Like many of us, the event planners and meeting organizers we serve are more than ready to put the economic challenges of 2020 behind them. How to keep a company moving forward in an uncertain economic environment is a challenge many organizations are currently facing. The best place to start is internally: plan a virtual sales kickoff. Now is the perfect time to develop a plan to motivate your 2021 sales teams with a spark of inspiration.

(Hint: That’s where we come in. More on that in a second.)

With companies like Google and Uber extending work-from-home policies well into 2021, and in Twitter’s case, indefinitely, it’s safe to say the traditional sales model is changing too. The most successful organizations plan to build a connected, inspired, and educated sales team while working virtually. 

It won’t be easy. But with some forethought and planning, plus a little creativity, you can bring your message to your internal sales teams by learning from the many organizations that have successfully adapted their own external conferences and events.

Try these tips for making your 2021 Virtual Sales Kickoff one to remember:


Ship the Swag

Let’s face it – people love swag. Send your sales team swag kits to keep them focused on the brand and to help them feel part of the team, even while remote. Make sure they have a supply of branded giveaways for clients too. Yes, you will pay a bit for shipping, but compared to traditional travel expenses, this saves money.


Leverage Virtual Conference Technology

If your organization is large and/or global, finding a virtual event platform might be the best way to orchestrate your sales kickoff. Fortunately, virtual event platforms have come a long way since the start of the year, and there are a lot of great options that provide breakout rooms, networking, chat opportunities, and more. 


Kickoff With a Great Keynote Speaker

One of the most impactful decisions you can make is choosing the right keynote speaker to kick off your annual sales kickoff. That’s where our team can really help you create a memorable event. An experienced sales keynote speaker can create a memorable experience and provide inspiration for the journey ahead. We work with the best keynote speakers in the business. View some highly-recommended sales kickoff speakers here or contact us for more ideas. 


Feed the Team

Lunch is on you! There are a lot of great options now, like GrubHub’s corporate accounts (we here at AAE are fans.) Whether you are feeding a local, national, or global team, there are comparable services around the world that deliver food to your employees, taking the logistical work of how to feed the masses off your plate. (Pun intended.)  


Keep Sessions Short and Focused with Short Breaks

Optimally, virtual sessions do best when they are kept to 15-20 minutes. That means you’ll have to get right to the point – a trait that most salespeople appreciate. After all, time is money. Keep sales kickoff sessions short and focused on the most important items that your sales teams need to know.

If you’re thinking “Just 15 minutes? Not happening.”…I hear you. Consider recording a longer product demonstration or sales training session that they can choose to watch later should they want more details or information. Stick to 3 – 5 of the most critical key points and highlights for your actual session, and make sure they know how to find you afterward for questions.

Plan for short breaks to allow sales to stretch, grab a coffee, or return a call. Keep breaks short (5-10 minutes) to keep the agenda moving forward.


Share a Charitable Project

My favorite part of attending global sales kickoff events in the past was the team building activities where we were able to collaborate and create something for charity. One year, our teams assembled bicycles that were later donated to a local Boys and Girls Club. More of our favorite charitable virtual event ideas are in a recent blog post.

Consider organizing a virtual run/walk/bike event where employees can donate, share pictures of their participation, and collect for a great charitable organization. Create a fundraising challenge by team, with a prize to the team that raises the most. Plan a virtual food drive empowering employees to contribute to their local community food pantry across the country (or globally.) Or, hold a virtual ‘silent’ auction to raise proceeds for your favorite charity. 


Your annual sales kickoff is the perfect opportunity to motivate internal teams and set the tone for the year ahead. We believe that finding the right keynote speaker helps you do just that – inspire greatness. Who doesn’t love greatness? 

To plan the perfect sales kickoff in 2021, start by browsing these great lists of sales and leadership speakers, and contact us when you’re ready to get started.