5 Ridiculously Fun Ideas for Your 2021 Virtual Sales Kickoff Meetings

Cassy Aite
February 24, 2021
5 Ridiculously Fun Ideas for Your 2021 Virtual Sales Kickoff Meetings

Virtual sales kickoff meetings are quickly becoming the flavor of the season as sales teams are virtual this year. Annual sales kickoffs (SKOs) are a recurring practice for most organizations and now that people are working remotely, communication is more important than ever. If you are a sales professional your sales kickoff will likely look very different than previous years.

Sales kickoff offs should be more than just a marathon meeting – they are key to engaging your sales team, boosting morale, and celebrating big wins. However, limitations on travel and big gatherings across the country mean that businesses will need to conduct SKOs virtually. And that’s a big challenge. After all, team building activities, cocktail dinners, and award parties are best enjoyed in-person.

Or are they?

5 Virtual Sales Kickoff Meeting Ideas for 2021

Colleen Francis, sales strategist and author of Nonstop Sales Boom: Powerful Strategies to Drive Consistent Growth Year After Year, says in her book that cohesion in sales allows businesses to build a sum that’s greater than its parts. Collaborative and cross-functional sales teams achieve more by eliminating ambiguity with open, cross-functional communications and celebrating their successes.

That’s where virtual sales kickoff meetings can really make an impact – bring out the collective best in sales teams and foster a sense of connection and community. The good news is, well planned sales kickoffs can help you achieve better results than traditional in-person SKOs.

Let’s look at a few ways you can make your 2021 SKOs more memorable and drive better sales outcomes:

#1: Create Awards for High Performers

Award ceremonies create a great way to publicly recognize employees that do great things and encourage others to do the same. However, capturing the essence of an in-person awards ceremony, virtually, can be tricky. Virtual awards bring people together in competition and celebration, so getting the tone right for the event is the first step.

Take a page out of the 2020 Daytime Emmys and start with a killer opening act. A live virtual music performance or motivational speaker can help you get as close to the “real-deal” as possible. Engaging your sales team from the get-go is crucial because awards are as much about recognition as they are about celebrating success.

Your opening act will be your sales award ceremony’s headlining act. A grand opening act will ensure that you have your sales teams’ undivided attention. With distractions out of the way, you can begin award recognition.

The credits at the end of the ceremony thanked all those who had prepared videos.
Virtual awards ceremonies can foster a sense of community and gratitude |Source: New York Times

#2: Ask Your Team To Create Their Own Magazine Story

While award ceremonies are the most popular way to celebrate achievement, it’s important to include everyone. It’s possible your team achieved major goals or overcame personal challenges that went unnoticed. A great activity to foster a culture of recognition is to actively bring these stories to light.

Ask your team members to create an imaginary magazine cover about a successful project, business achievement, or personal accomplishment. You can even send them stationery and magazine templates they’ll need in advance and ask them to prepare their story beforehand. You can allot 30 minutes to an hour for this activity during your kickoff meeting. As the team begins putting together their stories – they’re also able to visualize future success, motivate their peers, and set more ambitious goals for the next year.

Here are a few pointers to help you get started:

  • Send them an activity gift bag that contains markers, pens, magazine cover templates, and anything else they’ll need to create the cover story.
  • Ask each participant to say a few words about their challenge or achievement and how it made them or their team stronger.
  • Choose and reward the best cover.

#3: Host a Virtual Cocktail Party with Hoppier

Take your sales kickoff meeting to the next level with a virtual cocktail party organized with Hoppier. Set your budget and restrict purchases to vendors like Minibar, Drizly, local stores, and any other vendors you would like. Hoppier does the rest. Hoppier works with you to understand your needs, both logistically as well as the kind of event experience you’re looking to provide.

Hoppier's virtual sales kickoff experiences help businesses of all sizes celebrate and recognize employees
Hoppier offers customizable virtual event experiences

#4: Host a Virtual Shark Tank to Test Your Team's Improvisation Skills

What better way to help your sales team hone their pitching skills than with a mock Shark Tank? This fun activity will allow your team members to showcase their entrepreneurial side and perfect their pitching skills. You can make the experience richer by inviting sales coaches and influencers as judges.

Divide your team into groups of two and use props or images for people to come up with an imaginary product and develop a pitch for it. The pitch could include specifics like the brand name, tag line, business plan, marketing plan, sales strategy, and most importantly: why people should invest. In addition to promoting collaboration, this activity also fosters unconventional thinking and can be a great way to brainstorm innovative go-to-market strategies and sales initiatives. It’s important for judges to provide each team with detailed feedback on their performance and also choose a winner. Bonus if you provide small prizes.   

#5: Fight Meeting Fatigue with Breakout Sessions

Virtual meeting fatigue is real, and SKOs can run longer than expected. A great way to ensure your team is engaged throughout the event is by scheduling virtual breakout sessions. While a breakout session in itself might not seem like an innovative idea, the way you go about conducting breakout sessions makes all the difference. Here are some of our top ideas:

  • Lightning Talks: Stimulate your team to think about a single topic and give a short presentation (the key is to keep them under five mins) to foster thought, conversation, and collaboration. For example, selling to prospects that are working remotely, tips for effective virtual sales meetings, advice to hit quota while working remotely, cold calling tips for remote prospects, etc. 
  • Improv Sessions: Virtual improv-led breakout sessions can be a great way to foster out-of-the-box thinking.
  • Host a Goal-Setting Workshop: One of the most effective ways to help your sales team achieve more in 2021 is understanding their aspirations and personal goals. Encourage your team members to create and share a list of their top personal and professional goals for 2021 and define what success looks like. You can note their goals and offer personal development and coaching rewards to help your team members realize their goals throughout the new year.

Bringing it All Together

Most of us have had a lot of virtual meeting practice this past year, however, an annual sales kickoff meeting is different. SKO’s are unique because they set the blueprint for annual success. A virtual sales kickoff could be a first for you, so don’t shy away from experimenting. Leverage this opportunity to foster human connection as your team prepares to win in an unfamiliar world. Sales is changing, and a great kickoff meeting is the best way to show your team members that you’ve still got their backs. 

Talk to us about hosting your virtual sales kickoff meeting. Get 20% off on your first event with Hoppier.



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