I love sales meetings!
“Gotta go, I’ll be late for my weekly sales team meeting. I like to get there early because I don’t want to miss a thing. My managers runs great meetings and I always feel energized when I leave. That feeling keeps me going all week.”
As a sales leader, how many times have you heard that? I’m guessing never. Why is that? Why do sales meetings have to be so freaking boring? Why does everyone including you have to dread them?
Start by thinking about the purpose of your sales team meeting. The purpose will drive the structure. Think about the information your team needs. What are the best ways to get that information to them? Sales meetings need to engage the salespeople and energize them. Success needs to be shared, ideas need to be discussed and learning should take place. Everyone should walk away feeling good because they got to participate and learn. Break out of the old boring meeting structure you are using and develop a meeting structure that supports your team and leaves them feeling energized. I’ve tapped two of my sales expert friends to share their tips for sales team meetings.
Great Ways To Begin A Sales Team Meeting:
Alice Kemper (@BestSalesTips) Says: Break With The Routine And Energize Your Team
Some sales reps have the attention span of an 8-week-old puppy. So, making meetings fun, energizing and relevant is crucial — especially if you don’t want the reputation of holding boring meetings.
To engage, energize and equip your sales team to sell more, incorporate some high-energy activities into your sales meeting, such as:
- At the start of the meeting, ask your reps to find someone they don’t talk to often and discuss a question of your choosing.
- Get your team’s buy-in at the start of the meeting with a motivating pitch. Here’s an example of a script for this tactic that you can customize:
“By the time we’re finished today, we’ll be able to improve close ratios by a minimum of one less visit with each prospect. Who’s for that?”
Pause for reaction.
“If we sound like every other supplier in our business category we are ordinary. When we elevate our questions to extraordinary, we become a strategic business consultant and can advance more sales in fewer customer visits.”
Now, wouldn’t you want to pay attention to that pitch?
- Sharing excellence is a great form of praise. First, highlight a few people’s successes — and remember success is not limited to closing a deal. Next, open it up to your team to share excellence for each other.
- For a variation of sharing excellence, try a beg or brag exercise. Each sales rep has a choice: they can either brag about something they’ve done or beg for some help.
Be bold, be brave and be all about them!
Ken Thoreson (@KenThoreson) Says: Make Monday-Morning Meetings Count
A weekly kick-off meeting is among the best ways to build a high-performance sales organization. A well-run Monday meeting puts everyone on the right track for the week ahead and helps the sales manager establish the discipline, control, and accountability that every team needs.
Meetings will be more successful if everyone involved knows what to expect. All salespeople should be ready to share their actions and results from the past week and their plans for the coming one, including what appointments they’ve made.
Work from an agenda and use the same format every week to keep meetings on track and on time. Then, everyone knows what the meeting will cover. Finally, meetings should begin no later than 8:30 a.m. and last no more than an hour.
The following is a standard sales meeting agenda, divided into seven main sections.
- Section 1: Ask each salesperson to rate the previous week’s performance on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being “great.” This step increases accountability and gets everyone talking early in the meeting. Next, assign someone to take notes documenting any sales discussions and action items. Instruct your scribe to send e-mail those notes to the whole team within 24 hours of the meeting. (Hint: A sales leader, you should review and approve the notes before they’re circulated.)
- Section 2: Move to the sales pipeline and forecast discussions. Engage salespeople in strategy conversations that focus on their individual monthly sales commitments and forecasts. Ask them to recommend potential tactical sales actions that other reps might take. This portion of the agenda will probably take the most time, and it’s important to keep everyone’s attention during the sales strategy discussion. (Hint: As you review each salesperson’s forecast, ask other team members to share additional sales ideas. This will keep everyone engaged and encourage all members to help each other in selling.)
- Section 3: Review your month-to-date and year-to-date goals against actual performance. Typically, these maybe sales versus quotas; these numbers may reflect sales goals by product/services or goals by the salesperson. Also, the sales manager should review all scorecards or other metrics that you’re tracking.
- Section 4: Discuss all marketing events planned for the next 60 days. This step gives the whole team a heads-up about what’s coming and an idea about what everyone needs to do to ensure event success. Your marketing team should attend at least one sales meeting a month.
- Section 5: Review all sales training meetings and topics planned for the next 90 days. Summarize the dates, times, what sales skills will be discussed and what product, industry and organizational knowledge will be covered. You may wish to have individual salespeople handle some aspects of training sessions.
- Section 6: Consider this the catch-all part of the meeting. Summarize any administrative or technical issues, sales-contest information and other company topics that you may need to address.
- Section 7: Close the meeting on an “up” note. You might ask each salesperson for one “PMT”—a positive mental thought that can be personal or professional in nature. This step builds camaraderie and sets the right tone for the coming week.
Building a high-performance sales team takes work, energy, and organization. Starting the week with a high-quality sales meeting helps everyone begin the week focused, organized and ready to execute as effectively as possible.
By starting off a sales meeting with these tips, you can increase your effectiveness and efficiency. To learn how to manage a high-performance sales team, contact Alice @ 775-852-5020.