How to Run Successful Sales Meetings
When done effectively, regular sales meetings are crucial for your team’s success. Apart from sharing critical updates and enabling group discussions, they can also help you motivate your sales team.
Unfortunately, team meetings have their way of getting off track. Soon, what was supposed to be a way of making your team more successful turns into another series of updates. Before you know it, your sales reps start dreading taking the time out of their days to attend.
But if your meetings are unproductive, can you really blame them? After all, they’d rather spend the time selling than sitting through a meeting that could have been an email. Just in case you were wondering, salespeople spend 12% of their time per month in internal meetings.
Considering that’s roughly 19 hours, it’s easy to see how it can be draining. Continue reading and find out how to run a sales meeting that is fresh, crisp and keeps your sales team motivated!
1. Establish expectations
When it comes to meetings that involve a lot of people, it’s good to set some ground rules beforehand. If your sales meetings tend to go overtime, you might want to think about addressing expectations. To save time and make sure you don’t get sidetracked, you can:
- make sure the attendees know they should come prepared
- require that all attendees participate
- regulate the time spent on discussion points
Now, it’s important to note that you don’t want to discourage anyone from raising questions or sharing opinions. That said, there’s a fine line between sharing an opinion and taking over a meeting. Remember that the purpose of the limited time is to push the meeting forward and keep things moving.
So, if there’s off-topic feedback that needs your attention, let your team know that it can be discussed afterward. That way, you’re taking care of action items on your agenda while making your team feel heard at the same time.
2. Set goals
A tradition of having a sales meeting once a week is not a good enough reason to have the meeting. Yes, you might want to block time in your calendar so that your sales team can get together, but it’s okay to skip it.
At the end of the day, meetings with no specific objective feel pointless and turn into just another calendar entry. What’s worse, they can negatively affect your team’s performance for the rest of the day.
Rather than conducting a regular sales meeting just for the sake of having a meeting, set some goals. Setting a specific topic will help you and your team come prepared. For example, you might need updates on an account to outline your team’s next steps. Or maybe you have an upcoming product launch that could impact your sales strategy. Is it time to review the previous quarter?
Whatever the objective may be, make sure everyone is on the same page and that the expectations are clear. The easiest way to achieve this is by creating and sending out an agenda.
3. Create an agenda
Assuming the meeting you’re about to have is necessary, now’s the time to create an agenda. If you meet your sales team regularly, you can standardize your agenda template and fill it out with new information as needed. That way, you’re saving time on document formatting and your team knows where to look for important points.
The best meetings focus on feedback, data, and action. Here are a few best practices that you can include in your sales meetings to make them more productive:
- Positive kick-offs are a great way to get everyone in a good mood. Start the meeting by celebrating wins and giving well-deserved shout-outs.
- Quick status checks from team members will give you insight into your sales pipeline. In addition to letting you know where you can contribute, these will also help keep everyone accountable.
- Encourage sharing prospect insights. Your sales reps receive feedback from potential clients on a daily basis. Hearing what they think about your company and value proposition can be beneficial in developing your sales pitch.
- Check the metrics for monthly targets and closed deals. Remember to focus on collective performance and save individual feedback for later. SEO KPI report points to the data you should keep an eye on, it will help to measure the performance of your marketing efforts, as they will show whether or not your strategy is working.
- Share relevant company information. As a sales manager, you have more insight into what’s happening in other departments. If there are product updates or marketing activities that could be useful for your sales team, let them know.
- List what your attendees should bring, especially if it’s data-related. For example, if you expect spreadsheets or reports, keep in mind it will take some time to prepare them.
Once you’ve decided on the agenda, the only thing left to do is write it down and send it to your team. Keep in mind that the sooner you send it out, the better. After all, your team is busy contacting, classifying leads, and selling. Make sure they have enough time to go over the agenda and prepare for the upcoming meeting.
4. Review results before the sales meeting
Depending on the size of your team, reviewing their results can be time-consuming. That’s why your best bet is to have them deliver the data before the meeting. The most comprehensive way to do this would be having a live document they can update beforehand.
That way, you have all the information available when you need it and you won’t waste time looking for files. Apart from giving you an overview of the current sales performance, this will also allow you to set priorities.
