The annual sales kickoff meeting is a time to drum up excitement about the coming year while celebrating the achievements of the last. Field and inside sales reps are gathered together to talk strategy and socialize, and leaders dole out awards and lay the foundation for crushing new goals. If done right, the entire sales team leaves the meeting with a fresh mission in their minds and a thirst to achieve it. 

But does every sales kickoff go off without a hitch? Hardly. Unenthused speakers, unclear vision, and undefined goals can all hinder the impact of this crucial meeting. However, reps are loathe to complain to their managers or leaders for fear of dampening the supposedly jovial mood.

So this year, we decided to solicit feedback from reps about what they really thought of their sales kickoffs -- the highs, the lows, and the cringe-inducing moments. Their sometimes painfully honest comments are compiled in the following infographic. 


What Reps Would Change for 2016's Sales Kickoff

In addition to their thoughts about the 2015 kickoff, we also inquired after what they would change for next year's meeting if they were to organize it. Here are some of their suggestions:

"I think it would be extremely helpful to play a 'call of the year' from one of our 'customers of the year.'"

"Having the meeting happen in the middle of the month wasn't ideal because quotas went up, and there were only two weeks left to [achieve them]. That was not cool."

"Our sales kickoff was not very motivating. I think a sales kickoff should be something that motivates the sales team while also communicating goals and plans."

"Let's have our sales rep of the year go up and speak next year!"

"I think there could have been better structure around presenting what our best people did."

"We thought we didn't have food, but when we got back to the office, we had meals waiting by our desks. Other than that, our company nailed it."

"Don't have a kickoff until territories are set and quotas have been assigned."

Sales reps: What did you think of your company's 2015 sales kickoff? Sales leaders: What would you change for next year? Let us know what you think in the comments.

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Originally published Feb 20, 2015 7:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017


Sales Kickoff