How to Run a Productive Sales Meeting [7 Tips]
Sales meetings are an important part of keeping your sales team on track. Unfortunately, simply hearing the words “sales meeting” can cause salespeople to turn and run in the opposite direction (or wish they could).
The good news is that with a few tweaks, you CAN hold effective sales meetings that your people actually look forward to attending.
Time is your sales reps’ most valuable resource, so respect and make the most of it by following these 7 tips for running productive sales meetings.
7 Tips for Productive and Successful Sales Meetings
1. Sell the Meeting to Your Team
Just like you would sell things that your company offers customers, you should sell your sales meetings to your team. The key here is creating a meeting agenda that brings immediate value to your salespeople. One way to do this is by offering training or insight—on future company products and services, or skills training in areas that your reps are challenged with on a regular basis.
If you can help convince salespeople that attending a meeting will make them more money, they'll suddenly be more interested in coming.
2. Respect Your Team’s Time
Sales meetings are important, but a salesperson has many different things to do and a limited window of time to get them done. The most productive meetings are well-organized, and cut right to the heart of what matters most.
Create a meeting agenda template that you can use as a framework again and again, filling it in each week with relevant topics or issues you need to touch on. This consistent approach will help your salespeople know what to expect, and keep the meeting on track. The most important thing is to end the meeting on time (and generally in one hour or less).
3. Maintain a Group Focus
Some sales managers make the mistake of addressing issues that only impact a limited segment of the team. What results is a section of the team that’s disengaged, feeling like the meeting is a waste of time for them.
Productive and successful sales meetings are focused on things that matter to the group at large. Save matters that do not affect your entire sales team for one-to-one meetings.
4. Be Optimistic and Forward-Looking
It’s hard for anyone to take criticism, especially in front of their peers—and your salespeople are no exception. When sales are slow, your meetings are a critical opportunity to turn things around, and you need to use them to build morale, not knock it down.
Highlight what is going well, and carve out some time for addressing the areas that could use improvement. Use the meeting as a chance to conduct post-mortem analyses, or role play situations that your reps may be struggling with, like price presentation.
5. Make Sure Reps Come Prepared
Everyone will be more engaged at your sales meeting if they’re aware of what will be discussed, and what’s expected from them. Send material that will be covered to reps in advance, and assign items for different members of your team.
For instance, have one of your top-performers present some of their best practices for prospecting. Or, assign each rep a competitor and have them share any updates they’ve found when the team is together.
This strategy does double duty:
- Your meeting will run more efficiently because everyone knows what to expect, and
- Your reps will be engaged because they’re getting insight from their peers—and not just listening to their manager lecture them.
6. Allow (and Ask for) Input
It’s important that your salespeople feel heard. When people have the chance to voice their concerns, they feel like their opinion matters, and they’ll be more motivated and engaged. Spend a few minutes each meeting asking your salespeople for input.
- Which stage of the sales process is presenting them with the most challenge?
- What kind of pushback are they currently receiving from prospects and customers?
- What tools would make their life easier and more productive?
Input from the team can clue you into which areas you need to target with training and coaching.
7. Integrate Other Departments
It may be rare to have your entire sales team together in one place. So when you do, make the most of it by strengthening the alignment with other departments.
A sales meeting is a good time to interface with other parts of the company—especially the Marketing department. Sales and Marketing should work in tandem, but unfortunately that’s not always the case.
At The Brooks Group, we have a monthly meeting that brings the Sales and Marketing teams together to make sure we stay on the same page.
Meetings are an essential aspect of running a successful sales operation, but they’re only effective if your salespeople genuinely find them valuable. Make the most of your sales team’s time together by following these tips, and soon your sales meetings will seem like less of a chore and more of an opportunity for growth.