How To Run A Virtual Sales Kickoff

Published on October 16, 2023 by David Zhang

How To Run A Virtual Sales Kickoff

As businesses continue to navigate the complexities of a post-pandemic world, the way we approach traditional corporate events like sales kickoffs (SKOs) has transformed. Virtual sales kickoffs have emerged not only as a necessary adjustment but also as an innovative avenue to energize and align sales teams for the year ahead.

A virtual SKO can be just as impactful as an in-person event, facilitating collaboration, inspiring action, and reinforcing corporate culture. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the steps and strategies to run a successful virtual sales kickoff.

1. Define Clear Objectives

Before diving into the logistics of the event, clarify what you want to achieve with your virtual SKO. Common objectives include introducing new sales strategies, launching products, driving alignment on sales goals, motivating your team, or providing education on sales tactics and the competitive landscape.

2. Invest in the Right Tech Stack

Choosing the right platform and tools is crucial for a virtual event. Your tech stack should support video conferencing, breakout sessions, interactive elements like polls and Q&A, and perhaps more importantly, be user-friendly. Platforms like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or Hopin are popular choices.

3. Plan Compelling Content

Your virtual SKO should have a balance of informative and engaging content. Break the sessions into bite-sized modules to keep attention high, and include keynote addresses, product updates, sales strategy sessions, and training workshops. Each session should drive home your key messages while being interactive and engaging.

4. Foster Interaction and Engagement

Participation is key to a successful SKO. Encourage attendee interaction through features like real-time reactions, breakout rooms for smaller discussions, and gamification elements such as leaderboards and prizes for participation. You could also consider virtual networking events, like happy hours or trivia games.

5. Rehearse and Test

Fail to prepare, prepare to fail: This adage holds true for virtual SKOs. Conduct thorough rehearsals with all speakers and test the technology extensively, including any integrations you plan to use. Ensure every session leader is comfortable with the format of the event and any tools they will be using.

6. Provide Training and Resources

Don’t assume all participants will be equally tech-savvy. Provide attendees with guides on how to use the virtual event platform you’ve chosen, and consider offering a tech run-through before the event to troubleshoot potential problems.

7. Create a Dynamic Agenda

A well-crafted agenda keeps your team informed about what to expect. Allow time for breaks and interactive sessions to keep energy levels high. Be clear about the timings of each segment and stick to them — virtual events benefit from a strict adherence to schedule to avoid attendee burnout.

8. Deliver Engaging Presentations

Virtual presentations require a different approach to keep attendees engaged. Utilize storytelling techniques, vibrant visuals, and polls or quizzes to break the monotony. Encourage presenters to be lively and expressive, avoiding static PowerPoint slides when possible.

9. Integrate Social Elements

Instil a sense of togetherness by incorporating social elements. This could be virtual coffee breaks, team-building exercises, or utilizing platforms like Slack for ongoing conversations. Maintaining a social component helps replicate the camaraderie and informal networking of in-person events.

10. Have a Technical Support Team Ready

Technical difficulties can derail virtual events. Have a tech support team on standby to assist with any issues that may arise. Whether it’s login problems or audio-visual glitches, rapid response is key.

11. Record Your Sessions

Record all sessions and make them available post-event for attendees to revisit. This also allows those who may have faced timezone challenges to engage with the content at a time that is convenient for them.

12. Follow Up with Attendees

After the virtual kickoff, it’s important to follow up with attendees. Gather feedback through surveys to learn what worked well and what could be improved. Share key takeaways, additional resources, and a clear action plan to ensure the team is aligned on the next steps.

13. Measure Success Against Objectives

Finally, evaluate the success of your virtual SKO against the objectives you outlined. Look at quantitative metrics from your virtual platform (attendance, engagement statistics, etc.) and qualitative feedback from your team to assess and inform future events.


An effective virtual SKO is more than just a series of webinars; it’s an immersive experience that requires detailed planning, engaging content, reliable technology, interaction, and exceptional execution. With these building blocks, you can create a virtual event that not only rallies the team around your sales targets but also strengthens team cohesion and corporate culture, all while setting the stage for a successful sales year.

Running a virtual SKO can seem daunting, but with clear objectives, the right preparation, and an eye on engagement, it is entirely possible to replicate — and even surpass — the energy and impact of an in-person sales event. And remember, platforms like Aomni can provide tailored insights and equip your sales team with the strategic ammunition they need to make a powerful start after your virtual SKO.

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