Bringing together a group of people with a shared interest often generates some useful insight … our recent round table discussion on getting the most out of a sales conference was no exception.
The invitation only session, held at the Pullman St Pancras and hosted by Karin Weaver, Head of Internal Communications at Virgin Media Business, threw up some interesting themes:
- Understanding your audience
- Getting a balance between fun and serious
- Creating the buzz to encourage people to come
- Keeping up momentum after the event
So here are our top tips on how to create a kick ass sales conference!
1 – Understand what’s on your audience’s mind
Unless your audience feels listened to, they’re unlikely to be happy to sit down and listen to what you’ve got to say.
Make the effort to find out what’s on their mind by asking them … and do it before getting stuck into the event planning.
Use whatever tools you can … face to face forums, questionnaires, suggestion boxes … to establish what’s bothering them.
And then show you’ve listened by addressing those issues at the event.
2 – Create a balanced agenda
The best way to make sure your sales team leaves your event with a clear picture of what they need to do (as teams and as individuals) is to immerse them in the important messages.
Stand and tell from start to finish won’t cut it. Get creative with some break-out sessions that get everyone involved in the learning process. Use gamification to appeal to their natural sense of competition.
By mixing things up, you’ll hold their interest and make sure they leave feeling inspired and motivated to deliver.
3 – Build the buzz
You know how important it is that everyone comes along to the annual sales kick off … but making sure your team understand what they’ll gain from it is quite another matter.
Engage them early. Use technology to tee them up and share teasers about what they can expect to whet their appetite.
Give them a clear picture of what the event will do to help them achieve their own target and do it in a playful, engaging way so they get drawn in.
4 – Don’t make it a one hit wonder
So … you’ve taken the time to listen to what the sales team had to say, fed back on their views and shared all the important business messages. Everyone feels involved, understands what their customers want and has everything they need to go out and achieve great things.
It’s absolutely essential to maintain momentum once everyone’s back in their day job. Keeping messaging front of mind … week in and week out … is certain to help sustain their focus through to a successful year-end.
Of course, it’s not quite as simple as this. There’s a lot more to running a successful sales conference than just these four steps. But getting these fundamentals right will help guide you to a more considered, inclusive and memorable sales event and so improve overall business performance.
If you’d like to know more about how we’ve helped big brands deliver kick ass sales conferences … get in touch.
You can also download your free copy of our ‘Geek’s guide to kick ass sales conferences’.