7 years ago
September 5, 2016

Stop Wasting Time: How to Improve a Sales Meeting

Sales meetings are important, but they can also be a real time waster. Keep reading to learn how to improve a sales meeting for maximum productivity.

Rhys Metler

Of course, sales meetings are a necessity. You need to have them in order to learn about challenges, progress, and opportunities, to share important information, to brainstorm, and for many other reasons. But let’s face it: they’re also a huge time suck.

Time is a valuable commodity. Time wasted on unproductive and inefficient sales meetings is time that you take away from selling. Part of successful sales leadership is learning how to have successful sales meetings.

Wouldn’t it be nice to learn how to improve a sales meeting in order to enhance productivity and stop wasting time?

You’ve come to the right place. Use these tips on how to improve a sales meeting so you can super charge your sales team instead of slowing it down.

Create an Agenda

Many sales meetings are unproductive simply because they have no structure. Some sales managers just wing it and talk about anything and everything. But there’s no reason to have a meeting that has no purpose. The first thing you need to do to improve your sales meetings is to fix an agenda, detailing the exact topics that will be covered, the objectives, and the goals. Send out the agenda so everyone knows to stick to it.

Set a Time Limit

Half-day or all-day sales meetings just aren’t productive. In fact, long meetings are one of the seven sins of deadly meetings. They waste a lot of your sales people’s time. After a point, the attendees will just get bored, drown you out, and stop paying attention.

Make sure to set a time limit for the topics on your agenda, and stick to it. If you see that you still have a lot to cover within that time limit, you’ll know to speed it up a bit. Setting a time limit will help you be more efficient.

Start on Time  

A sales meeting is not a coffee break with friends. It’s a professional meeting to discuss work-related issues and activities. So make sure to start on time. Don’t spend the first 20 minutes letting people chat while you get set up. Have everything ready to go before your team members even get seated so you can start right away.

Set Expectations in Advance

Do you need your sales reps to bring along their expense reports or the list of the clients they currently have in the pipeline? Make sure to tell them ahead of time. Tell them to bring a notepad and pen if you expect them to take notes.

When you send an email to all team members in advance with your expectations, you can make sure everyone comes prepared. No one will be running out of the room to find the information you’re looking for, no one will be blindsided during the meeting with information they don’t have handy, and no one will waste time on guesses, estimates, and assumptions when they have the data ready.

Focus on One Key Issue

You might think it’s more efficient to only have one sales meeting a month that covers every single issue. But if you try to cover everything, you won’t have the time to go in depth about anything, to dig into important issues to the degree that you need, or to get everyone’s input. So how do you improve a sales meeting? You’re much better off having several smaller, shorter, and more focused meetings that discuss one item at a time. Plus, this will keep everyone from getting bored or getting off topic while jumping back from one topic to the other throughout the meeting.

Have Individual Meetings When Necessary

Group sales meetings are ideal when you need to share information with all of your team members or you want to brainstorm ideas as a group. But if you’re looking to discuss individual performance or progress—don’t do it in a sales meeting. Tracking progress is definitely something that you need to do as a great sales leader, but it doesn’t need to be done in a meeting. It’ll waste everyone else’s time when you’re going from rep to rep. Have these conversations on an individual basis instead.  

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.