9 Tips for More Productive Sales MeetingsPublished on August 14, 2018
As a manager, you need to make time for productive sales meetings to ensure that your sales team is on track to meet their objectives. While everyone knows the essence of such meetings, the notion itself can at times be upsetting. The onus thus lies with you as the manager to make such sales meetings interesting.
An interactive sales meeting is one where the engagement levels are through the roof. Incorporating a little bit of fun can make all the difference. While planning such sessions, you should always remember to keep time. In doing so, you free up your sales reps to get back to crunching the numbers. We’ve highlighted a couple of other pointers for you to successfully carry out productive sales meetings like a pro. Read on!
While it’s true that sales meetings are important, the degree of necessity may vary. At times, a simple email or memo can effectively convey the message. Such options avoid unnecessary crowding and time-wasting just to get a point across. As a manager, you are charged with the responsibility of determining which individuals need to be present for the meeting. If only a select few individuals are required to be present, then, you should seek to address that group only.
Holding a comprehensive sales meeting where all members are present can at times be a time-wasting venture. Once you have the facts about who’s attention is required and what needs to be said, you can make the next step. If the issue you wish to address is not urgent, you should not call for a get-together. Instead, the employee time can be better utilized in task performance and goal attainment.
2. Map Out the Points
For productive sales meetings, it’s always wise to stick to a set agenda. To ensure that no one sidesteps from the issues of the day, you should print out and issue copies of the roadmap to sales reps. The copies need to be availed even before the sales meetings are held. An ideal situation is where every speaker and topic to be covered has an allotted time. This ensures that everyone keeps time and all matters of importance are ticked off the box.
Members of the sales team are also able to prepare to discuss items on the agenda beforehand. The clear-cut points also guarantee that sales meetings flow smoothly and unencumbered. Matters that may arise and eat up time can be rescheduled for later analysis. This methodical practice is strategic and allows members of the sales team to sing in harmony.
While it may seem obvious, having a set agenda does not necessarily translate to objectivity. As a manager, you should know exactly what to say during sales meetings. Right from the off, you should point out what the goal of the meeting is. An elaborate explanation of what you’ll be looking to achieve at the end of the meeting also needs to be made. Doing so allows members of your sales team to focus on the chief agenda and actively contribute to the discussion.
Sales meetings need to have well-established start and end times. This timeline needs to be made public before the meeting happens in order to ensure that everyone keeps time. Once the due date arrives, you should kick off the meeting at the appropriate time. You should proceed with the plan even despite the fact that a couple of sales reps may be missing. You should maintain the same enthusiasm you had when starting the meeting to end proceeding. It wouldn’t hurt to notify the audience when you are about 5-10 minutes away from concluding the session. This practice allows the meeting to proceed harmoniously and naturally peter out.
To successfully hold productive sales meetings, you need to select topics that promote engagement. A little back-and-forth between your employees is important since it enables the creative juices to freely flow. Productive sales meetings are those where employees feel their contributions matter. Picking lackluster topics can be detrimental to morale at the workplace. In order to ensure that members of your sales team have the zest to carry out their duties, you should look for ways for them to converse. If the topic to be covered is of utmost importance but is certain to be a buzz-kill, you should simply email it.
6. No Chairs, No Problem
While proper seating is important for a board of directors meeting, typical sales meetings don’t really need chairs. Having members of your sales team stand up enables them to think on their feet, both literally and figuratively. This is because standing tends to boost the energy levels of sales meetings.
Interestingly, standing has been known to cut meeting times by as much as 25%. By maintaining a standing posture, sales meetings are likely to stick to the set agenda and maintain timeliness.
7. A Little Praise
Sales meetings do not have to be a bore. You can inject some degree of excitement by acknowledging the performance of some of your sales reps. Rewards and incentives can boost the motivation levels and compel members of the sales team to work harder. While money gifts tend to work magic, a simple thank you to determined salespersons is just as effective. A pat on the back lets members of your sales team become aware that they can turn their fortunes around. Gamification of the sales process can increase motivation levels and boost the relationship of sales reps.
8. Group Now, Individual Later
Productive sales meetings are those where the multitudes are addressed and provide feedback. These interactions boost engagement levels and have a communal feel to them. Members of the sales team can share ideas and feel a sense of belonging to the organization.
Individual items need to be discussed after the sales meeting is held. This is done to prevent members of the sales team from switching off upon discovery of the round robin technique. Individual contributions from members do not require all sales reps to be present.
9. Taking Action
After sales meetings come to a close, you should close them in style. Everyone in attendance needs to know what the next steps are and the actionable items. Before they leave the room, each member of the sales team needs to know that they need to do. This ensures that the meeting points raised are immediately acted upon.
Ideas brought forward during the meeting may vary in nature depending on the size of the sales team. You are required to select the best themes, topics to cover and the sequence to follow to ensure maximum engagement. The aforementioned tips are universally applicable and can be modified for application in various scenarios.