As a sales manager, you are probably required to hold regular sales team meetings. The basic purpose of these sales team meetings is to review what has been going on, and what is coming up. But, sales team meetings should be much more than reviews and reports. Sales team meetings should also be a time to develop new ideas to create increased revenue.
We have all been to dreadful sales team meetings. These are the meetings where there was no agenda or the group did not stick to the agenda, people are called out publicly for poor performance, or the entire meeting was a reading of numbers and percentages.
You need to know what it will take to make your sales team meetings more effective.
- There’s a reason to hold the meeting. Sales people are busy and the good ones want to spend their time selling or making preparations to sell. If there is not significant reason to hold a sales meeting, than postpone until there is. You do need to hold regular sales team meetings, but they should be worthwhile. Wasting the time of busy people is not only contrary to developing sales, it shows a lack of respect to those you are expecting to attend the meeting.
- There is a prepared agenda that is specific and agreed upon. You need to be prepared for your sales team meetings. Your agenda should be a specific outline of what you plan to cover. When possible, the agenda should be shared prior to the meeting. If there is additional information or topics of concern, they can then be added to the agenda. If there is something on the agenda that is not ready for discussion or that is immaterial at this time, it can be removed.
- The meeting is more like a forum where ideas are shared. Your sales team meetings should be a time to share ideas, and to openly discuss issues, problems, and solutions. It is also a good opportunity to engage in brainstorming specific topics and ideas. A good sales meeting should also be a time to coach your team and to encourage teamwork and cooperation among your staff. Your team should be working together to set realistic goals. Use your sales team meetings to set these goals and to track the team’s progress toward these goals.
- The meeting is positive and encouraging. Sales team meetings are not the place to call out people who are not performing as expected. That is information that should be discussed privately. However, you should use the meetings to recognize accomplishments. Public acknowledgement of a job well done is a great way to motivate your sales team. Everyone likes to be recognized for doing a good job and he or she especially likes it when it is done in front of peers. If you have built a solid and supportive team, then everyone will be happy to acknowledge individual as well as team achievements.
- The meeting has a time limit. If you have an agenda, it is often a good idea to put a time limit next to each topic of discussion. You should also have designated a specific time when the meeting will be over. Knowing when a meeting is scheduled to adjourn will allow your sales team to arrange their schedule in a way where no potential selling time is wasted.
- The meeting provides new and relevant information. Your sales team meetings are the best time to update your sales team on new information. This can include new product or service information, competitor information, or changing market conditions. Any information that is relevant to the success of the sales staff should be shared.
Sales team meetings are an important and useful tool for sales management. You want to make sure that you run your meetings in the most effective way possible to help your sales team achieve sales success.