If you are looking for some great sales kick off ideas, you’ve come to the right place.  Kayde Givens stopped in and shared ideas including borrowing trends from TikTok.  That’s a new, and exciting, idea.

Kayde is the Director of Enablement at Chorus.ai. In her second visit with The Collaborator, Kayde shared best practices for delivering an amazing sales kickoff in the midst of a global pandemic.

At a high-level, here are the top four things that were on her mind as planning began:

  • What platforms will be used to host this?
  • How can we make it engaging?
  • How do we get the data that I need to measure success?
  • How do I make it feel like our team isn’t in the same room they’ve been in for the last year at another zoom meeting?

And where else will you hear about the impact of TikTok on Enablement-driven SKOs?

Keep listening and remain curious.

Audio Transcript

The Collaborator
Hey everybody is john the collaborator and I’m once again fortunate to have with me Katie Givens. Katie, how are you?

Kayde Givens
Hello, john, I am wonderful. I’m so honored to be back with you again.

The Collaborator
Oh, you have enough insight to do an entire, you know, three year run just on your own energy. Brain. I’m going to do it. You know, I know you and I were chatting before we got on live. It sounds like everybody, everybody I talked to is feeling the same way. But super busy. lots going on. And you just finished your SK Oh, not long ago, right?

Kayde Givens
It’s actually funny. We were supposed to be having it this week. But we changed our fiscal year and they gave me an extra week to plan. So it’s now next week, which I’m okay with. It’s the best gift. You could give an enablement person in 2021.

The Collaborator
More time, amen. Give me more time, I’ll take it always, you know, talk to us about what it’s been like planning. And escale in this crazy time we’re finding herself in

Kayde Givens
Yeah, I I know, at least for me, I was always an input person, scope person. So this remote idea was just completely uncharted territory. For me. It was like learning a new career path. And it was learning as I go taking experiences from other amazing enablement people, john, you’ve done a great couple of sessions on different skill ideas for virtual and being able to share those I I think though, the four key things that I learned in terms of how to do it remote, in a pandemic to add on to it was swag. Swag was usually the easiest part of my job during an in person, it was flawless. I was just like, here’s what I want it to look like. Here’s the branding, ship it to me, and it appears magically and I make it look good. It is a it’s a whole other beast in COVID era, we have stock issues, their shipping issues. sales people are really into fairness. So if one person gets a different sweater thermos than someone else, the whole world explodes. And so

The Collaborator
you better give Sally that thermos in that color. I wanted that color.

Kayde Givens
It’s bonkers. timelines are wrong.

Unknown Speaker
I know. I started.

Kayde Givens
It’s been crazy.

The Collaborator
Have you? Have you had issues with like, I mean, you mentioned all the insanity on swag. But has shipping been extremely painful right now given you know, COVID coming in. We had a big election i think you heard about not long ago. Yeah, exactly. I mean, there’s all kinds of stuff happening. I’m surprised anything made it even remotely on time.

Kayde Givens
It was hard. I had an amazing marketing partner. I actually in December, we realized that a lot of companies won’t ship internationally anymore, because of COVID. And it just gets stuck and sent back to them. So I actually had to go hunt down a marketing partner in Europe, who I’d never worked with, to ship to our team out in Tel Aviv. So that was an interesting experience to have learning the shipping there. And what to expect and customs makes it longer than it normally would be. That was just never an issue I had prior to this year.

The Collaborator
Yeah, it’s crazy. I don’t know about you, I I think it’s gonna take a while to get through this COVID craziness that the world has gone through the pain and agony of all of it. But I hope that some of this stuff will return to normal in terms of shipping concerns and all that. But are you are you taking these lessons and filing them away for next year already? Like I’m going to use that partner again?

