Sales meetings are a crucial component of a successful sales culture. But more often than not, they’re unproductive. Some employees just don’t show up, while others start looking at the clock halfway through the meeting. And that’s why business people hate meetings. Makes sense. How can someone look forward to a meeting that’s unproductive but takes a lot of time?
So how do you conduct a sales meeting that’s productive? Below are eight tips to help you promote your sales objectives in a way that’s motivating and engaging. So in the end, you’ll spend less time on empty talk and more time selling!
You’re not the only one who’s busy. So make sure you respect the time of your team.
Notify them about the meeting in advance. But don’t just drop a short note, include the agenda. Make sure that everybody knows not just when the meeting is, but also what it will be about. The agenda should include topics to be discussed, decisions that should be made, and the anticipated time for each topic.
Not to mention, that you should always start the meetings on time and stay true to the initial plan. To guarantee the brevity, make sure you send out all the documents that will be discussed during the meeting.
What’s Your Focus?
There might be a lot of material to cover. But covering too many objectives will overload everybody. Pick the most important ones and analyze them thoroughly. Are your objectives short-term or long-term? Is it crucial to discuss sales reports or the sales contest?
Start the meeting by going over the agenda for the day. Above all, the agenda should be realistic enough to cover during the time you’ll have. Just make sure you dig into the material only when everybody’s on the same page.
Time is money. Salespeople know it better than anybody else. But spicing the meeting up in the beginning never hurts. Take a moment to share the sales highlights of the week or just a couple of funny stories. A warm-up will get everybody going.
Think of your presentation during the meeting in terms of selling. Convince the sales representatives that you are giving them valuable information. Give the meeting a sense of purpose, and the time will fly quicker than you’ll notice.
Recognize and Praise
If someone did a great job, they deserve a mention. Turn it into one of the incentives for people to show up. That means you should always recognize performance. If you do it consistently, people will motivated to come. Who doesn’t love getting their work acknowledged? It boosts the spirits and therefore productivity. After all, the challenges ahead of the sales team are tough and they need a tap on the back. A simple thank you can do more than you think.
Sales meetings are often boring — it’s mostly the bosses who do the talking. Encourage interaction, questions, and collective brainstorming. All of these, still sticking to the time schedule. Remember, sales meetings are to discuss issues that concern all the participants. If someone has a specific question, take some time to meet with them one-on-one, don’t let the meeting go off course.
Alternatively, if you wish to discuss personal updates, come up with a witty strategy to do so. First, set some time limits for individual comments. Second, structure them around similar themes such as success or lessons learned.
Keep the Spirits High
You’ll have to bring up some unpleasant topics during a sales meeting too. Do it constructively and if you have to criticize, do it objectively. Defeats and unhappy news can bring the team down. In fact, it’s a good strategy to start with the bad news and end on a high note.
When the meeting is over, always do a brief recap to make sure everyone’s on the same page. And if necessary, follow up with an email, in which you’ll include things you’ve decided upon as well as the next steps and relevant deadlines. The sooner you do it, the chances are higher salespeople will pay close attention to it.
Discuss sales. Sound obvious but you know how often meetings get off track. People get carried away complaining about traffic or telling anecdotes. So it’s your job to keep them focused. Relevant topics for a sales meeting include product releases, sales training, and price updates.
Also, to make sure that the team stays focused, ask them to turn off their cellphones prior to the meeting. Otherwise, half through the meeting someone will start browsing the web or texting. And if one does that, others would join in soon.
Motivate the Team
Sales meetings might be the biggest interaction with the company. So besides sharing relevant information, you should build company culture and motivate the team to work hard and embrace a positive mindset. The sales team has tough tasks behind their back, and lots of others that still await. They need to earn the recognition and support for their hard work. Think about some rewards that suit the company. Those can be competitive or team-based.
To conduct a successful sales meeting will be much easier if you follow all the steps without exception. To have a meeting that’s short but super informative is what everybody on the team wants. Start on time, end on time, come with an agenda, and stick to it. Remember that sales meeting are about value — lessons learned and plans for the future. So make sure no empty talk creeps into the meeting and you spend all your time on selling. And don’t forget to end the meeting on a high note, it always helps!