“Let’s have a meeting to discuss our current problem with having too many meetings.”
This should be a joke, but for too many salespeople it’s a reality. Too often there is the feeling among sales staff that they spend too much time talking about selling and not enough time out there actually selling. So, do we just stop having meetings altogether? Definitely not, they are a necessary evil and can’t be done away with entirely. The trick is to keep them from being an unnecessary evil.
Sales meetings should be a time where employees are not only motivated to increase sales, but are given the tools to do this. Below are a few key steps to take your meetings from being a burden to being an inspiration.
3 Steps for Productive Sales Meetings:
1. Don’t Over Schedule
Sales meetings should either be short and weekly or (slightly) longer and biweekly. Either way, if your meeting is too long you risk your sales employees tuning out. Keeping it short also helps to focus the meeting and make sure that you’re only discussing relevant information. As a manager, you have to be ready to get the discussion back on track if someone is derailing it with irrelevant stories or questions. If you’re not the manager and you’re frustrated with the lack of relevant content, speak to your manager about keeping the meeting focused on sales.
2. Make it Interactive with a Challenges Library
Day to day challenges are a part of any business process and sales is no different. Since you can’t avoid them, use them. By having a portion of the meeting focused on problem-solving common sales challenges, you not only provide an opportunity for cross-training staff on best practices, but you also keep meeting attendees engaged. This is a great way to break up what may otherwise be a dry meeting, while also building up a cache of sales solutions to be used as a reference going forward. Topics can include how to handle objections, coming up with better and more relevant value propositions, discussing the latest market trends, or analyzing a competitor’s campaign. It's a time to build the team and to make the team better.
3. Implement a Monitoring Log or Minutes System
Sales people love to talk the talk, but as a manager you need to make sure everyone is walking the walk. Many times action items will get dropped off, but not because off anything nefarious or willful – busy people forget things and it happens to all of us. However, if a meeting is all talk and no action afterwards, then it is a waste of time. Implement a Monitoring Log or Meeting Minutes system to list out key discussion points as well as action items to follow up on at the next meeting.
Meetings don’t need to be a waste of time, and when done right can be an inspiring and integral aspect of a successful Sales team. Do your sales meetings employ any of these tactics? Have you noticed an increase in productivity and sales success? Tell us in the comments.