5. Make your sales meetings engaging
Just because it’s a sales meeting, doesn’t mean it needs to be all data and no fun. Don’t forget that your team will pick up on your energy. In other words, if you treat the meeting as an errand, your team won’t be any more excited than you are. Now, this doesn’t mean you should bring out balloons and a colorful wig. It’s as simple as setting the right tone from the beginning – and the best way to do that is to give credit where it is due.
The fact is, everyone likes recognition. A quick look at your CRM data before the meeting will help you highlight your team’s accomplishments and engage them right off the bat.
What’s more, knowing that their hard work is appreciated will motivate your team to do even better in the future. But why stop there? If you want to run more effective sales meetings, you can also:
- Ask your team members questions. It will keep you from doing all the talking and make your team feel heard. The goal isn’t to single anyone out – it’s to encourage participation.
- Act out sales scenarios. Apart from giving everyone a chance to participate, it will also make your meetings seem fun. Roleplaying exercises give your team a chance to discuss potential problems and keep them on their toes.
- Switch it up. Whether it’s moving around the room or having a quick stand-up, try not having the same meeting week in and week out. You can even have a lunch meeting, meeting with a client, or a team-building event outside of office walls. Bringing in new activities increases the chances of the whole team taking part.
6. Encourage sharing
When you have your entire team in a room, it can be helpful to let everyone share their daily obstacles. Leave some room on your agenda to touch upon leads and accounts. Hearing overall status reports not only lets you know what’s working and what isn’t, but it also opens up space for team collaboration.
As a manager, you should know what roadblocks are stopping your team members from getting to their goals. After all, you can’t help resolve the problem if you don’t know it exists. Once you know what requires additional focus, you can develop a game plan. Whether it’s individual team members or a group of people, sharing will help you resolve issues.
7. Provide time for idea exchange
Brainstorming isn’t a new concept, but how often do you leave time for it in your sales team meetings? The thing is, idea exchange lets your team members learn from each other.
However, if you do decide to spare some time for brainstorming, make sure the topic is relevant to everyone. That way, you prevent people from zoning out and multitasking. Depending on your sales team, you might want to exchange thoughts on:
- how your competitors are positioning and selling their products
- better sales and marketing communication
- improving your sales strategy
- presenting your new product or service
- goals for the next quarter
8. Moderate the conversation
Making every minute of your meeting count is easier than it seems. While you are technically the lead in the meeting, you should also be the moderator. What that means is identifying when your team (or even you) are covering non-essential topics.
Getting back on track will be easy if you’ve created an agenda. Simply remind your team that you have more urgent matters to discuss. Since you don’t want your team to feel like you’ve cut them off, you can offer to add the current topic to the next meeting’s agenda.
9. Define next steps
The worst thing you can do to your action items is to leave them hanging in the air. Nobody should walk away from the meeting not knowing what they’re supposed to do next. Whether it’s creating a report or hitting a sales target, make sure your meeting results in some form of action.
To make sure nothing falls through the cracks, add a quick recap at the end of the meeting and get confirmation from your team. This is also the time when you should be prepared to answer additional questions. If the questions relate to individual tasks, instruct your team to email them to you afterward. That way, you aren’t taking up everyone’s time with matters that don’t concern them. And if you want to take it a step further, you can also send your team meeting notes.
10. Motivate your team
Sales are hard. And since there are a lot of factors that go into the process, your team is bound to struggle at some point. Whether it’s prospects not biting, the market slowing down, or simple mistakes that were made, it’s your job to motivate your team. As a sales manager, you know that there’s a lot of rejection in the profession.
In good times or bad times, your team will turn to you for support and guidance. That’s why you need to find positive ways to motivate them. Think about introducing prizes for different milestones when things are going well. And when things start to go bad, make some time in your calendar to listen. Address problems as they come up and share why you’re still inspired by your team’s work.
At the end of the day, running a sales meeting isn’t just a way for you to check-in with your team. Great sales meetings can really foster knowledge exchange and help everyone focus on achieving better goals.
We hope that the above sales meeting tips help you conduct more uplifting discussions- y’know, they don’t have to be a bore!
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We at Appointy, help business owners grow and run their businesses with our online scheduling software. This blog was a part of our ‘Manage your Business’ category, where we provide expert tips, and resources, or simply talk about the challenges that small and medium businesses face every day.
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