Sales meetings are a vital aspect of keeping your reps on track and running your team effectively. However, meetings are often poorly run and can end up being a huge waste of time in a busy sales organization. It is essential as a sales leader that you run your meetings effectively and make sure you achieve something every time. The following tips can help provide some clarity about what to focus on and how to direct your meetings to make sure you get results consistently.
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Now don’t get us wrong, regular meetings are definitely necessary for sales organizations. Many aspects of sales processes are discussed better in person and in a group setting. However, before you plan a meeting, make sure the items you will discuss cannot be addressed in a one-on-one, or via email, call, Slack, or any other avenue of communication. In 2021, there are a plethora of options for swift and effective communication within companies, so don’t waste your and your team’s time unnecessarily! Before you schedule a meeting, write out a detailed plan of the topics to discuss, and make sure none of them can be communicated through a more efficient channel. Your reps will thank you for it!
There is no reason why your meetings should drag on and on. Most meetings can be conducted in well under an hour, even if there is a lot to discuss. Be concise and effective with your communication (which is an essential ability for a salesperson anyway) and don’t get bogged down and spend too long on one particular point in the discussion. If you feel something should be discussed further with one individual, don’t waste everyone else’s time on it- schedule a one-on-one. As a sales leader, you should respect your time and your team’s, and recognize that time management is one of the keys to success in sales.
Sales meetings are a valuable time to check in with your reps and see how their progress is going. A meeting is not just a time for a manager to give speeches and hear themselves talk, you should take the opportunity to let your team members share any concerns or updates they might have. Some of these conversations are more suitable for an in-depth one-on-one, but hearing about how your reps are doing as a group is also very valuable. To achieve this, you need to build trust and an open culture where your team members feel comfortable sharing things with you. One of the main purposes of a meeting should be information gathering, and determining how your team is doing, what they are struggling with, and how you can help them out.
Sales meetings can be a great time to course-correct and make adjustments. If your team is not getting the results they want and things aren’t going in the right direction, it may be time to make changes. Great sales managers know how to be flexible and pivot their strategy and process fast in response to data and results. You should get creative and come up with new strategies and processes if the old ones are not working for you right now, and meetings can be a great time to brainstorm about these. If your reps are not meeting their targets, you may consider setting more achievable goals, and vice versa if they seem to be too easy.
One of the keys to a successful sales meeting is to be clear about the purpose you are trying to achieve and the points that will discuss. Lack of clarity about these things is the major source of unproductive meetings across any business. You should have a goal for the meeting, and always end it having accomplished something, whether that is something immediately actionable or a result like acquiring valuable information or communicating an important point. Each meeting should have a set agenda, which should be communicated with your reps prior to the event so they know what to expect and you can jump right in. Put an end to wishy-washy meetings that don’t achieve anything!
One of the main objectives of a sales meeting should be to keep morale up and motivate your team. Pep talks may seem cheesy and unnecessary but can prove very effective at creating a temporary boost in motivation. Another key to having a motivated team is creating a very healthy and collaborative culture, where reps encourage each other and celebrate each other’s wins. Weekly or biweekly meetings can be a great time to publicly acknowledge any recent achievements that a rep has made.
A great way to keep your meetings fun and your reps engaged is to include a short training or team-building game at the end of every session (or at the beginning). Games and friendly competitions, though they may elicit an eye roll from your reps sometimes, are still an extremely effective way to motivate and energize your team. If these activities have a training component, imagine how much your reps will learn if they participate in one during each weekly meeting!
With so much time being wasted in meetings, it’s easy to get stuck in a rut. But with the 8 tips above you can run efficient sales meetings and see your team’s performance skyrocket. Make sure not to overbook yourself with unnecessary meeting times, keep them short and sweet when they are necessary, listen closely for feedback from your reps on process changes or goals that need adjusting, clarify expectations at the start of each meeting before diving into activities, motivate sellers by including some fun games or brain teasers during long sessions, and include an agenda upfront if possible so everyone knows what is expected for the hour-long session ahead. Put all these ideas into practice and your sales meetings will run smoother than ever!
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