It’s really no secret that most salespeople hate sales meetings. Whether they say it out loud or not, they often see the sales meeting as a waste of time or, at best, as a necessary evil that might benefit the Sales Manager but robs them of time they believe would have been better spent meeting with customers and prospects.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. The sales meeting can, indeed, be a tool for team building, idea sharing, and – perhaps most importantly for the salesperson – creating paths for making more money. For that kind of sales meeting to become a reality, here are some Dos and Don’ts for making your sales meetings something everyone in your sales organization looks forward to and benefits from:
To make your sales meetings more productive and profitable:
DO have a purpose. If the primary purpose of the sales meeting is to arm the salespeople with knowledge and tools to put more money in their pockets through increased sales, the meetings will be welcomed. How can you empower your salespeople to perform better and earn more income? During the sales meeting, you can:
- Discuss industry information, market insights or competitive intelligence
- Share sales best practices
- Provide essential sales coaching that will benefit the entire group
- Share success stories and recognize significant accomplishments
- Introduce tools to help the salesperson do the job better or more efficiently
- Share and discuss articles from industry thought leaders (perhaps Sales Xceleration articles!)
Components such as these not only can help salespeople earn more; they can also strengthen team unity and performance.
DO hold meetings weekly. By holding weekly sales meetings, you establish a regular routine that promotes consistency in scheduling and timeliness in information sharing. At Sales Xceleration, we believe it is usually best to schedule these weekly sales meetings early Monday morning. That way, the team knows how to attack the week ahead, and their client-focused work week won’t be interrupted once it gets going. This is especially important for salespeople whose territories are a considerable distance away from the corporate office.
DO have a regular cadence to the meetings. Set a time frame and stick to it. Structure your sales meeting so that it covers familiar ground via a common agenda that you review at the beginning of the meeting. This agenda doesn’t necessarily need to be printed out or distributed in advance unless a non-routine agenda item requires extra salesperson prep. If the salespeople know what to expect from meeting to meeting, they will naturally come prepared to participate.
DO involve the salespeople as active participants in peer learning. Salespeople like to know that their expertise is valued, and they like to hear what their counterparts have to say. Because salespeople often operate in different territories or represent different product lines, they might not always get the same industry, market or customer information their peers get. By inviting them to share their insights, it helps put the entire team on the same page. If a salesperson is particularly adept in one area and this has led to improved performance, ask that salesperson to take the lead in discussing new methods that work. And by assigning topics for a presentation that require research and the acquisition of new knowledge, you can delegate responsibility and let your salespeople shine before the group.
DON’T review each salesperson’s pipeline with the entire sales team present. While this is often an element of the typical sales meeting, we believe that is the wrong time, place and environment to discuss pipelines. With several salespeople in the meeting, it eats up valuable time, and the other salespeople really don’t care until it is their turn to report. While pipeline reports benefit the Sales Manager, these can be obtained one-on-one, via phone, email, or CRM reporting.