Kayde Givens
Totally. I have two great partners now, which I love. And it’s been. It’s been really good. And I think the second thing that I learned too, was and I’m curious to see. So when people start to listen, I’d love comments to hear. For me personally, sales kickoff has always always escalated in the company kickoff when I was at hirevue. When I was at carta, it just became well you’re already doing it, why not do it for the whole org? Yeah, that becomes so much easier to do in virtual when they’re like, well, we’re all on zoom anyways, can you just put it together for the whole organization? And I’m like, well, I’ve done it before, but it’s a lot easier in virtual it’s the one benefit that I’ve gotten is Yeah, I can do a sales kickoff and accompany kickoff cuz I don’t have to bring you all here and pay millions of dollars to do it. I just hop on the zoom with us. It’ll be fun.

The Collaborator
But the topic and the planning of that is just there is overlap, but they’re different beast.

Kayde Givens
They’re very different. They’re basically two separate or even in virtual, they’re still two separate events that are running in tandem. Our revenue event is longer. Our company kickoff is virtually just a half day. Yeah, but it is the contents different, the audience is different. But I’ve done it many times, and it just makes it a lot easier now that it’s virtual to do it. It’s been kind of nice.

The Collaborator
That’s awesome. Cuz I mean, those are just two very different beasts demanded. So I’m impressed that you’ve done it several times in the past.

Unknown Speaker
person.

Kayde Givens
That’s insane. It is. It’s fun. It keeps you on your toes. What else?

The Collaborator
I mean, what else have you had to sort of shift around to deal with because of the current situation, you know, in terms of advising others who maybe haven’t started planning yet? And if you haven’t, maybe it’s it’s feeling like it’s coming really quickly? What else did you see that had to change in terms of how you’ve approached this?

Kayde Givens
Yeah, the one that was the most, there’s actually two that were really surprising in different ways. The first one was in an in person event, our keynote speaker was typically an amazing experience. It was a headlining person who really gave us the theme for the event and let us forward and I surprisingly, got a lot of pushback on even having a keynote speaker for virtual this year. And our CEO gave me the best comment, which I actually was like, that was a really good objection. I, I agree, he was like, what’s the difference between me putting up a YouTube video then speaking, and then speaking, and I was like, that’s a solid point.

The Collaborator
It is a solid point, they’re literally just gonna stand up there and speak and do their standard spiel, then there’s really no difference.

Kayde Givens
And very few of them have changed. I’ve only seen a couple. And so we, we made the decision not to do a keynote speaker this year, and it’s what I’ve never done. But I’m actually really happy with how it turned out. But it was a, it was a weird learning experience of this was just never a question it was you will always have a keynote speaker. And I was like, but why this year, they’re not changing. We’re changing. Let’s take it out. And so we we got brave, and we took it out.

The Collaborator
So what did you do instead? Katie, did you did you? Did you have some? Did you do the video? Those of past speeches, you know, from YouTube that you could find? Or did you just say, No, we don’t even need it?

Kayde Givens
We actually, the The answer is twofold. So for the revenue side, we brought in challenger because we’re rolling out challenger. But we also brought in Ron Hubbard, who does more of like a breakout learning session style speech on negotiation. And so he takes that typical, like, stand in front of you and talk and makes it really engaging. And it’s just about negotiation. So the team’s taking something they can use in the field. And so we just made it more engaging. And then for the company side, I am actually going to tell you about that a little later, because there’s some fun spoilers in there. But we’re, we’re just making it funny and engaging, and about our people. So instead of someone else coming in, we’re making it about the people who make course who they were that who it was this year, and we’re highlighting them in different ways. amazing

The Collaborator
thing, Katie. I mean, that’s amazing, though, isn’t that what it should be anyway?

Kayde Givens
It is, it’s, it’s been fun. It’s a challenge. And I think there’s things coming out of this, that’ll be better than anything I would have ever done in person.

Unknown Speaker
Nice.

The Collaborator
Well, let me ask you this. You know, you talked about some of the things that you’ve had to change up what tools have you had you had to start employing? And what can others learn from from your experiences, though?

