Sales meetings are an important and necessary process for any productive sales team. The sales meeting gives the sales team the opportunity to reconnect, discuss ideas and problem solve. If the meetings are not productive, however, they will be considered a waste of time and the sales staff will be resentful for losing time that could be spent in more productive endeavors.
To lead a successful sales meeting, you need to have a plan and set an agenda. You need to stick to the agenda and not allow the group to get distracted or veer off course.
- Distribute the agenda prior to the meeting. The agenda should clearly state when and where the meeting will be held, the topics of discussion, how much time will be allocated to each topic, and what time the meeting is expected to end.
- Start the sales meeting on time. This is especially important in sales meetings where punctuality is a key requirement for success as a sales person.
- Provide food and beverages. Studies have shown that people are more relaxed with each other when they are eating and drinking.
- Review the agenda and add any new business or issues that may have arisen since the agenda was sent out.
- Start the sales meeting with an inspirational quote. It’s a good idea to assign the quote to a different person for each meeting.
- If there are new people at the meeting, take a moment to do a round of introductions. Limit the amount of information to names and a very brief bio.
- The focus should be on the sales team. Discuss team productivity. This is not the time to call out individuals for not meeting productivity goals. It is, however, reasonable to highlight any outstanding contributions by a particular individual since the last sales meeting. If no one has done anything exceptional then accolades are not warranted. The objective is to talk about how the sales team is doing as a whole.
- Keep it positive. One of the goals of a sales meeting is to build morale, motivation, and team spirit. Spending the time telling everyone what they are doing wrong will not accomplish any of your goals. If there are problems, speak to each individual at a separate, private meeting.
- Keep the sales meeting lively and interactive. Nothing can recharge your team better than an upbeat, fun meeting. Having fun does not mean nothing will be accomplished. Quite to the contrary, a meeting that is a pleasure to attend will help the sales team absorb more information, be more willing to offer input and will set the tone for how the team interacts with each other during not only the sales meeting but also any time they are working together. It will also give the sales team a more positive outlook about the company.
- Discuss updates about the company during the sales meeting. Are there new products or product improvements such as changes to pricing? This is also the time to discuss any changes that will directly impact the sales department. Include how the company is planning to help the sales team with marketing, etc.
- Ask for input. During the sales meeting, always leave time for questions, discussions about issues or problems, and general discussion about any of the topics that you have included on your agenda. Also, include some time for a little venting and problem solving.
- End the meeting on time. Recap what you have discussed. Review all assignments and adjourn the meeting. Include the date for the next sales meeting.
It is not difficult to have a successful sales meeting. It takes planning, setting an agenda, and being respectful of the sales team’s time. These are the basic steps to take to make your sales meetings be more successful and productive.