Sales People: How often has it happened to you? You leave a regular scheduled sales meeting thinking "well there's another 2 hours of my selling time gone that I won't ever get back" or "what was that all about?"
Sales Leaders: Are you holding needless, boring sales meetings that serve no purpose other than reinforce your position?
First, just think about the numbers. If you drag a team of, let's say 6, off the floor for 2 hours, just once a month that equates to 1 months selling time for 1 person over 12 months. That is without factoring your time, travel times if delegates aren't on site. How much are these meetings costing in lost revenues?
I am not suggesting that you don't hold these meetings but let's make sure that they have a purpose, that they are helping to develop your team, they are leaving better equipped, better informed, and more motivated than when they walked into the meeting. They are in investment in time, let's show an ROI.
Let's make sure that your team don't just look forward to the sales meetings, they turn up prepared, and are ready to engage, and leave as warriors ready to conquer (OK that may be over the top but focused and with a purpose isn't)
1: Don't set them during core selling hours.
If possible run your sales meetings early in the morning or after office hours. Your sales team should be talking with clients and prospects not in internal meetings.
2: Keep them regular.
Try to keep them on the same day/date each month that way you can schedule them for the year allowing you and your team to plan for them.
3: Start on time and finish on time.
Don't keep 7 people waiting because the 8th hasn't turned up, it's not fair on them. Sort coffees etc in advance, but start on time. If the meeting is scheduled to last 2 hours, it lasts 2 hours. Your team should have scheduled in calls etc after that.
4: Publish an agenda, and stick to it.
Agree the agenda in advance, complete with timings. If you need people to contribute give them notice and clear instructions as to what you should bring/prepare etc.
5: Don't trawl through the figures
If you really MUST discuss figures/targets etc send them out in advance and then ONLY discuss the important issues if required. No-one wants to sit and listen to someone going through everyone's figures - it's just boring! Save that for 1:1's or email.
6: Focus on 1 subject/issue.
Try to concentrate on 1 subject for most of the meeting. This will allow enough time to explore it in sufficient detail to a: make progress b: ensure fuller understanding.
Your team should know and understand what is required to run meetings and keep things on track. Delegate sections/subjects of the meeting to members of your team to run. Work with them and help them to prepare, rehearse so that you can support them if needed, contributing positively wherever possible. Empower your team don't stifle them.
8: Use the meetings for staff development.
Let's face it, the only worthwhile reasons for having regular sales team meetings are a: to develop their knowledge/skills and b; to motivate them.
Because you are only concentrating on one subject per meeting you will have the time to identify the training requirements.
9: Start positive - End positive.
As a sales leader it is vital that, even when there are some serious issues that need discussing, you are a positive influence. Start a meeting on a negative footing and it sets the tone for the next 2 hours with everybody shutting down. Start it positively and then drag that positivity though into the next, tougher session. rather than shutting down the team will contribute and engage.
Finish on an upbeat, regardless how heavy the session was...
10: We and Us NOT You and I
You are a team, so talk like you are part of the team...
How are WE going to do this? How are YOU going to do this? can very easily morph into "You lot" and then you are on different sides. Lead from the front.
Sales leaders are there to get the best out their teams, support and motivate not to "Manage" them unless it becomes necessary.
11; Look forward NOT backwards.
There is NOTHING you can do about the past, you can't change it, just learn from it so DON'T dwell on it.
Set positive ACTION PLANS during the meeting and confirm these as you sum up. Make sure everyone knows what is expected of them and follow up 1:1 after the meeting if further detail is needed.
12: Set the topic for the next meeting.
Agree with the team what the core topic is for the next meeting. What they need to do to prepare, who is running what etc and then confirm in writing along with the minutes to the meeting.
13: Recognise and Reward.
There is always something worth highlighting and rewarding. It is amazing how far a well done goes to lift spirits and a £10 Starbucks card will pay for itself in no time.
14: Thank Them.
Thanks guys. Great meeting (because you will have made it a great meeting)...
Thank individuals for any noteworthy input, and thank the person you had delegated to run a section of the meeting.
It goes a long way!
These tips just scratch the surface of how to get the best out of your salesforce.
To enquire about how itsALLaboutsales can help drive optimun performance from sales leaders and sales people call us on 07934700193