Kayde Givens
I love that question. This was this was one of those where it felt like I was learning a new job previously, planning and in person school, we all know we have a tech crew. We have Google Slides or PowerPoint. Yeah, we got our dueling Piano Bar. At the end of it, we all have fun together. call it a day. Those are the tools that I needed my toolbox. And it was virtual. It’s not that as an enablement leader, I suddenly had to become a full blown event planner with a whole other world of tools and systems. And so I, I started by asking myself what I thought were the four key questions that were different from virtual versus in person, and it was how can I make this engaging? Where am I gonna host this? How am I gonna get any data to measure the success of my event? And then how do I make it feel like for our team, they’re not in the same room. I mean, you and I talked about this. Last time we talked, I was in this room, you were in that room. They’ve been on zoom meetings for the last year. I don’t want them to feel like kickoff was just another zoom meeting that they were in for a very long extended period of time. And so Went through each of those. And for each one, for example, where am I going to host it? We looked at things like hop and IPOs, and webinars and meetings for our organization specifically, as we shifted that focus to it being about chorus and the people who made it possible for us to succeed this year. We ended up just keeping it simple with zoom webinars and zoom meetings, and we go back and forth between the two. Which that’s,

The Collaborator
that’s interesting.

Kayde Givens
Yeah. That was probably one of the harder decisions, I spend a lot of time demoing different event platforms and talking to other people. And it just didn’t add up culturally for us that fit better.

The Collaborator
Why did I split the two? I mean, why did you have to do both the zoom meetings and the webinars versus just always doing one or the other.

Kayde Givens
I decided to do both. Specifically for our company kickoff. It’s we have two or three sessions, we have a customer panel where we have customers coming in and in zoom meetings, you can’t get that panel experience and see all the customers at once we’re in zoom webinars, I could same with a fun exec panel we’re doing with our board and our executives. And so zoom webinars, gives my attendees the ability to see all the panelists, zoom meetings, it’s a lot harder. But I also need some meetings for a lot of the revenue interactive sessions we have with Ron and challenger. And I need breakouts and reactions, and they need to be able to chat. And so it ended up being both of them that are used on different days.

The Collaborator
That’s interesting. And were there other tools, you had to pull out that that you weren’t expecting to? Or that were brand new to you?

Kayde Givens
Hey, this might be me. And you’ve you’ve seen a lot of these conversations to have? How do I make it engaging? There’s a whole world out there that I just didn’t know about? Oh,

The Collaborator
God, I forget who told me and I feel so bad. But there was like one out there was like it, it basically looks like a virtual Bard even sat there with your own drinks and hang out. And it just felt more engaging, and all of that. And I’ve seen the Airbnb experiences, I’ve seen all different kinds of things out there that I had never even considered.

Kayde Givens
Yeah, that was probably the biggest one we’ve done. So the last day of kickoff, on Friday, we are doing a team building session where the different teams get to just be to be together.

Unknown Speaker
Let’s hang out. Let’s hang

Kayde Givens
out on zoom. We want to make it fun. And so we gave them a list of experiences. We gave them Airbnb experiences. And then we used a tool called confetti. confetti is something that course uses all the time as a company. Yeah. It’s just these custom virtual experiences, whether it’s a beer tasting, or it’s cookie decorating, or creating a vision board or a murder mystery party, there’s hundreds of options. And so we’re using confetti to help our managers facilitate team building in a virtual environment. And that’s, that’s one of those like, I would have never known this existed until this moment in time. How does

The Collaborator
confetti work? I mean, if it’s like a if it’s like a beer tasting, do they send you the beer? Or do you have to package up and send it to yourself? or?

Kayde Givens
Yeah, we actually did you just there’s a whiskey tasting too.

Unknown Speaker
That’s good. Yeah.

Kayde Givens
We we did as a company, we did a cocktail making class with them. And they literally sent us everything from the mixers to the drinks we needed. I happen to live in a state where they can’t and so then they give you the list of what they sent in. We just put money on our company cards, and we can go buy it, but they send you everything. And then they have a cocktail person who comes on virtually and teaches you the history of the cocktail and how to make it and you’re all doing it via zoom taking pictures and sharing what your favorite is. It’s it’s really engaging and fun, surprisingly,

The Collaborator
I love that. I love that so much Katie, my wife and I recently did a this chef and just outside of Rome. It was a it was a pasta making class. And we literally made ravioli and linguini noodles and do different sauces. And it was just a blast. That wasn’t as good as being there. But it was it was a blast. And there’s so many great experiences out there for people to check out.

