning schedule which increases retention.

4. Support ongoing internal conversations

By this point in our post-covid world, most enterprises have remote sales teams that are scattered across a number of locations, even if they weren’t 2+ years ago. Your SKO is their one opportunity each year to connect with other sales employees, swap tactics, share experiences, and learn from each other.

But there’s no reason why this valuable connectivity has to be limited to a once-annual event. Maintain relationships between employees and teams by opening up virtual chat rooms, forums, and Slack channels for them to share success stories, or scheduling regular webinars or video conferences for employees to swap insights and strategic tips.

5. Follow up on metrics

Your SKO undoubtedly included top KPIs for the coming year. Now it’s time to put them into action. Besides tracking all the metrics you aired at the SKO, go one step further and share them with your teams.

When you publicize key metrics for success, your sellers will feel that someone is noticing their achievements and cares about their progress, and that motivates them further. Make a leaderboard to encourage friendly competition, and share the good news whenever an individual, team, or the organization as a whole hits a specific target.

At the same time, make sure that managers have their own ways to track progress, measure improvement, and spot weaknesses among their sales teams, so they can direct support and reinforcement wherever it’s most needed.

Second Nature’s AI simulations include detailed metrics about which topics and skills sellers are improving on.

Don’t let the magic of the SKO come to an end

There’s no reason why your SKO should be nothing more than a memory by March. By enabling salespeople to communicate easily, sharing practical guidance and the SKO material itself, tracking progress, and supporting ongoing practice, SKO 2022 can still be having an effect by the time SKO 2023 comes along.

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About the author

Rebecca Herson

Rebecca is head of marketing at Second Nature.

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