Kicking Off a Great New Year!
Why It’s Doubly Important to Focus on Your Goals
2017 is behind us, and a great year it was – at least for ECI. With double digit revenue growth and an increasing list of new customers, 2017 was no doubt a heck of a year for ECI. This in a tough, sometimes declining market. We have a lot to be proud of, and we are!
2018 is here and with is a new year of hopes and aspirations. To kick-off the New Year, ECI’s Global Sales and Marketing Division and top management met off site in our yearly Sales Kick-Off. This year the sales kick-off was located in Rome. As such, there was no better theme than the popular Dan Brown ‘Angels and Demons’ which accompanied us on our own ‘path of enlightenment’.
As head of the team in charge of producing the SKO, I admit, that this is by far, the highlight of my year. There is no greater pleasure than spearheading, the one event that brings together the worldwide salesforce & virtually kick starts the year in terms of getting everyone on the same page and goal setting. Six months of hard work eventually culminate in a meeting of minds from all around the world, as sales managers, service managers, sales engineers and management gather for the event. An event tightly packed with learning sessions, demos, case studies and networking opportunities.
The work and organization involved in such events is massive, as anyone who has been involved with organizing such events knows. Whether it is looking out for the dietary needs of a wide variety of guest (which can range from food sensitivities to vegetarianism to dietary preferences, can you believe we had a few paleo dieters). Or the long presentations which need to be aligned and fine-tuned so that the sales force receives a cohesive message. Or perhaps it is the choice of theme which every year gives us a laugh or two and touches all aspects of the organization. All of these are under our careful watch and could not have been done without a dedicated team.
So much work goes into the preparation of such an event, that the event itself is often a last effort on top of a pile of efforts that have been expended up till then. Because of the short time frames, the event is usually fully packed and days are long. We did have a bit of time to enjoy the taste of Rome, but for the most part it is the atmosphere and our excellent team that get the ideas churning. I admit I am a sucker for passion, and there is nothing more engaging than a room full of people with a twinkle in their eye, gearing up for another year of fierce combat.
We had the opportunity to introduce our new Elastic Services Platform, train on it and experience a demo of our Muse software suite. We discussed plans for 5G, market trends, products and potential customer engagements. And yes we even discussed how we were going to win profitable business in these days of intense competition.
We recognized our best achievers at both personal, group and regional level. We heard from a group of our achievers about how to succeed. We even had an awesome, thought provoking presentation from our customers and contacts at Telecom Italia Sparkle – who took the opportunity to explain to us the situation as they see it. Peppering their presentations with interesting stories and anecdotes. And of course let us not forget our guest speaker Professor John Bessant, who told us a little bit about innovation and how it has changed over the years.
As a theme, Angels and Demons worked perfectly, adding a little humor to the intense learning sessions and helping us understand better who ‘has what it takes’ to be deemed an ECI Illuminati. In fact the team were tasked with solving a crossword, based on a list of clues from the story which were shared with them during the sessions.
And of course, I cannot go without thanking our speakers, case study leaders, demo leaders and all of those that worked behind the scenes to make this possible. From our security team, to procurements, to travel, and events management and organization. To our marketing and design team who worked for hours to ensure that this was the best sales kick off ever.
Well, we are back from the sales kick off, and the year lies ahead of us. Soon we will kick off the planning for the next SKO. I wonder where we’ll host the next kick off and look forward to reaping the fruits of our labors with another stellar year. Thank you to my colleagues at ECI – I wish you a fantastic year!