Kayde Givens
That’s the fun one. There’s just been a lot of really cool things that have I don’t know if they’ve been here pre COVID and I just didn’t know about it because I didn’t have to care about it or now but I’ve been impressed and they’ve really helped make our event a lot more engaging and fun.

The Collaborator
That’s awesome. Now you did you say that you? Do the managers basically get a list of pick this for your team pick that for your team? Where is it individuals signing up for these different events? How are you trying to make that work out?

Kayde Givens
For this one we wanted to be team lead. And so I gave the managers basically a recipe card of all the team building, they could do in different options. They took it to their team, their team picked from their managers, top five, and then I set it up for them. And they can do literally whatever they want from that list. We had over 85 options for them to choose from in the end.

The Collaborator
Like I hope you tried out all 85 personally, so you could figure out how to recommend the best ones.

Kayde Givens
I really wanted to. That’s the hardest thing with COVID. There’s just not enough time

The Collaborator
where you and your husband could you know, pick the ones that sounded interesting. Sing and the ones that didn’t sound interesting. Do you have somebody else take and do that?

Kayde Givens
I’m working on the budget next time. This is a good idea.

The Collaborator
Yeah, power through Come on. You got to take one for the team. Just try them off, Katie, try them all.

Kayde Givens
You guys will see me in three months. Until then I will be doing lots of wine tastings and lots of visual research.

The Collaborator
It’s all research.

Unknown Speaker
There’s tarot cards.

The Collaborator
Oh, my God. Yeah, we could talk for hours just about that. Because there’s so many cool things that you can do these days. That Yes, that would be awesome. There’s you touched upon something early on and working at a company like course, I know, this matters to you. Measurement. Are you are you happy with? Are you satisfied with the way what you can measure with the tools you pulled together? And the way you’re approaching it? And are there things for people to be thinking about? on that front? That at least you’re thinking about? Katie?

Kayde Givens
That’s such a good question. I’ll start with the first Am I satisfied with it? Sort of, I think this is a pain that all enablement people face where we have so many systems that have amazing data. And we have to pull it all together. And that’s the harder most time consuming part, at least for me as an enablement leader is I’m getting data now from zoom webinars, but I’m also getting data from guru. But I also have my data from chorus. And then I have my data from guidebook, which I’m using to do surveys, and it’s go. And I have to combine all of that somehow someplace and tell a story with it. And so in that sense, I’ve never found something that does that well. But in the other sense, I’m so glad that I have that much access to data, that I can use these different systems to get data on satisfaction versus retention of the knowledge we have versus anything else. And combine that all together to make the story. It just takes me more time to do it, which is okay, I’ll take it.

The Collaborator
And that’s a great answer. I mean, there’s tons of data to your point, understanding what to look for. And then then marrying it all together to figure it out is is very time consuming, though. So that’ll take you another two weeks. So enjoy the experiences while you’re doing it.

Kayde Givens
I Well, don’t feel like this data looks a little wonky. And I’m like, Oh, that was the whiskey tasting. It

The Collaborator
was the whiskey tasting. But the whiskey tasting is highly recommended. Well, let me ask you this, I should have shared so much great stuff. Katie, what are there any other you know, ESCO related tips or insights you want to share that we don’t want to miss?

Kayde Givens
Yeah, this one’s interesting for me, so. And I think it’s what took our escale over the edge. Well, it’s going to take now that it’s a week later. But there’s this book called Digi effects that I read in college. And that was a long time ago. So I honestly don’t remember what it’s about.

The Collaborator
Don’t ask him a bit longer for me than for you. to back it up, though.

