How to Run a Great Sales Meeting
Will your sales meetings be motivating and inspiring? Will they have an atmosphere of high efficiency? Or, will they be a waste of time and simply ineffective?
We all want to have productive inspiring meetings that boost the bottom line and bring out the best in our teams. However, it all depends on the way the meeting is structured. There are some pre-requisites to holding a great sales meeting. Someone has to be in charge, and it has to have a purpose and structure. At PipelineDeals we run our departmental meetings with the EOS structure which is very productive for our company culture, for example. My colleague Jeff Oberlander who is our VP of Engineering describes in this blog post what the EOS structure and meetings have meant for the Product/Engineering Team.
At the end of the day, a productive sales team meetings have several things in common. It takes some simple prep but the results go a long way. We will go through the best tips on how to run a sales meeting to get the most out of the team.
Steps to a Great Sales Meeting
1. Define the Purpose
Many times, employees or even managers feel that the meetings are a waste of time. You should avoid organizing a meeting that will be just another thing to do. Instead, you want a spark, a way to motivate and engage your sales team.
The first step is to define the purpose of the sales meeting. With the set goal, participants can easily visualize and prepare for the meeting. The ideas of the meeting could range from an update on the project, through an upcoming product launch to reviewing the result of the finished task.
2. Set an Agenda
That brings us to the agenda, which has connections to two essential meeting issues, timing, and purpose.
Once you have a purpose and weekly sales meeting ideas, the detailed plan will help the team to prepare for the meeting. Keeping a tight schedule will ensure that allocated meeting time won’t be breached. It’s essential to keep the meeting within 60 minutes since the focus and attention of the team will drop off after half an hour.
A workable agenda should have the necessary information about the meeting. The reason behind the meeting (purpose), names of the participants, planed length and list of points and issues for discussion. One more essential content item is the expectations for your team members. Let them know which data, plans, questions, and other possible content they have to bring.
Agenda should be brief, bulleted, and sent days before the meeting so the other attendees can prepare in advance. An excellent resource for arranging the meeting can be detailed reports from quality CRM solution.
Proactive agenda and excellent preparation from all involved can keep the thing on track, help with the actionable conclusion and next steps and save time.
3. Establish Expectations
How to conduct a sales meeting and prevent it from descending into a chaotic and way to a long mess? You have to establish expectations.
For the best productivity, all sales meeting members have to respect the agenda and need to come prepared. The other essential expectation is to recognize the time, both the one set for each point in the program and the time of fellow sales team members.
Leading a team meeting is a challenging task where you have to let people ask questions, but also keep in mind the schedule. You will need to balance between set timetable, give all the discussion points a certain amount of time, and keep up the pace.
Sometimes going off-topic can soften the atmosphere, but as a general rule, encourage your team to stay focused on the agenda.
Respecting the time set for each topic will result in a more productive meeting, and salespersons will have more time to be effective in their core business.
4. Be Punctual
Without trying not to dwell too much into the time is money cliché, sales team time is significant to the company. No matter how vital meetings could be, it’s not more important than finding leads and turning them into customers. Starting and ending on time is the ultimate sign of respect.
Just like you expect from team members to stick to the agenda and to meet the timeframe, you will also set an excellent example if you are punctual. The same way you respect the team’s, they should have the same relation to the prospects.
5. Ask for Individual Rep Updates
During the meeting, after an overall view on the company sales effort and status, you should ask for individual rep updates. The purpose is to get an understanding of how each salesperson is doing. As a team leader, you have to identify spots where they might need assistance.
Before asking for an update, there should be some rules. Every rep will have a time limit for the report. Ask for only specific details and information, and you can go through complex issues in-depth in a one-on-one meeting.
Avoid shaming the reps or asking tough questions in front of other colleagues. With pointing fingers, you will lose respect as a leader, and it will not boost the performance of the singled out rep.
Most of the numbers and statuses you and your team already know if you use modern CRM, so the meeting update needs to be a helpful supplement.
6. Make the Meeting Engaging
US workforce is above average when it comes to working engagement, but with over 70% of employees not engaged in their workplace, the situation is still not very good. On the other hand, highly engaged teams show 21% greater profitability according to the Gallup.
As a team leader, you can manage the meeting climate to make it engaging.
The dull and routine meeting will squeeze juice from the attendees while injecting enthusiasm, and positive thinking can spark your sales team.
There are different approaches, but maybe the best is with saying “job well done.” It doesn’t have to be high praise, but a quick look on top performance in the last week and a bit of recognition can do wonders.
Acknowledging success can help with sales rep motivation to attend weekly meetings. Most meetings, emails, or lead acquired milestone awards can even incite a real competition among the sales team.
Another way to change the meeting routine is with new scenery. Instead of your classic meeting room, you could go to a cafe, local park, or have a lunch type meeting once in a while.
Please don’t make it always about powerpoint presentation, try to be innovative. Move around the room, write conclusions on the drawing board, let your team participate in the visualization of goals and findings.
You could divide your team into groups, and let them discuss minor issues and present them together to others.
Some clients require special treatment, and a meeting is a perfect setting to try acting out scenarios to discuss a possible approach. Some roleplaying will lighten the atmosphere and give guidance for the sales pitch.
7. Define Next Steps
Your meeting has purpose, agenda, structure, and satisfactory engagement levels. Excellent, this will have a positive influence on the team. However, without definite actionable conclusions and defined next steps, the meeting failed its purpose.
Weekly sales meeting ideas should translate into some action, and all team members need to understand what is next on the task list.
The steps could include creating follow up email for undecided prospects, changing the sales funnel lead magnet, trying to reach sales target or instructions for creating a report for the next meeting
Whatever you decide the following steps should be, confirm them through a summary email after the meeting. In this message, you should give a general overview of the meeting decisions and conclusions, and have detailed instructions for every member of the team. Instead of email, you could add actionable tasks into CRM software, especially if you can attach an action to the prospect in the application.
With a clear definition of the next steps after an engaging meeting, you will set up your team for a productive week.
Yep, sales pipeline software will get those meetings in great shape. You can try out our award-winning platform – PipelineDeals – today. Get started with a14-day free trial by clicking here.