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Learnings from Our First Company Sales Kickoff

Joe Hanson
February 26, 2020

Last week, the Observe.AI sales, product, marketing, and leadership teams descended on Las Vegas for two days of learning, collaboration, and fun. From celebrating how far we’ve come to motivating us for what’s ahead, everyone left Vegas inspired and on the same page for Observe’s mission -- to put our customers first and focus on meaningful value creation - not just solve problems.

As our CEO Swapnil put it,

“Thank you all 🙏. It never felt like colleagues. It was one big family coming together for one common mission. It was great last two days🎉. Until next year!”

Here are some learnings from our first SKO.

Invite Your Customers and Partners

We were lucky enough to be joined by leaders from our customers and partners including ERC BPO, itelbpo, EmployBridge, Talkdesk, 3CLogic, and Upgrade.

SKO was a great opportunity to do a couple breakout interviews with customers on camera, including Marty Sarim, CEO of ERC BPO.

To have the people who use our platform on a daily basis speak on value, best practices, and provide feedback was massively beneficial to all of us. Their first-hand experiences with the product and better understanding of how it’s used across their organizations provided us insights that are otherwise so hard to get. And to do it through a number of customer and partner Q&As, everyone got a chance to learn from those who use our platform best.

“We’re continuing to restore faith in the contact center. It’s fundamentally changed the way we do business.”
- Dale Sturgill, EmployBridge
Jay, our Enterprise Sales Director, with Shurland, itelbpo's Chief Learning Officer, and Dean, itelbpo's Director of Customer Experience.

Have Structured, Focused Sessions

Our team who organized the SKO ensured that every minute was used to the last drop. We had an Internal SKO on the first day and a Customer & Partner Enablement Kickoff on the second. This allowed us to craft two distinct agendas with a variety of speakers. 

Day One included lessons on closing deals, market and competitive intel, a product roadmap presentation, and a slam-dunk demo. Day Two included two customer panels and another product roadmap presentation and an opportunity for customers to provide product feedback. For each session we had the speaker set an objective, and leave the team with a few key takeaways.

And always include a Parking Lot to make sure that important thoughts and questions are documented to be revisited later. There’s a ton going on, and it’s crucial you don’t let anything slip through the cracks.

ERC BPO's CSO Stephanie Todd and CEO Marty Sarim on a customer panel.
“Happy agents equal happy customers.”
- Marty Sarim, ERC BPO

Bring In a Motivational Speaker

We wanted a speaker who would both motivate and inspire, and were happy to bring in health and fitness expert Drew Manning, NY Times Best Selling author of Fit2Fat2Fit. Drew’s entire program is built around the client experience and having empathy. Straight forward and empathetic, Drew brought the team new insights on understanding the struggles and aspirations of customers.

He also helped his team score big points on presentation in our cocktail making contest...


Do Something Fun 

Lastly, SKO is a great opportunity to celebrate successes and build bonds across the organization. Contests and dinners are two great ways to do it. After all the knowledge was spread and vision was shared, it was time to have some fun. 

We split into a couple of teams and had a martini making contest, judged not only by the taste, but by presentation and cleanliness as well. Highlights included Drew (see above), cocktail shaker explosions, and a cocktail that was both loved and hated by the judges dubbed “The River Ganges.”

We closed SKO with a delicious dinner at Hell’s Kitchen, and that was a wrap!

Our CRO and Co-Founder Sharath presents his team's cocktail to the judges.
“We care deeply about our agent’s success. We like to say, employee experience equals customer experience.”
- Shurland Buchanan, itelbpo

Looking Forward to 2020

Our first SKO definitely got us on the right path for a big 2020. We have a great team, great customers, and a great product, and an event like this brings it all together. We left inspired, motivated, and full of laughter, and that’s what an SKO should be all about.

The team, partners, and customers at our closing dinner at Hell's Kitchen.

Like our Onboarding Manager Adrian said:

“I want to thank you all for such a great first SKO from the folks who organized it, presenters and everyone being super engaged. This did not feel like it was our first SKO - solid team of great individuals.”
Did we mention custom playing cards? It was Vegas after all.


About the Author

Joe Hanson leads content marketing at Observe.AI. Want to guest blog? Or maybe you have some expertise you want to share? Connect with him on LinkedIn.

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