Kayde Givens
But I do remember one key concept from that book, and it’s called this idea of the intersection. And it’s where you’re taking ideas from other fields and adjusting them and implementing them into your own field to make it better. And so an example in the book was, there are a bunch of surgeons who are really trying to make their process more succinct while keeping people safe. And they actually ended up watching the pit crews at racecar teams because they move so fast. And they’re succinct, but like it usually comes out, okay. And they used a lot of their techniques to implement in the medical field. And so it’s it’s called this idea of the intersection and long story short, I realized quite quickly that we had to work in the intersection right now to make SCO successful, and engaging. And so what I mean by that is 2020 really gave us a hint at this to summon a golden platter because the whole entire world is virtual. And so I started thinking about what was happening this year, that was trending and was really helping people survive the virtual environment, and how can I apply it to what we’re doing? Yes, go and so oddly enough, and I didn’t even know how to use this system until a week ago. Tick Tock is making a big appearance on our show. Yeah, it’s actually been really fun to learn, we have a team lead on our BDR team who’s like a tick tock guru. And I literally she was enabling me on Tick tock, I still don’t have one, but we’re using it very heavily. If you’ve ever seen on YouTube, the hot wing challenge, we’re famous people eat hot wings and answer questions. We are making our executive team and our board do that for a board q&a, because it went viral. And so we’re just taking all these things that went viral. And we’re using that and taking that creating this intersection of Okay, this went viral in the world of virtual, how can we actually duplicate that in a virtual kickoff, and so that’s going to be fun. It’s soon, I’m hoping it’s gonna be so fun. It’s quite tricky getting hot wings to executives of COVID, when we’re all in different places, but I can’t say I’ve mastered that I’ll teach you in a week. But there’s so many different things that we’re taking from what the rest of the world has done well in a virtual environment, and what’s gone viral, and what’s kicked off. And we’re putting that into kickoff, our company kickoff is using a similar format to celebrate America that they did at the inauguration. And so we’re going to have him very musically talented company, we’re going to have people playing music, and introducing what they do outside of work. And we’re going to move back and forth between videos to celebrate those people. And it’s been a fun change of how can I use what’s happening in the world and actually make it work for us during kickoff?

The Collaborator
What I love, I love the earlier point that you raised to that it’s about the individuals that have made the company successful. The focus there, and we’ve all had such a unique opportunity to see into each other’s lives in a way that we hadn’t pre COVID me like you said, we were both setting probably the exact same spots. Last time we chatted. And and there’s so many times that I’ve seen people and be like, oh, there’s their young child walking by. And they’ll be like, Oh, this is this is little Betty, Betty Lou, you know, whatever, um, and but you get to see people and learn about them. So the fact that you’re extending that, and then leveraging it in a really fun way by by picking up on all these other things. That’s awesome, Katie,

Kayde Givens
it should be fun. I’m hoping it. It has taken a village to do this skill. I’ve used more of the smart people on our team that know how to use tic toc or know how to work with this specific marketing partner. And it’s been a good team effort.

The Collaborator
That’s awesome. Well, you’ll have to promise us a dance video because I think on Tick Tock there’s a lot of people showing how to do different dance steps. You guys will have to do you know sort of one of those videos and release it into the TIC Tock wild and we’ll we’ll check it out.

Kayde Givens
We will have at least six for what I know right now.

Unknown Speaker
So I will make sure. Oh, Katie,

The Collaborator
that’s awesome. And thank you so much. I know you have been probably the busiest you’ve ever been in your life. I know. You’ve been so very busy. So I appreciate and I know everybody else does. You’ve taken you know, a few minutes, half hour out of your day to come in and share this stuff. This is gold though. And I’m gonna check out the whiskey tasting.

Kayde Givens
I’ll send you the link.

The Collaborator
It’s gonna happen.

Kayde Givens
I don’t know how it is. I’ve got a busy schedule of experiences now.

The Collaborator
I will my wife and I’ve been trying to figure out what our next experience was going to be. This sounds like a winner.

Kayde Givens
They’re pretty good. They’re pretty good at just ships to your house. Highly recommend.

The Collaborator
I highly recommend. All right, Katie, thank you so much for coming on today. Thank you everybody for listening. And we’ll talk again soon. Bye. Katie’s done.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *