As part of our Kick-Ass Sales Kickoff series, we give you tips to start strong in 2015.

Today’s post shows you how to take your team’s pulse and survey them to design the best agenda.

When I talk to Sales VPs about planning their sales kickoffs, I notice that many plan top-down.

They know what they want.  Or they do what they’ve always done.  They create the kickoff agenda in a vacuum or with a few trusted managers.

VPs rarely ask sales reps for their opinions.

I think they should.  Why?

More Engagement – We’ve all been to too many kickoffs with too many topics that are either irrelevant to selling or could be handled via email or webinar.  Include topics the reps really care about and they’ll be more engaged.

It’s Easy – Just send an email or do a free online survey using Google Forms or Survey Monkey.  Ask very simple questions like:

  • What’s your biggest obstacle to selling more in 2015?
  • What part of the sales cycle do you struggle with the most and why?
    • Engaging early prospects and getting next steps
    • Advancing and qualifying deals
    • Closing deals
  • What prospect questions, objections or situations give you the most trouble and why?
  • What topics would you like to see covered at the 2015 sales kickoff and why?

It’s Valuable Data – Don’t you want to know – explicitly – what is on the minds of your reps?  Why not ask?  After you get the survey results, follow-up with a few stars and middle performers to get more details.

Maybe more VPs don’t survey their reps because they are too busy in Q4 or because they won’t use all the feedback for the kickoff.  I say, ask anyway.

The simple act of asking is a sign of respect and curiosity.

Happy Selling!
David