Sales Kickoff – An opportunity to up your content!!!

Sales Kickoffs are ultra-important. Organizations spend a ton of resources and money on Sales Kickoffs every year. Not only do companies have their entire sales teams in one single location, but they also take other sales-supporting members to help with the kickoff. Everyone huddles down for multiple days to chalk out future plan and strategy. HubSpot defines Sales Kickoffs in this blog post and shares some useful tips for having a successful Sales Kickoff. Today, it is not unusual for some organizations to conduct more frequent (semi-annually or quarterly) kickoffs to keep the ball rolling. In a nutshell, these kickoffs are an expensive affair.

Sales Kickoffs are not just about numbers and broad strategy. On the contrary, we see that Sales and Company management tries to maximize this opportunity of having everyone’s undivided attention for 2 or 3 days and invests in enablement and training. To meet these objectives different teams invest a lot of time and energy in building content – videos, presentations, etc. In the weeks leading to the kickoff, there is a lot of activity and effort from different groups to support this kickoff.

And usually, these events are amazing. Sales engagement is at an all-time high and the sales team is inundated with some high-value information and intelligence. There are battle cards, competitive intelligence, role-play sessions, live feedback, demos, product roadmaps, etc. discussed by the entire group.

But then the kickoff ends and people forget. And just like that, in a very short duration, all that content and knowledge starts evaporating. The organization goes back to its inefficient and unproductive ways of operation.

But it need not be so ineffective. We believe Sales Kickoffs are a huge opportunity for marketing and product teams to up their content game. The sales supporting teams are already investing time and energy to build some timely and relevant content for the kickoff event. Why not leverage this content and enhance your content library? Why limit the use of this content to this 2-day event?

Here are some specific opportunities to revamp your content on the back of a Sales Kickoff event:

Product

It is common to have a targeted session during the Sales Kickoff that is focused on your product (or solution) offering. This is where the product owners share newer product updates and discuss future product roadmap. The purpose of this content is to excite the sales reps with new features and giving them strong talking points to target their market. Marketing should use this content to build and refresh:

  • Data Sheets: With new product features, it warrants refreshing the data sheets. Especially if there are key important updates that the sales reps can leverage in their dialogues with their prospects.
  • Product Roadmap: If you are a product company, you recognize the importance of product roadmaps. And the more upmarket you sell, the more crucial product roadmaps are. So if you are going to have product teams present the roadmap at the kickoff event, make sure they know that they are also supposed to share a customer facing product roadmap deck for future use.
  • Product FAQs: This is a good time to refresh product FAQs. There may be new FAQs that you need to add to the current product FAQs or you may need to update existing FAQs because the responses may have updated.
  • Demo Scripts: On the back of product updates, you may want to share updated Demo Scripts with the sales and sales engineering teams. This is crucial. And since you are already demoing the kickoff audience on the new features, why not record that script and share it for future use?

Competitive Intelligence

Your company’s competitors are on the top of the mind of your sales reps. And they are eager to know how to beat the competition.

  • Battle Cards: Competitive battle cards are a staple and an important content asset for sales. The are these short one-page guides that provide a playbook to compete with your key competitors.
  • Feature Comparison Sheets: Feature comparison sheets are a great sales tools. Not only they help sales understand your products strength and weaknesses, they also help sales respond to competitor-related queries.
  • Competitor Profile: If you are focusing on your primary competitors, why not build their profile? Competitor profile is a great asset to help sales understand the competitive landscape for an opportunity.
  • Case Studies & Win/Loss Analysis: A great time to build case studies or win analysis where you beat your competition.

Win/Loss Analysis

A part of Sales Kickoff is to learn from the past. Sales teams will try to analyze past deals that they won and lost. This is to understand what worked and what didn’t work. In short, they are doing a win/loss analysis. Make it part of your sales enablement library.

Training

Your Sales Kickoff is going to include training activity. Great!!! Use that content and structure it such that it is not a one-time only-for-sales-kickoff training. Build the training content so that it can be used for onboarding and continuous enablement. Here are some tips to make this happen without breaking the bank:

  • Record Presentations – If product team members are already presenting product updates and/or features at the kickoff, record these sessions. And include them in your learning paths.
  • Role Playing – It is common for sales teams to engage in role-playing during a kickoff. Record these role-playing sessions. If nothing else, these sessions will be a great guide for new reps and for anyone who wants to refresh their knowledge.

Marketing is always strapped for resources. There is no good time to revamp your content. We believe that refreshing content should be a continuous activity for marketing and sales enablement teams. However, Sales Kickoffs offer a great opportunity to up your content game. Not only will you help the kick-off event but in the process, you will have refreshed content to help sales accelerate their pipeline and close more deals.

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“What Worked for You” vs “What Worked for Your Customer”

chess-316658_1280In the B2B world case studies are ubiquitous. They are an important vehicle to demonstrate credibility to your customers and prospects. They are also important to educate your sales force and to scale sales success. However many organizations fail to segment their case studies correctly and end up targeting their case studies to the wrong audience. In B2B world, we come across two broad types of Case Studies:

  • “What Worked for You” Case Study
  • “What Worked for Your Customer” Case Study

“What Worked for You” Case Study

  • This case study is created when you win a deal.
  • It highlights why the customer chose you.
  • It speaks to the “theory” of how your offering is going to address the customer’s pain points.
  • It also elaborates on how the sales process was executed to drive a win.

A “What Worked for You” case study is a great vehicle to scale sales success. Insights from this type of case study help guide other sales representatives in their sales pursuits. And in some cases, this case study provides your potential prospects visibility into how their peers selected you and why.

“What Worked for Your Customer” Case Study

  • These case studies are closely aligned with your customer’s success journey. That is they are created well past the “Deal Win” milestone when the customer has successfully realized the business gain with the help of your offering.
  • They speak to the practical benefits of your offering to your customer. For e.g. the customer saved $X and gained Y% efficiency.
  • They elaborate on the journey of customer success. They provide details about the timeline to achieve the customer success milestone, the resources involved, etc.

“What Worked for Your Customer” case study is highly relevant to other prospects and customers. This type of case study provides reliable data on how one customer achieved success using your offering. It helps others prospects/customers visualize their path to success. Not only the case study works as a soft-reference (as opposed to speaking to the reference), it also establishes credibility with your prospects. The case study screams “we know how to make you successful.” Conversely the “What Worked for You” case study screams “we know how to sell.”

Both types of case studies deliver benefits. However, it is important for organizations to recognize the different values that they bring to the table and invest wisely in creating and utilizing them in their “Go To Market” efforts.