In Part 1 of this series, we focused on how you can ensure the success of your Keynote speakers. In part two of this series, we will explore why an SKO is a perfect time to up-skill your presales and sales teams in your virtual kickoff.
If you’re like most technology companies, your annual SKO’s agenda will be packed with keynote presentations, product updates, and informative breakout sessions. Soft skills training that enables your sales organization to execute everything they learned is often missing. Leaving out soft skills training is no different than giving a room full of musicians instruments and expecting them to play in harmony. For example, it isn’t easy to cross-sell a recent acquisition’s solution without the discovery skills that seek and understand potential opportunities. Securing a technical win with fewer demos that shorten sales cycles only happens when your presales team improves their demo skills. Moving from feature-based selling to sales conversations that tell the story of your solution only occurs when your team learns and practices business storytelling.
An Integrated Agenda
One of the challenges of providing soft skills training during a virtual kickoff is integrating the time commitment of the SKO sessions with the training. One of the many advantages of blending individual pre-learning with virtual coaching sessions is the flexibility it provides your SKO scheduling. You simply slot training with your other SKO sessions for a perfectly integrated agenda.
The Right Content
“Diagnosis before prescription.” It is an age-old adage that the medical profession lives by. So should you. For example, there could be many reasons why your sales cycles are extending. Too many POC’s can extend sales cycles. So can repeat demos. Too many opportunities lost to status quo can be the result of substandard prospect executive engagements. Lack of cross-selling is often attributable to improper discovery techniques. The time to diagnose is now. The time to prescribe and attend to the issues is the SKO. Failure to do so will lead to a flood of informative SKO sessions without a proper execution plan.
The Right Formula
In all likelihood, many of your keynote and breakout sessions will consist of a speaker with slideware presenting their content in your virtual platform. The LAST thing your sales organization needs is soft-skills training that subjects them to trainers lecturing for hours with slideware. Demand better. It is a statistical fact that the most effective, virtual soft-skills training leverages engaging, video-based, self-paced learning and exercises with online, live coaching. Settle for nothing less.
Drive to Monday Morning
Whatever soft skills training you select, make sure that the content has the inertia and practicality to make a difference in the sales team’s execution next Monday morning. Lengthy implementations of methodologies will evaporate immediately after the conclusion of the SKO. Go for training that offers immediate impact as you drive your team towards a strong Q1 that builds momentum for the entire fiscal year.
Make the most of your 2023 virtual SKO by up-skilling your team. Push-back on requests that fill your agenda with an onslaught of presentations from product development, product management, client support, implementation, and legal! You need your team to have new, winning skills that ensure your new launches, releases, acquisitions, and initiatives are successful and achievable.