Why You Should Start Planning Your Sales Kick-Off (SKO) Today

By RED BEAR August 31, 2023 | 8 min read

The dawn of the new year or quarter means fresh targets, renewed objectives, and a reinvigorated sales drive. For sales professionals, this period isn’t just about setting lofty sales goals but achieving them in the most effective way possible.

What better way to set the stage for success on this ambitious journey than with a sales kick-off (SKO)?

The right SKO will assist with strategic alignment, engagement, and help your team close more profitable deals.

But, the effectiveness of an SKO isn’t in the event itself, but rather the preparation leading up to it. Last-minute scrambles to organize, strategize, and present can diminish the potential impact of this crucial gathering. 

Last-minute scrambles to organize, strategize, and present can diminish the potential impact of SKOs. 

That said, we've all been there, right? Marketing and sales leaders are rushing to book good speakers, source valuable presentation content, and more. You're asked to organize a successful, important event in arguably the busiest time of the year. How can you make your SKO valuable and set the sales season off right on a strict timeline?

This is where RED BEAR's solution, BEAR Essentials, comes into play. 

Designed to infuse energy, strategy, and negotiation prowess into sales teams, it’s a half-day interactive workshop crafted to ensure entire sales organizations aren’t just ready but primed and energized for the challenges of the year ahead. The workshop teaches them the principles and behaviors that drive successful negotiations and more profitable deals.

Here at RED BEAR, our mission is to take individuals and transform them into world-class negotiators. 

That’s why 45% of the Fortune 500 has utilized our methods to get the best results. For every dollar invested in our training, our clients get, on average, $54 back. That’s the power of RED BEAR.

Ready to get started mastering your organization’s SKO with RED BEAR?

The Need for Strategic Alignment in Sales

In any sales situation, having the ability to quickly adapt and pivot to changes is essential. This constant evolution makes the alignment of sales strategies with broader organizational objectives not just beneficial but crucial.

Strategic alignment, especially when it comes to negotiation, offers some vital benefits:

  • A unified vision so every team member understands the ‘why’ behind their targets.
  • Efficient resource allocation that ensures energy and funds go where they’ll have the most impact.
  • Adapting to market changes so sales teams can quickly change their strategies to fit the new landscape without losing sight of the end goal.
  • A boost to overall morale and motivation that leads to increased productivity and more optimized outcomes.

To put this in perspective, imagine an F1 race car. Each part, no matter how small, plays a pivotal role in the machine’s overall performance. If even one gear is out of place, the entire system can fail — and your team will struggle to cross the finish line.

In much the same way, each member of a sales team needs to be in sync with the organization's strategic direction to ensure the entire sales race car runs smoothly and efficiently.

That’s what BEAR Essentials teaches your team. It gives them the tools to build an effective negotiation process with standards around strategies and language so every sales team member uses the same playbook for success.

Engagement: The Key to Sales Momentum

Engagement isn’t just some buzzword; it’s the key to success. In a sales environment that’s quickly evolving into an omnichannel behemoth, sales professionals need to find effective ways to engage with their customers.

Sales teams need to master negotiation across upward of 10 channels, including everything from email and in-person to video conferencing and mobile apps.

Moreover, today’s clients are more informed than ever before. In fact, Gartner researchers relay that only about 17% of the total B2B purchase journey is spent with sales reps. Independent research and customer self-learning are the norm.

The path a customer takes, from recognizing a need to making a purchase, has changed. It's no longer a linear trajectory but a series of interconnected touchpoints. Sales teams must understand this web of interactions and ensure they're present, relevant, and engaging at every potential opportunity.

For sales teams to truly harness the power of engagement and master negotiations, they need the right training and tools.

This is where BEAR Essentials comes into play. This program will provide your team with the insights and methods that can elevate their engagement strategies and build momentum in the sales process.

Engagement isn’t about merely being present on multiple channels or non-stop communication; It's about strategically positioning oneself to offer value, build trust, and foster a relationship that leads to not just a sale but a lasting partnership.

BEAR Essentials: What You’ll Learn

RED BEAR’s BEAR Essentials is your organization's key to SKO planning. 

The workshop provides your team with the training they need to approach any negotiation with confidence.

By focusing on the foundational principles that drive successful negotiation, your team won’t learn manipulative tactics or one-off strategies but rather the core concepts needed to navigate the complexities of sales negotiation with ease.

This highly-interactive half-day workshop can cater to entire sales teams and is the perfect solution for larger organizations needing effective negotiation training for 50 or more participants.

Your team gets direct access to the negotiation fundamentals in a lively, and engaging format, making the BEAR Essentials workshop the perfect program for SKO preparedness. 

“Your team gets direct access to the negotiation fundamentals in a lively, and engaging format, making the BEAR Essentials workshop the perfect program for SKO preparedness.”

To paint you a picture of what the BEAR Essentials workshop uncovers, let’s dive into some of those core concepts.


The Six Negotiation Principles

The Six Negotiation Principles are at the heart of RED BEAR Negotiation Training. These principles aren’t just tips; they’re the bedrock upon which successful negotiations stand.

From positioning your case advantageously and setting high aspirations to knowing the full range and strength of your power, these principles aren’t just about winning a deal but about crafting agreements that stand the test of time and create enduring value for all involved.

Negotiation Planning

Having the right negotiation process in place is vital. With BEAR Essentials, participants gain access to the RED BEAR Negotiation Planner. This tool acts as a compass, directing the course of your negotiation journey. It helps align your negotiation strategy with your overarching business goals.

Central to successful planning is the art of positioning and framing. This involves creating a compelling narrative or theme for the negotiation that enhances the perceived value and drives parties towards a common goal. From concessions to setting targets, planning is a critical step in any sales negotiation.


Boundary Testing

Boundary testing is more than understanding the limits; it’s about expanding horizons. By challenging traditional assumptions, negotiators can often find a more expansive middle ground.

It’s about pushing boundaries and understanding where they lie. This ensures that while aiming for the maximum, the relationship stays intact and thriving.

Effective Management of Information

In the age of information, what you know and how you deploy that knowledge can make or break a deal. This module in the BEAR Essentials workshop teaches the finesse of gathering, interpreting, and strategically utilizing information.

Managing information is one of the Six Principles of Negotiation. Discerning which details to disclose and which to hold close to your chest can be a game-changer. This skill ensures a strategic advantage, guiding the negotiation in your desired direction.

Kick Sales Season Off Right with RED BEAR

As we approach the new sales season, preparation is paramount. Sales kick-offs (SKOs) don’t just set objectives; they chart the course for the year or quarter. 

A last-minute scramble won’t suffice. What’s needed is strategic foresight.

That’s exactly why your team needs BEAR Essentials

This workshop will help your entire sales team align their sales vision, master engagement, and find your organization’s unique negotiation edge — all in a short amount of time.

As the starting gun of the sales season sounds, make sure your team isn’t just running but racing ahead. With RED BEAR’s BEAR Essentials, they won’t just achieve targets; they’ll redefine them. 

Ready for a transformative SKO? RED BEAR is here to help.

Fill out our contact form and we will be back to you in no later than one business day.



Successful negotiations are rarely the result of chance or innate talent. They are, more often than not, the product of meticulous preparation and strategic planning.
As the summer heats up, don’t let your sales and procurement negotiation training melt away. Now is the perfect time to sharpen your skills with some insightful summer reads.

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