Sales meetings – boring, energy sapping slumber festivals. We’ve all been there before, whether as a sales person, or a sales leader. Talking about the same stuff week in and week out… Blah!! Sales meetings are supposed to support the sales goals of an organisation, and to provide sales teams with direction and inspiration. But all too often, sales people (and their leaders) leave a sales meeting feeling dazed, confused, and ready for a serious nap! Not a good outcome when you need your sales teams to be charged and ready for a productive day and week ahead. Sound familiar? Don’t worry, we have 5 tried and tested steps to ensure your sales team leave their meetings ready to conquer the world!
1. Why are you having a sales meeting in the first place?
Sounds simple, right? Nope. This is where most sales leaders are getting it wrong. Sales meetings for sales leaders that don’t understand what they want out of the meeting tend to amble around a few loose topics, never deciding on the next actions to be taken, and leave everyone feeling a little confused about what just happened. Are you meeting because you were told it is the right thing to do? Do you feel you should meet, but aren’t really sure why or what to do in your meetings? Or are you meeting for a purpose, with set goals in mind? If your answer to this question is anything but the latter, your sales meetings are doomed to be a slumber fest! So you say, “But of course my sales meetings have a purpose and goals!”. Great, but do they really? Read on.
2. Prepare for your sales meetings!
How much time do you spend to prepare for your sales meetings? If you said anything under 20 minutes, you are missing a major trick. Your sales people thrive on being in the trenches, conquering the sales battlefields. They want as little admin as possible, so sitting in a sales meeting explaining what happened the previous week, and what’s going to happen the next week is the most mind numbing experience you could ever wish upon them. Give your sales people the right tools to easily and effectively manage and automate their activities. Then use those tools to prepare for your meeting. Understand what your sales team has been up to before you meet with them – this will allow you to spend your meeting time focusing on what really matters. Rather spend an hour preparing for your sales meeting, then wasting an hour of your sales team’s time. [bctt tweet=”Rather spend an hour preparing for your sales meeting, then wasting an hour of your sales team’s time”] For example, if you understand the importance of your teams’ various activities, and the impact they have on their sales performance, then spend time before your meetings to identify and address any anomalies in their activities. Or if you see that there is a bottleneck forming at a particular part of the sales process, or a certain goal is being missed, rather address these matters. This type of preparation is far more likely to help you understand the health of your sales teams and identifying issues than addressing the same opportunities over again.
3. Engage your sales team
We’re not talking about getting your sales people to tell you every detail of each of their last weeks’ meetings… No that is mindless garb (unless of course there is something that came up of particular importance or concern to that opportunity or your business, but these should be addressed before your sales meetings, anyway). We’re talking about getting your sales people to think differently about what they are doing and why they are doing it. When you address the day to day management actions of your sales teams, which you identified in your preparation, your sales people will naturally be more eager to engage. But you can take this even further by getting input into their part of the business. For example, if your sales teams are split by industry, ask your sales people what trends they see emerging in their industry, and how your company can capitalise on those trends. If they do not have an answer, don’t berate them for it. Ask them to give it some thought, and prepare for discussion in the next sales meeting. Guess what? You are achieving two things here; firstly you’re creating a feeling for your sales people that they are part of this business, not just a machine. When sales people feel like they are part of something, they want to perform even more![bctt tweet=”When sales people feel like they are part of something, they want to perform even more!”] And secondly, you are preparing valuable content for your next meeting!
4. Don’t use sales meetings to address individual non performance
Of course sales meetings are meant to support the goals of an organisation, and ultimately help teams to make their targets. And of course, if there are individual performance issues, they will be highlighted in your sales meetings. But these factors are not meant to lay down a platform for drilling into non performance in your sales meetings. This is a mistake sales managers make over again, with the belief that the humiliation felt in the presence of their peers will motivate them to try harder. This is old school thinking, and does more damage then anything else. Sales people thrive on confidence. You need to build that confidence, not throttle it. [bctt tweet=”Sales people thrive on confidence. You need to build that confidence, not throttle it.”] Non performance needs to be addressed in a one on one basis. This helps sales leaders to build trust with their sales teams, and trust between the sales people and their leaders is quintessential to the success of a sales team.
5. Inspire your sales team
Tricky one, right? Well, it doesn’t have to be. You don’t need to fill your meeting material with inspirational and motivational content. If that’s your thing, then so be it. But it is meaningless, empty rubbish if you do not live up to what you are preaching and it will do more damage than good. Inspiration is about being the best you can be – all the time. Lead from the front and give your sales team the direction and mentorship they require, when they require it. Is there a team sport that you love? Are there leaders in that team that you admire? Ever notice that they are the ones giving it 100% on their field of play, no matter what is going on? The ones who show their mates the way, rather than tell them? Well, that is what inspiration is. Inspiration is a set of positive actions that make a difference and that speak louder than any words ever will. [bctt tweet=”Inspiration is a set of positive actions that make a difference and that speaks louder than any words ever will.”]So where do you begin? Start at point 1, continue through to point 5, and you are all sorted!
By following these 5 steps to transform your sales meetings, you will transform your sales meetings from a dreaded snore fest to a highly anticipated, highly charged sales strategy and engagement session. After following these steps for just a few weeks, watch the improvement in your sales team’s performance and enjoy the satisfaction of your efforts! Go forth and conquer!