I’m back in Edinburgh after a great week in Timisoara (the site of Lingo24’s biggest hub in Western Romania).
The aim was to bring together our global sales team to share some detail on our 2019 plans, learn from each other and celebrate a record-breaking 2018 here at Lingo24.
This is only the second time we’ve run a kickoff and we made some changes from last year – I know many of us found it a really positive few days. I am sure there will be more improvements next year (in one of the more optimistic moments New York and Tokyo were both mentioned as possible locations…), but here’s what I’ve learned about successful sales kickoffs:
Get everyone together
There are 21 of us in our sales and marketing teams, spread globally, so it was brilliant bringing (almost) everyone together in one place.
It’s a big call for us to do this as obviously, as a growing company, we have to watch our dollars, euros and pounds, and the flights, hotels and meal costs add up, but I believe 100% that it’s absolutely the right thing to do.
It is so much more powerful in person, having open and honest discussions on what works well and where we need a bit more focus than using tech to do it remotely.
It is really energising having a group of skilled and enthusiastic colleagues in one place with everyone sharing their customer experiences.
Limit the content!
There is so much we want to share with everyone while we are together, ranging from new services, client success, to internal things like team structures and delivery updates. The challenge is definitely being harsh in cutting things out rather than finding content to share.
For example, we shared a lot of info in advance on our company plans for 2019, so that we could focus the sessions on discussions rather than presenting plans. This worked well and we should look at doing more of it next year.
Last year we ended up with way too much PowerPoint being presented by too few people. I think this year we had more people involved, but probably didn’t solve the challenge of too much PowerPoint.
Focus on the storytelling
By far the most powerful content, and the best sessions during the event, were customer stories. One way we could improve this in the future would be involving customers, but this time round it was just our team sharing their experiences.
Hearing about the global impact our customers are having, and our part in making this happen, was an inspirational way to start the new year.
Highlights for me ranged from the robotic surgical device literally saving lives globally (no one will forget that video!), the Korn Ferry cameo in Suits, and the customer who’s seen the % of international sales in their business grown from 10 to 45% in 5 years which at the same time has seen the CEO move from a Porsche to a Maserati (we don’t guarantee these results for every translation project, but as with all good ads let’s describe them as “typical”!).
It really was an inspirational few days that will hopefully set us up for another year of helping customers amplify their global impact.
Have you run or attended sales kickoffs? What works best, any advice or ideas we could add for next year?