Regardless of the reason for an internal sales meeting, the complaints are always the same; they’re boring, lack direction and don’t really motivate or resonate with sales teams. Understandably, this is highly frustrating when you’ve spent so much time trying to prepare a motivational sales meeting. Furthermore, a great sales meeting is critical because sales team’s day-to-day environments must support their learning so that their new behaviours become habits. These new behaviours must become habits for sales to improve. So how can you ensure the team consistently adopts desired selling behaviours? Keep reading to find out how to run a great sales team meeting, motivate your sales team, and reach those targets.
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What is a sales meeting?
Before we thoroughly delve into how to run a great sales meeting, let’s define what one is. A sales meeting is a scheduled and formal or sometimes informal internal check-in between sales management and their sales team. Often confused with the external variant of a sales call or sales pitch – this meeting is for team members only. Furthermore, it helps to improve processes, skills and the overall effectiveness and alignment of your sales team.
Sales meeting preparation checklist
A sales meeting checklist is a necessary document if you want to ensure a timely, productive and ordered sales meeting. There are generally three stages to a sales meeting; preparation, during, and a follow-up. Below you’ll find a sales meeting checklist that can be used as a framework to guide your next sales meeting.
- Set a start and an end time
- Clarify the goal of the meeting
- Share and discuss the goal of the meeting
- Provide clear instructions on actions needed
- Meet with sales people who have individual needs 1-on-1
- Follow up to make sure action has been taken
Sales Meeting Agenda Template
If you want to run a great sales meeting, then practice often makes perfect. Therefore planning is a critical aspect of a great sales team meeting, especially when considering the Harvard Business Review’s recent survey of 182 senior managers reported:
- 65% said meetings keep them from completing their work
- 71% said meetings are unproductive and inefficient
- 64% said meetings come at the expense of deep thinking
- 62% said meetings miss opportunities to bring the team closer together
So creating an outline will not only make your sales meeting run more smoothly, but your sales team will be far more engaged, responsive and aligned with your message as a whole. To help you stay prompt and retain sales reps interest, you need to consider a few aspects when planning your sales meeting agenda:
Imposing a time limit is unbelievably useful in keeping the conversation to the point. Long gone will be the off-topic tangents and rabbit holes. Not only that, but your sales team will have an idea of how long is expected of them, which will keep them focused on the task, and can plan the remainder of their workday accordingly.
2. Celebrate Wins!
Not only is it fun and a great morale booster, but you’ll strengthen your sales teams interpersonal connection by focusing on the celebration and recognition of wins, instead of failures or defeats.
Consider discussing up-front rules and expectations about sales meetings with your sales team: what will serve them best to produce the most actionable results when they leave? It’s crucial to have a set plan ahead of time – even as simple as a couple of notes or topics.
4. Main points
Once you’ve set your goal, it’s time to get to the main point of discussion. This could involve delegating tasks, role-plays, coaching, open-discussions, or reviewing performance.
5. Set Actionable Takeaways
It’s paramount each employee on your sales team leaves with a clear understanding of their next steps. However, it’s also crucial to consider who needs to be scheduled into relevant future meetings. Did Tom have any exact steps to take? Then it’s likely he doesn’t need to be included!
Sales meeting best practices
Your sales team is looking to you for guidance, direction and leadership. Share your “big picture” strategies, priorities, targets, and KPIs with the team. As a sales leader, you should only focus on the “what” (vision and objectives).
Leave the “how” (tactics and implementation) to your sales team. Focus on what actions they’ll take by the next meeting. How will they keep sales opportunities moving forward? Each team member should share at least 1 takeaway and action they will take now.
Listen more and talk less. Sales meetings should not become sales training programs, product knowledge training sessions or reviews of what’s happened since the last meeting. Put away the PowerPoint! Instead, ask questions and stimulate discussions of real-life selling situations.
Ask team members to share specific sales challenges (closing, gatekeepers, objections, etc.) Encourage the group to share tips that have worked for them and could be useful to the group. Ask them to share the latest sales book they read, audio they heard or video they watched, and what was their biggest takeaway.
Regular sales meetings
When I work with Sales Directors I encourage them to have regular sales meetings so the sales team can plan their schedules around those dates. What if they’re travelling? No excuse! They can join the meeting via conference call to contribute and learn. Make these meetings a habit. Lead by example.
Have an agenda for each meeting and ask the sales team for their input. What would they like to focus on? Your team will be more engaged if they’ve contributed. Be sure to circulate the agenda at least 24 hours prior, so the team comes prepared. Remember to respect their schedules by starting on time and ending on time (maybe even early!).
Summary of sales meeting best practices
|Have structured agendas and respect their time. Keep it short. Start on time and end early.||Have unstructured meetings and waste their time. Keep it long. Start late and finish late.|
|Keep it interesting and mix things up. They won’t want to miss this!||Keep the same old boring routine. Why should they attend this?|
|Recognise accomplishments and celebrate their wins.||Recognise failures and highlight their defeats.|
|Encourage discussion and sharing of best practices.||Encourage withholding of information and creation of silos.|
|Have actionable takeaways. They know what to do next!||No actionable takeaways. What should they do next?|
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