For many salespeople, the phrase “sales meeting” conjures up dreadful images of long, boring sessions of listening to managers talk endlessly. Fortunately, with some effort there are ways to hold productive and successful sales meetings.
9 Tips For Productive and Successful Sales Meetings
1. Have A Reason To Hold A Meeting
Regular meetings can be beneficial, but if there is nothing to discuss, it doesn't make sense to fill up time for the sake of having a meeting. If it's a particularly busy week or close to a holiday, it's fine to cancel or postpone a sales meeting until a later date.
2. Sell The Meeting
Just like you would sell things that your company offers customers, you should sell a sales meeting to your team. One way to do this is by offering training or insight into future company products and services. If you can make salespeople think that attending a meeting will make them more money, they'll want to attend.
3. 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 in. Productive and successful sales meetings do not have to be long ones. Paul McCord at AllBusiness writes that sales meetings should last no more than an hour, unless there are extraordinary circumstances.
4. Maintain A Group Focus
Some managers make the mistake of addressing issues that only impact a limited segment of the team. 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 individual meetings.
5. Be Optimistic And Forward-Looking
It is hard for anyone to take criticism, especially in front of their peers. Even if sales are slow, productive and successful sales meetings focus on what is going well and what can be done in the future to improve things, not beating team members up for what happened in the past.
6. Facilitate Meeting Preparation
John Treace at Inc. wrote an article about holding better sales meetings that encourages sending material that will be covered in a sales meeting to reps in advance. This helps meetings go more quickly and provide better learning results. It also allows you to see how dedicated your team is.
7. Allow Input
It is important that your salespeople have the opportunity to voice their concerns so that they feel like they are a part of the team. It is a good idea to spend a few minutes each meeting asking meeting attendees for input. Input from the team could even make you reconsider things you talk about at the meeting.
8. Integrate Other Departments
A sales meeting is a good time to interface with other parts of the company. Your entire sales team is in one place, which is a good opportunity for them to get feedback and input as a group from other areas of the company.
9. Review Important Points
It is a good idea to spend a few minutes at the end of your meeting going over the most important points that you discussed. This will help your team come away with tangible benefits from the meeting. It can also help them remember a new rule or operating method.