By Regina Farrington, EVP, Market Development

As sales leaders, we spend months planning our yearly sales kickoff or national sales meeting each year, yet our event surveys tend to be a bit of an afterthought. We assess irrelevant insights like how the food tasted, whether the scheduling seemed right, or how the events made our attendees feel. Would the sales meeting be considered a success just because it made our sales reps “feel good?” Certainly not.

Pre-, midpoint, and post-event surveys for your sales meeting will give you the insight you need to know if your sales team is walking away with the experience and the knowledge they need to help them drive business forward.

In this blog post, I’ll review survey best practices and the three types of surveys you can send. I’ll also suggest some great question ideas to help you determine the content for your sales meeting and understand if this content has actually helped your sales community sharpen their skills.

Tips to design a successful survey with a high response rate

Let’s start with a quick introduction to survey best practices that will help you be successful as you build and send out your surveys.

1) Keep it short and sweet (10 questions at most). If your survey is too long or too wordy, respondents will lose focus and likely not finish.

2) Make sure every question is necessary. Plan your survey by identifying the information you want to collect and thencreate your questions. This will help you keep it direct and to-the-point.

3) Ask one question at a time. A lot of surveys are guilty of this type of question: “Do you feel like the event was worthwhile and informative?” That’s confusing… maybe they felt it was worthwhile because of networking opportunities, but they didn’t feel like they learned much. So be very specific about the questions you’re asking.

4) Include a variety of question formats. Here are the three that are most common:
“Yes”/”No” Questions – Great for when you just need a simple “yes” or “no” response. And if you feel like you need a little more explanation, you can always add a box for additional comments.
Multiple Choice / Rating Scale Questions – If you have a number of different pre-written responses that you’d like respondents to choose from, multiple choice is your best bet. Or you could use a 1 – 5 or 1 – 10 rating scale.
Open-Ended Questions – For when you want respondents to share their opinion or give a more detailed answer.

 
5) Start with simple first– Keep questions that are quick and simple at the top of the survey, and questions that are open-ended or more complex towards the end. Respondents will move through the first half quickly, and then won’t mind spending a little extra time to be more thoughtful towards the end.

Now let’s dive into the three types of surveys you can send to inform your sales kickoff event strategy: 

Pre-Event Survey: Influencing Your Sales Meeting Content & Structure

The pre-event survey is meant to gain insight into the content that’s most important to your sales team – content that will help them learn new skills to perform better and ultimately get more sales. In addition to questions about the location or how they feel about the registration process, dig a little deeper to discover information that will validate whether or not you’re sharing the right content or creating the right experience.

Question Ideas:
Is this your first year attending this meeting? Yes or No?
What information or knowledge are you hoping to learn from this meeting?
Who are you most excited to meet or network with at the meeting?
Which session(s) are you looking forward to the most?
What speaker(s) are you most excited to hear from?
What’s the main takeaway you hope to walk away with after this meeting?

 

Event Midpoint Survey: Understanding the Attendee Experience

The midpoint event survey is meant to find out how your event is being received by your sales community. It’s easy to assume that your event is going well. With a quick mid-event survey, you could potentially pinpoint issues about the experience that you can get ahead of and quickly address. Plus, sending a survey during the event will allow you to get feedback that might otherwise go unheard.

Question Ideas:
On a 10-point scale, how would you rate the check-in process?
Is the layout of the conference easy for you to navigate? Yes or No?
How would you describe the overall mood and atmosphere?
Which sessions have been most informative so far?
Do you believe the sessions covered the right topics to help you get the knowledge you need to reach your sales goals for the year?
If you could change one thing about the conference so far, what would it be?
How would you rate the helpfulness of the event staff?

 

Post-Event Survey: Planning for the Future

The post-event survey is of course meant to find out if all your work paid off to create compelling, useful content and powerful messaging during your sales meeting.

Questions Ideas:
On a 10-point scale, how would you rate the event overall?
What speaker(s)/session(s) did you find the most informative/interesting? Why?
Do you feel satisfied with the networking experience? Yes or No?
Did you learn information that will help you in your current job role? Yes or No?
What is one thing you learned that you feel most excited to put into practice once you’re back on the job?
What kinds of speakers would you like to hear from next year?
What kinds of sessions would you like to attend next year?
Do you feel like the conference content (sessions, speakers, overall messaging, etc.) was well-connected to the overall conference purpose? Yes or No?
What surprised you most about your experience at the conference?
How could the conference be improved for next year?

 
 
The post-event survey is going to tell you if the content you shared and experience you created really helped your sales team learn new tools to help them sell more efficiently, shorten the sales cycle, and perform even better in the upcoming year. Plus, it’s also a great opportunity to reengage with your sales team attendees and reinforce the primary calls to action.

The point is that there is so much more you can do when disseminating surveys. Yes, you can gather information to help you plan a memorable sales meeting. But also think of ways you can use that information to improve engagement and support your sales team throughout your business year.

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If you liked this blog post, be sure to check out some of our other articles around planning your yearly National Sales Meeting or Sales Kickoff, plus tips for engaging your sales team:

 

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