Here is some anecdotal insight from some of my Sales Advisory Service clients in response to these types of questions:
- "We had a virtual kickoff last year. It was extremely painful: Logistics were difficult, our regular speakers were not dynamic enough in front of a camera for the virtual audience, and we weren't able to replicate the in-person networking and bonding. Next year we're returning to an in-person sales kickoff event."
- "We are planning a virtual event for later this year."
- "We leverage 100% virtual training for new hires, and we're considering extending this to our kickoff meetings."
However, don't abandon the in-person events just yet. Spending 8 hours sitting in front of a computer attending a virtual, live event will not capture the full attention of your average sales rep. And if it does, that sales rep may be better off in a software development role versus sales. Direct, b-to-b sales people enjoy directi interaction with other human beings; especially those people that can help them reach and exceed quota. And regardless of the bad press that the large sales meetings get, they offer significant value to the sales organization in increasing and better leveraging tribal knowledge: return on your investment that cannot be replicated in a virtual environment.
Please feel free to share your experiences with virtual sales events below.