It’s time for the weekly sales meeting. Do you know where to start? Do you know what to discuss? Come to think of it, what’s the point of this meeting? Your team needs to perceive meetings as opportunities to grow, rather than chores to complete. We’ll tell you how.
Sales meetings are an essential part of managing a sales team. By effectively planning each meeting, you can motivate your sales team, adding real value to meetings. Driving team performance is always the ultimate purpose of any sales meeting.
Here are the essentials that are first on the list when planning a meeting.
- Set clear objectives;
- Create an agenda and send it out to each participant beforehand;
- Schedule your meeting in a shared calendar so team members are reminded to attend regularly.
But these are just the boring, ‘paperworky’ jobs; it’s up to you to spice things up after that. By following these simple steps, you can ensure your team are stimulated and motivated; giving them the best chance to reach their goals.
Define the Purpose of your Sales Meeting
Countless studies have proven the power of setting specific goals. This doesn’t just involve remembering them, but writing them down and sharing them amongst the team. A study by psychologist Gail Matthews showed that people who wrote down their goals were 33% more successful in achieving them than those whose goals were just in their heads.
With a clearly defined purpose, attendees know exactly why they need to show up. You’re providing a road map by which you and employees can keep meetings on track. Don’t set too many goals though, otherwise your meeting loses focus.
Identify Specific Issues to Discuss
Setting an agenda is a core factor to ensure that the most important topics are covered. If your purpose is the ultimate destination of your meeting, these specific issues are the stop-off points on the way. They also keep everything organized and on-track.
To choose what is appropriate for your agenda, you should draw up a list of talking points and decisions that need to be made. Everybody needs access to the agenda beforehand, so they can think about what input they can make. Saying that, your agenda should be brief, comprehensible, and bulleted. Prioritize issues; if there are less-pressing ones you can save them for another meeting or discuss them individually.
Asking questions rather than giving orders shows that you want to hear employee opinions and input. It makes them feel more involved and willing to speak up. Ultimately, this leads to a more comprehensive group discussion.
Finally, try to designate a specific amount of time to be spent on each point of order. If a point exceeds its time limit, don’t be afraid to postpone it until the next meeting in order to maintain momentum.
Here are a few topics that you might want to include in your next meeting agenda…
- Review of:
- previous sales activity
- goal status
- scheduled sales activity
- Feedback and success stories
Start With Positivity
Kick every meeting off on a positive note, to set the tone for the rest of the session. Before you get into discussing what’s already done, what steps need to be taken towards improvement, even the major incidents of the week… celebrate the wins.
Many studies prove the importance of recognizing your employees’ efforts. Unmotivated employees result in poor performance, lousy customer service, and decreased revenue for the company.
Express your gratitude and ask anybody else to express their gratitude, you are a team after all. Start your meetings with a big group-pat on the back and watch how everyone’s mood and productivity rockets.
Give Everyone a Chance to Share their Results and Insights
One of the primary talking topics of your sales meeting should be summarizing what major outcomes were achieved since the last meeting. It’s essential for a better understanding of what steps need to be taken to speed up sales and optimize working processes. Take into account the following ideas about what your sales meeting should uncover.
- Pipeline updates. A quick pipeline status check from each team member keeps them accountable while shining a light on where you need to contribute personally.
- Obstacles. Instead of leaving reps to deal with problems alone, provide them with an opportunity to discuss challenges in a supportive environment. Let each team member share what bottlenecks are holding them up from making progress. Every sales representative should know the various types of prospect, their needs, advantages, questions asked and questions that should be asked. They must also know how to handle any type of prospect response, including rejection.
- Client feedback. Discuss feedback that your team has received from prospects. Based on this, you can define your sales team’s pain points and figure out ways of resolving them. You can have a round-table discussion about use cases and make a list of frequently asked questions. Analyze your prospects’ wants and needs.
- Insights. There’s always more to learn. Sales meetings are a great time to share insights and learn from each other. Every team member can learn best practices and techniques that work, along with the ones that don’t. Doing this on a regular basis can help even the most senior sales representatives to improve their performance.
- Product updates. Sales team meetings are also an opportunity to be kept in the loop with product updates from your company’s development department. This uncover any change in your team’s workflow that these updates can lead to.
- Win and loss story sharing. Give your team a couple of minutes to discuss their wins and losses of the week, along with their lessons learned.
Visualize Key Topics
All the information during your discussion is more easily perceived if you reinforce it with images. Visualization transmits information quickly to our brain and triggers our emotions; photos, videos, and graphics impact our ability to make decisions, guiding people to take action.
Instead of just reporting your information, use images, diagrams and videos to deliver it in the most effective way. You can do this by printing out reports or cheat sheets for employees to follow, or by using technology such as powerpoint presentations.
It might take more time to prepare, but the results are worth it.
Hold a Brainstorm Session
It might be a little unorthodox, but putting all your teams’ heads together is a fantastic way of developing new ideas.
Brainstorming encourages people to propose ideas, no matter how crazy they are. This helps your team create a rich array of creative solutions and prevents from holding back out-of-the-box ideas that could change your business for the better.
How does it work?
Propose a problem or question that needs a solution. Put a timer on and each employee should write down whatever pops into their head in 5 minutes. Each team member should say what they came up with. Avoid criticism and praise during the session; keep the ideas flowing.
It might seem hard to sort through the dozens of ‘meh’ ideas to find the best ones, but analyzing the bad ideas might help you decipher which are the good ones.
Define the Next Steps
Every sales meeting needs to result in some form of action. Each member of your team should leave a meeting room with a clear understanding of what to do next. Recap the key takeaways from the meeting and you’ll be able to set up goals and specific steps for each of your team members.
It’s always a good idea to take notes during the meeting, so the useful ideas don’t fly away.
Finally, always devote some time at the end of your agenda to answering questions so nobody gets left behind.
From all of the ideas proposed, they all share the same theme that sales meetings shouldn’t be a dreaded necessity. When planned and communicated effectively, your sales meetings can be a source of new, strategic sales ideas.
It’s never too late to spice up your sales meetings. Implementing these sales meeting ideas might be just what you need to engage and motivate your team.
It’s over to you. What do you do to make your sales meetings productive? How do you motivate your sales reps and maintain good energy during meetings? Let us know your ideas in the comments below.