August 31, 2021

10 Networking Ideas for Virtual Sales Kickoffs

The primary focus of a sales kickoff is to bring a team together — to motivate, align, strategize and celebrate. Although you may not be able to gather your team in person to discuss goals, you can do so virtually. There are even very fun, engaging ways to get the team energized and engaged.

Here are some ideas to get creative in your networking sessions to increase engagement (in no particular order).

1. Virtual Escape Room

What better way to bond than to try to escape from a room together? Escape rooms have increased in popularity as they are a great way to bond with others. Split your sales team into smaller groups to work together to solve puzzles to get out of the virtual room.

2. Online Talent Show

Virtual talent shows are a great way to get your team energized. Facilitate the talent show for individuals or groups. On an individual level, anyone who wants to participate records their talent and uploads it to the SKO event. Then other team members can vote or applaud. For a team, have them create a skit or music video or even partake in karaoke.

3. Group Service Project

People often have fond memories of service projects. Usually, groups volunteer in person, but there are still meaningful ways to give back virtually. For example, Salesforce created handmade cards for hospitalized children during a kickoff.

4. Murder Mystery 

Having the team solve a murder mystery is bond to entertain. Make sure that the teams are split so that more tenured employees and newcomers are together. The teams will then compete to solve the murder mystery.

5. Virtual Awards

If your team has been together for some time, starting your virtual SKO with a virtual awards ceremony would be fun and meaningful. The ceremony gives your team a great way to acknowledge hard work and spotlight top reps. The awards could also be more lighthearted with more superlative awards like "Class Clown" or "Miss Congeniality."

6. Send Tangible Items

One way to rally the troops is by sending them swag items. Swag suggests sending teams branded hats or t-shirts to create a moment of unity. Don’t miss the photo op via screenshot to share on social media of your unified sales team. 

7. Peer-led Hobby Share

Why not break up the day with a breakout about baking, beekeeping or another hobby? These provide new ways to network and socialize beyond just basic networking. Ask participants beforehand if they would like to host a session. Be sure to walk them through the virtual platform for smooth facilitation.

8. Trivia

Trivia is such a friendly competition. It is also a great way to break up content in order to avoid fatigue. After a few speakers, host a trivia session about what was just discussed or something more lighthearted.

9. Hackathons

Hackathons are another great way to build engagement in SKOs. These not only build camaraderie and connection with friendly competition but can also inspire innovation. Consider setting up cross-functional teams, giving them a business problem to work on, and allotting time during the SKO to work on it. At the end of the time, teams can present their solutions.

10. Virtual Exercise Class

For optimal learning, get your team moving between information sessions. Encourage movement through a yoga class, a virtual ride or another form of exercise. A virtual fitness class may also be an excellent opportunity to showcase a few team members' talents—you probably have a few team members certified in some form of exercise class like Zumba, yoga or pilates.

Remember, it is important to continue teaching the team outside of the kickoff. It is just as essential to stop and celebrate wins as well. If you are looking for more tips on facilitating a high-impact virtual SKO, download our guide here.