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Jan 20236 min read

How to Organize a Kick-Ass Sales Kick-Off for 2023

It's about time to start planning your sales kick-off for 2023 if you haven’t already done so. A successful sales kick-off can set the tone for the entire year and motivate your sales team to hit their goals. 

5 Key Takeaways for a Successful Sales Kick-off

Here are five key takeaways to keep in mind when organizing a kick-ass sales kick-off:

1) Communicate business goals, strategy, and expectations

According to the Harvard Business Review, even up to 95% of a company’s employees are unaware of its strategy, and 67% do not understand their role when new growth initiatives are launched (Gartner). Is it any wonder that your sales team has difficulty engaging in a strategy they don’t understand and meeting the annual objectives?

That is why your sales team needs to understand the big picture to align their efforts and hit their targets. Communicating your company's goals, strategy, and expectations for the upcoming year is crucial to your organization's success.

Sales leader explaining goals and strategy for upcoming year

By clearly outlining the objectives and plans for the future, your employees will better understand what is expected of them and how their work contributes to the company's overall success. This will likely lead to increased motivation, productivity, and a sense of purpose within the workforce. Additionally, by communicating the company's strategy, your teams can better align their own goals with those of the company, resulting in more cohesive and effective teamwork.

Communicating the company's goals, strategy, and expectations for the upcoming year helps foster a more engaged and productive workforce, leading to a more successful sales team.

Read more about Improving Sales Readiness By Aligning Your Sales Teams →

Salespeople listening a training in a sales kick off event

2) Provide opportunities for learning and development 

A sales kick-off is a great time to provide training on new products, services, trends, technologies, and sales techniques. This will improve your sales team's abilities and give them the tools they need to close more deals. Sales team members with the latest knowledge, tools, and skills are better prepared to succeed and provide a first-class buyer experience.

Furthermore, providing learning and development opportunities for your salespeople will improve employee engagement and motivation. When team members feel invested in and supported, they are more likely to be committed to their work and the company's success. This is likely to improve employee retention rate and decrease turnover rate.

Lastly, providing learning and development opportunities also helps attract top talent, as it is seen as a sign of a company investing in its employees' growth and development. This will give a competitive edge to your company in recruiting and retaining top talent in the sales team.

Overall, providing learning and development opportunities for your sales team is a valuable investment that will pay off in increased sales, improved team performance, and employee satisfaction.

3) Encourage team building and networking

A sales kick-off is an excellent opportunity for your team to bond and build relationships – sales is all about teamwork! This can be done through team-building activities, group meals, or even a team-building retreat.

When sales team members collaborate and share information and ideas, they get better prepared and motivated. For example, Harvard Research concludes that being familiar with your team improves employee performance.

Team building activities and internal networking events also foster a sense of camaraderie and trust among team members, which can lead to a more cohesive and productive team. Camaraderie promotes group loyalty and dedication to work. It also improves team members' engagement and motivation. When team members feel like they are part of a supportive and collaborative team, they are more likely to be committed to their work and the company's success. This will lead to improved job satisfaction and turnover rates.

Image of sales team having fun at a sales kick off event

Additionally, team building and internal networking can promote knowledge sharing and learning among team members. By encouraging team members to share their experiences, skills, and best practices, the sales team can improve their overall performance and achieve better results.

Overall, encouraging team building and internal networking is essential in sales. It will lead to enhanced collaboration and communication, increased employee engagement and motivation, better performance, and a positive company culture.

4) Recognize and reward top performers

Acknowledge and reward your team members who have succeeded in the past year. This recognition will not only motivate them to continue their hard work but also serve as inspiration for their colleagues.

Sales leader rewarding top performer in a sales kick off

Recognizing and rewarding people can have several benefits for a sales team:

Increased motivation and engagement

Recognition and rewards can serve as positive reinforcement for people, encouraging them to continue to work hard and strive for success.

Improved performance

People who feel valued and appreciated for their work may be likelier to go above and beyond to deliver high-quality results.

Increased productivity

When people feel recognized and rewarded for their efforts, they are more likely to be productive and motivated. 

Better talent recruitment

Companies with a reputation for recognizing and rewarding people may be more attractive to potential hires

Sales team having a group activity as part of their sales kick off

5) Keep the kick-off fun, interactive, and engaging

Make the sales kick-off an enjoyable and engaging experience for the sales team. This will accelerate learning and understanding because that is how our brain works. For example, enhancing our mood makes new information more pleasurable and our brain more flexible to adopt it.

This can be done by incorporating interactive activities, games, and competitions. Cognition Today lists several ways to make learning more fun based on a pedagogy of teaching called “Brain-based learning”. This can be applied in organizational settings as well.

  • Use the SHoP rule in keynotes: Surprise, Humor, and Play
  • Make the environment conducive to social interactions
  • Engage in simple physical activities
  • Mix emotions and transition between high-intensity, curiosity, neutral, and mic-drop moments because transitions are essential; keeping a single emotion on for too long won’t help much.
  • Use props and games
  • Develop relationships

A fun and interactive kick-off will make the event more memorable and increase the likelihood that your team will take away key learnings.


💡For more insights on orchestrating a virtual sales kick-off, check out this guide by Vainu


Don't Forget Sales Enablement

And last but not least, sales enablement is a crucial component of any successful sales kick-off. By implementing a sales enablement tool like Showell or ensuring that the one you have is being used to its full potential, you can empower your sales team to close more deals and hit their targets the whole year.

Sales enablement tools help salespeople easily access the information and resources they need after the kick-off. This will help them to close deals more efficiently and be productive. The sales enablement tool gathers all the relevant sales information, such as product information and other sales collateral, in one place.

By providing access to these resources in one centralized location, sales enablement tools can empower salespeople to be more productive and increase their chances of success beyond the sales kick-off.

Need more help with sales enablement? At your service. Get a free, 30-minute sparring session with one of our experts and learn how we can help your team to be more productive and to make more sales.



A well-organized sales kick-off can set the tone for the entire year and motivate your sales team to hit their goals. You can create a memorable and effective kick-off event by clearly communicating the company's goals, providing training and development opportunities, encouraging team building, recognizing top performers, and keeping it fun and interactive. And don't forget about sales enablement; it's key to empowering your sales team to close more deals and hit their targets.

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