4 Highly Engaging Sales Kick Off Meeting Content Delivery Techniques

Sales kickoff meetings must compete for the limited time and attention of SKO attendees. While celebrating last year’s achievements and learning new skills is important, chances are high that your sales reps have a long to-do list. There are many distractions that can break their attention during sales kickoff sessions—which clients do they need to call; which prospects need to be chased; how much new business is needed to hit their quota.

Sales kickoff meeting leaders have a very limited window of time to command the focus and interest of a salesforce.

Here’s how the most effective speakers make their time count.


In order for your sessions to be interesting, they need to be both interactive and relevant. When in the sales kickoff planning stages, you should already have collected feedback from the salesforce. This will ensure that your SKO’s key objectives and session topics are effective in addressing your salesforce’s most common skills gaps and success barriers. For more tips, see our previous post on aligning your SKO meeting with the salesforce.

2. Tell a story

Charts, figures and best practices are often forgotten when presented without a structured narrative. There are many ways to convey contextual meaning, and design your SKO sessions so that they’re both relatable and memorable.

Each session should lead with a narrative. This narrative should marry the knowledge and data being presented with personal experiences.

  • How does the session theme relate to the everyday challenges being faced by the speaker or those in the audience?
  • How does the story end for those that apply the knowledge presented? What benefits or changes emerge within the story?

Pro-tip: Any topic that doesn’t have enough substance to be conveyed through storytelling should be covered in a webinar.

Add interactive narratives to technical breakout sessions

  1. Present the problem that the sales technique/strategy resolves, using narratives to bring its applications to life
  2. Invite the audience to vote on use case scenarios
  3. Explain which answer is the best choice

Pro-tip: Conclude educational sessions with a call to ‘Make it happen’. Instruct your session leaders to highlight key points from their narrative on how their shared strategies and techniques were translated into action.

Add interactive narratives to new product breakout sessions

  1. Present narratives for the product or tools being presented (problem — benefit)
  2. Invite the audience to vote on which tool or product they’d choose if faced with a scenario
  3. Explain the winning choice, relating it to your narrative’s problem- benefit mapping

This interactive breakout session model is doubly beneficial. It requires attendees to recall and critically assess the key information of the session, while breaking the session up into easy-to-digest bites of information.

3. Make AUDIENCES do something

Another way to keep the salesforce engaged during SKO meetings is to upgrade one-directional lecturing into interactive dialogue. Engage SKO attendees by:

  • Initiating live polls
  • Inviting attendees to direct questions to the speaker
  • Polling attendees on their opinions at the start and end of the session

Example: Sales Success Story

One of the most effective ways to teach the art of closing deals is by inviting top salespeople to the SKO stage to share their sales success stories. There’s a lot that goes into winning key accounts that can be difficult to communicate without the incorporation of open question and answering. If left to their own devices, most salespeople wind up sharing a chronological review of their key wins instead of getting into the nitty gritty of which account management skills and resources they relied on.

Using a talk show program format:

  • Instruct attendees to submit questions for the moderator to ask your top salespeople
  • Display submissions live on-screen for other members of the crowd to upvote

Pro-tip: The session moderator should have an extensive sales background. Their expertise will come in handy should they need to rephrase questions that are submitted from the audience.

4. Make AUDIENCES compete

Salespeople are naturally competitive. Play into their drive to win by turning your SKO meeting theme into a competition. Administer bite-sized quizzes throughout each session to measure learning retention and memory recall. Points can be awarded to individual attendees or teams.

Display competition standings from the your live poll results on the main screen. It’s energizing when salespeople see that they’re contributions are being recognized and rewarded. Split reps, execs, engineers and marketing attendees into mixed teams to encourage interdepartmental sharing. Or alternatively, split teams by region or seniority.

Award winners based on accumulated points, or take things a step further and award superlative prizes based on mastery of key concepts:

  • Most likely to nail forecasting
  • Most prepared to qualify leads like a boss
  • Prospect-discovery sleuths to watch
  • Closing-masters to watch

There you have it, using the techniques and tools discussed you should be able to inspire, educate and engage sales kickoff attendees like never before. What other methods do you use to keep energy and attention levels high during SKO meetings? Download our free Sales Kickoff Playbook for more use case examples, application templates and inspiration on how to magnify the performance of your company’s SKO meeting.