Do your salespeople enjoy internal meetings such as the mandatory weekly Monday morning sales meetings, or do they resent attending? How much do your internal meetings actually contribute to increased sales?
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Having run and attended hundreds of sales meetings over the years, the biggest time waster for any salesperson quite often is their mandatory weekly sales meeting – or meetings.
Because they don’t get anything out of them, it’s typically just a talk fest, a timewaster, and they do not “make the boat go faster”. Monday morning sales meetings are rarely inspirational events that catapult salespeople into the week. Failing to motivate steals momentum.
Terrible sales meetings also have a detrimental impact on the respect they have for you as a sales leader and the organisation's network. Quite simply put, they demotivate and disengage salespeople, and lead to diminished leadership credibility.
To get value out of sales meetings, also consider how much per hour your salespeople are worth; how long is your sales meeting taking them out of the field? Are you convinced you’re getting value for money?
So if you are a sales manager running a terrible sales meeting, you need to stop torturing your people and take responsibility for making these meetings a success. Here are some suggestions to do just that.
Be clear about the purpose, outcomes and accountabilities
Spend time formulating the purpose of the meeting, the expected outcomes, and accountability for decisions and action items made.
This will then help determine the attendees and avoid having too many people in the meeting that actually don't need to be there.
If your sales meeting isn't directly helping with increasing sales, then it's not a sales meeting; it’ll be more like an administratively convenient time to share information.
Your sales meeting is the prime time for motivating and focusing action, not primetime for giving salespeople admin tasks that take focus away from selling.
Stick to the time set aside
Needless to say, but start each meeting exactly on time, and do not accept late arrivals by anyone in your team, including yourself.
Accepting late arrivals tells them that you either don't value their time, or you don't think that being punctual is important. Think also about the impact that this may have on the way that they approach client meetings and sales activity throughout the week. Bottom line is that you’re starting on time.
Oh, and finish on time if not before.
Shorter is better
Why is it that most (internal) meetings typically are booked out for a full hour, when a shorter time frame would have achieved the desired results? Make (all of) your internal meetings 45mins or less.
Take minutes, but use technology for this…
Especially when key decisions are made, key discussions are being held, or people are making commitments during the meeting, you want to minute these.
Now instead of someone actually typing them up, use the likes of Otter.ai – a free smartphone App that listens to your conversations and generates “smart notes” – accurate, machine-generated text that is synchronised with audio and enriched with speakers tags and summary keywords.
Publish the minutes on a shared drive for the right people to see.
Prepare for your sales meeting
If you want to run a great sales meeting, you need to prepare for a great sales meeting.
A little more effort can make a very significant difference, and the best time to prepare is Friday afternoon before you leave the office, rather than Monday morning on the way to work. You’re asking your team members to come prepared to the meeting, so make sure you do too.
Attendance is Mandatory
Don't let your people make excuses for not attending, as it will destroy the credibility of the meeting, and it makes the people who are attending question why they have to be there.
So, on the same point, don't let people in the meeting be absent; everyone in a sales meeting should participate and share information and ideas,
How each participant can contribute
Now if you've got a team of nine salespeople and eight of them have to listen to one of your team members telling you what's in their diary for the week, and what sales they achieved last week, you probably wasting everyone's time, or at least eight people in the room, Be honest and check whether this will genuinely make the other eight salespeople sell more: probably not.
So before you add anything onto the agenda, ask yourself whether it's genuinely valuable for the majority of the people in the meeting, or whether it's just administratively convenient.
Same time, same boring meeting is not going to inspire your people to change their behaviour!
Change it up no matter how good the meeting format is the first time that you run it and ask for feedback and input from your team members on how to improve the meeting format. Sessions need to be enjoyable, engaging and cover a wide variety of sales topics to keep things fresh. Sales is meant to be fun!
Drive Sales Excellence and the right Sales Culture
Every week your people need to be reminded that you’re committed to sales excellence, their development and providing your customers and prospects with an amazing experience.
How you show up as a leader is critical
We’ve worked with a number of sales leaders who’ve complained to us along the lines of “I just don't understand why the team isn't more motivated, I just don't get it.”
The bottom line is that the team's intensity and focus is a reflection of the sales leaders’ intensity.
So, before you turn up to a staff meeting, you need to make sure that you're in the right emotional state. To run your sales meeting, you need to turn up as if you have a meeting with your most important client, and that client is your team.
Make your upcoming sales meeting the most important meeting of the week and make sure it contributes to increased sales. Run sales meetings that improve skills, motivate customer focused action and coach successful sales habits, and your sales will increase!
Contact us if you want help putting together an impactful agenda for your sales meetings, one that your team members love and want to attend.