The best salespeople are those who can’t sit still. They’ve got to be up and at it, moving around and getting things done. It’s this insatiable desire to produce results that makes them irreplaceable assets to the companies that employ them. That said, there’s one important part of the entrepreneurial process that, when managed poorly, can be more of a headache than anything else—sales staff meetings.
From venturing off on irrelevant tangents and lack of preparation to exceeding a pre-determined time limit and flat-out boredom, if you’re to take your run-of-the-mill sales meetings and turn them into a worthwhile use of your team’s time, there are a few tips you’ll need to discover, internalize and immediately put into practice.
1) Create an Agenda and Stick to It
First and foremost, create an agenda for your sales meetings and stick to it. This means starting and ending your meetings on time. After all, it’s the responsibility of your sales staff to bring new clients onboard—not to sit through endless meetings. By remaining consistent with your start and end times, you make it much easier for your team to remain focused while important information is being presented.
And as far as each meeting’s content is concerned, always stay on task. It’s one thing to exchange a few pleasantries at the start of a meeting; it’s another to spend 20 or 30 minutes talking about what you plan to do over the weekend. Show that you value your sales team’s time by being on-point and punctual with any and all presented matters during the course of a meeting.
Most importantly, take notes. Listen to what your team is saying, what they need, why and what challenges they’re facing. A leader that takes the time to absorb what is happening and take action to remove barriers is a successful leader.
2) Engage Participants With a Few Well-Placed Stories
Sales isn’t accounting, marketing or operations — it’s a hands-on, front-lines kind of world. As such, it’s not uncommon for hard times to fall on a team when things aren’t going exactly as anticipated or planned.
To keep the crippling impact of negativity away from your sales staff, always allow time for a couple of success stories to be told. Whether it be about an improbably sale or a new way to respond to a prospect’s doubts, not only are stories more emotionally engaging for those in attendance, they’re also inspiring and a great learning tool.
3) Take Time to Motivate and Inspire
Though stories can help with this, more than likely, it will be important that you and your sales team dedicate a few minutes each meeting to motivating one another. Be careful with this, though. Each sales staff is different, and the last thing you want to do is turn the activity into an over-the-top, cheesy affair.
Consider the individuals that make up your group of sales men and women and begin experimenting with ways to help push each of their respective comfort zones. Whether it be through motivational videos, interesting quotes or possibly even a guest speaker, make genuine inspiration is a must-have for each sales meeting.
4) Steer Clear of Individual Needs
No matter the situation or salespeople in question, avoid having your meeting derailed by the needs of a select few. If there’s a pressing matter that simply must be addressed, make mention of it, then follow up after your meeting with those for whom the message was originally intended.
Also, if traditional of your meetings, allow a few minutes for a group Q&A session at the the end of your time together. Should questions about specific individuals, team chemistry or performance persist, privately request a personal interview with those who need it once your meeting is over.
More importantly, be sure to make time for one-on-one interaction. Make the most of that time to address needs good or bad, mentor, coach and lend strategic assistance to make them shine.
5) Numbers, Numbers and More Numbers
Any solid sales staff has a mountain of numbers its reporting on. Meetings are the place to do just that. Regardless of metric—whether it’s placed calls, set appointments or completed contracts—meetings provide the ideal setting for performance to be made publicly known.
As members of a unified team, each member of your sales staff is accountable to everyone else. In addition to reporting on performance, make it a point to set realistic, measurable goals for your next meeting. That way, everyone knows what’s to be expected of them by the time your next meeting rolls around.
Like most things having to do with the sales sector of business, running a meeting for your sales staff is one of those things that’s easier said than done. Having some trouble? Give the above tips a try during your next meeting and you’re bound to see improvements.
Now it’s your turn—what do you think about the tips I’ve mentioned here? Have you tried them before with your sales team? If so, did they work? If they didn’t, what would you have done differently? Take to the comments section below to share your knowledge with others. As always, thanks for reading!
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