9 years ago
January 5, 2015

3 Reasons to Add Structure to Your Sales Meetings

Structured sales meetings foster communication between sales people and management and provide the guidance your sales team.

Rhys Metler

Sales meetings foster communication between sales people and management and provide the guidance your sales team needs to overcome conflict, and are an important and necessary component of your sales team’s overall agenda. If too many sales people are not actively participating in your sales meetings it can have a damaging effect on your sales strategy, yet oftentimes your sales meetings are not achieving the buy-in you need to see to make them successful. A lack of structure could be an underlying cause for this issue. Structured sales meetings are more than agendas; they are a configuration for success that informs every other aspect of your sales strategy. Here are three reasons why you should be working towards more structured sales meetings.

Structured Sales Meetings Keep the Focus on What You Need to Discuss

The number one reason that sales meetings without structure fall short of stated goals is a diffusion of purpose. Diffusion of purpose can happen when the meeting leaders disagree on the topics to be covered, or cover topics with little relation to one another; when sales people use opportunities to ask questions or take the floor to direct the meeting on a different bearing; or when the sales meeting has an unclear purpose, such as “touch base to discuss sales trends.” As a sales meeting leader it is up to you to implement structured sales meetings so that these diffusions are discouraged and the focus is directed firmly towards the most important business at hand.

Structured Sales Meetings Allow You to Develop Specific Actions and Outcomes

Would you rather have a sales meeting that is recapped as “we discussed…” or a sales meeting that is recapped as “we decided…”? The ability to point to specific outcomes and actions that came out of a sales meeting indicates that a meeting was productive and a good use of your sales team’s time. Structured sales meetings allow you to reach decisions and agree on future actions in a way that is rarely achieved with unstructured, general purpose sales meetings. Instead of distributing a flexible agenda, consider moving flexible items to the end of the allotted meeting time and beginning the sales meeting with items on which you want to form firm guidelines for moving forward. You can also insert key actionable items on the agenda for structured sales meetings so participants know how to prepare and contribute to the meeting’s success.

Structured Sales Meetings Can Provide a Format to Energize the Sales Team

When your sales team starts checking devices, writing out ideas that are not related to the sales meeting, and generally not focusing on the meeting itself, your sales meeting has already lost its purpose. Holding structured sales meetings is the most effective way to prevent this drift because once you have a structure in place that suits the business to be covered you have a template for what you can do to keep the sales team engaged for the duration. When thinking about formats, consider:

  • Interactive internet components allow off-site sales people and contributors to become more active participants in the meeting
  • Sales people with busy schedules tend to leave a sales meeting at the earliest opportunity, and by scheduling optional agenda items like discussion at the end you may be losing part of your audience
  • A break for discussion and free interaction during a sales meeting can keep sales people fresh – especially for sales meetings that last longer than an hour

Structured sales meetings can improve the image of sales meetings in your sales team’s eyes, and gives you more actionable items to report to other sales managers and executives. The positive impacts of adding structure to your sales meetings are visible beginning with the first meeting, and have an add-on effect over time. Especially of your sales meetings are not accomplishing what you want to see, try adding structure to improve those outcomes.

Rhys Metler

Rhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 15+ years of focused experience in the Digital Media, Mobile, Software, Technology and B2B verticals. He has a successful track record of headhunting top performing sales candidates for some of the most exciting brands in North America. He is a Certified Recruitment Specialist (CRS) and has expert experience in prospecting new business, client retention/renewals and managing top performing sales and recruitment teams. Rhys enjoys spending quality time with his wife, son, and daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day and tropical vacations.