Why most Sales Meetings are demotivating
Let's face it; most sales people (and sales leaders for that matter), consider sales meetings a necessary evil. Teams that leave sales meetings fist pumping the air are more likely to be doing so because the meeting is over, not because the meeting was great.
Then there's the significant cost of having SALES people in a room rather than doing the very thing that brings value to the business SELLING! Just thinking about it can bring a tear to any CFO's eyes.
Start 2018 differently.
Change the way you approach sales meetings this year and in turn, improve the value that you, your team and the business gain from this refresh. Providing very clear value to your team is the key.
1. Create an environment conducive to generating curiosity and focus
Change the location regularly as appropriate to the focus and outcomes. lf you will be writing or presenting, ensure video conference, teleconference, whiteboards, flip charts, markers etc. are available. Taking a field trip makes the focus memorable and relevant. Utilise the offices of a supplier or partner organisation.
Include input from "Experts" outside the sales team. These could be Partners, Suppliers or internal stakeholders (HR, Marketing, Product Development, Service Support, Finance, etc.). Enable the team to prepare their thoughts and questions prior so they can maximize the visitors' expertise.
Stick to a day, time and duration for sales meetings. Capturing and keeping people's attention for longer than an hour is a big ask. Make it worth their while.
2. Enable All Participants to Prepare
The better prepared the better the outcomes. This applies to both the preparation of the Facilitator of the meeting and all attendees.
Set an Objective for the meeting. Ask the question What value will the attendees get from the meeting? Most sales meetings are run for the value of the sales manager or their manager, and sales people pick up on that and resent it. Flip it.
Consider the attendees and their communication and learning styles. Conducting a "talk fest" with visual people will have them tuning out. Keeping kinesthetic people still will guarantee pen clicking, fidgeting and toilet breaks.
Distribute an Agenda / KPI Metrics Dashboards set expectations and hold people to account to be fully prepared for the meeting and to act on any Actions from previous meetings.
3. Get everyone engaged
Get buy in: allocate sections to different people each time and rotate roles/sections.
Set protocols and stick to them: start and finish on time, deliver value to the team, create a positive tone by focusing on what can be done and what's next, no phones or leave phones in a basket at the door.
Avoid 'Around the Grounds' and detailed financial analysis (specific detail of the performance of each individual) save these for the One on One Meetings. Focus instead on high level Financial Performance and Team KPI's e.g. Pipeline, Activity Levels, Proposals and Win Rates.
Set aside time for 'shared learning' and develop a collaborative strategy for addressing or leveraging Market Analysis, Competitor Analysis, New Product / Services, Internal Changes and Processes. Encourage shared learning by enabling participants to share improvements.
4. Provide fast follow up for better impact
Distribute the Minutes and Actions of the Sales Meeting within 24 hours.
Check in with team members to ensure Actions been followed up in a timely manner.
Proactively follow up remote attendees immediately following the meeting to ensure the messages have been received.
Tips from John Buchanan, Beyond 19, Coaching Practicing Lead:
Know what are the THREE major takeaways from your meeting
Change-up your meetings to cater for the different personalities, attention spans and learning styles at the meeting
Involve the staff in the planning, delivery and follow-up from meeting
Use humour and storytelling to emphasize THREE takeaways, when appropriate
Keep agendas short, punchy, interactive