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November 2, 2018

Getting More out of Your National Sales Meetings and Sales Kickoffs

In Part 1 of this series on national sales meetings and sales kickoffs, I recommended that you “beef up” the sales training you provide at national sales meetings (NSMs) or sales kickoffs (SKOs) by creating mobile video content that reps can review before the official training starts. Now, we’ll look at how you can use video during and after a NSM or SKO to prepare new hires for the field.

A Frequently Missed Opportunity

Formal training sessions should be recorded on video. Unfortunately, this is a frequently missed content-creation opportunity.

If you’re conducting an NSM or SKO, why not capture it? The small investment to get it recorded with iPads or tablets can generate outsized returns.

We’ve all attended meetings where “lightning in a bottle” occurs – a presentation, role-playing exercise, etc. where someone develops a new narrative or bullet-proof response to an objection. You think, “Wow, that was great! Uh … what exactly did she say?” Then, as you furiously try to reconstruct what was said, she tosses out another gem, and you miss that one entirely.

Given how inexpensive video technology is today, it pays to record every training session in hopes of capturing (say) a top salesperson sharing a best practice. Then, just save what you want, and delete what you don’t want. It’s an excellent way to turn marketing and selling factoids into coherent narratives and behavioral models.

Making the Most of Managers’ Time

In an article in the Harvard Business Review, the authors noted that Pacific Life Insurance Company uses video coaching during formal training to help the reps record their practice pitches and share them with the regional sales managers (RSMs). In turn, the RSMs provide feedback from their mobile devices when and where reps need it. This helps the company make the most of its managers’ precious time.

In addition, each rep must make a positioning statement for a particular investment product via a five-minute video. The RSMs then distribute the best videos as examples of compelling sales presentations as a lead up to the NSM.

Continuous Coaching

After the NSM or SKO has ended, mobile video can ensure that your reps receive ongoing coaching and feedback from sales managers through a continuous practice-feedback loop. To refine their pitches and develop new behavioral skills, reps need to practice multiple times to become comfortable and effective. To determine the areas where they need to focus the most, they need clear feedback on their performance.

Feedback is crucial for getting people to practice the right things, to eliminate bad or outdated habits, to set priorities, and to clarify which accountabilities are “owned” by the reps versus the managers or the firm.

In sum, what I’ve described is a supplemental learning program to boost the effectiveness of your NSMs and SKOs that is not only “just in time,” but “just for me.”

At larger companies, especially those with distributed sales forces, highly personalized and instantly accessible training and coaching usually wasn’t possible when managers could only coach reps in person or by phone. Today, mobile video sales training extends the reach of your managers, so they can almost simultaneously coach dozens of reps across the country or around the world.

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