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A sales team meeting is used to identify, develop, and implement sales improvements. The meeting is a forum for promoting the professional development of all participants as they discuss sales-related problems, share their unique expertise, and build camaraderie.
An interesting, intelligent discussion where people share meaningful information can only happen when the participants are prepared. So many well-intentioned sales managers are thwarted by staff members who show up and are simultaneously a) unprepared and b) desperate to share their thoughts.
The antidote to this affliction is simple. Send out the agenda and pre-work in advance of the meeting. If the meeting is Tuesday morning, send the agenda on Friday so participants have plenty of time to review it.
“But I do send it out in advance. They just don’t read it.”
If this is regular behaviour on your team, you must reset the ground rules. Before your next meeting starts, go around the room and ask each participant to share how they expect others to behave in a meeting. Write these expectations on the wall. The typical rule list looks something like this:
You get the gist. The fun part is when you ask them how they would like to deal with those who don’t follow said rules.
Stating expectations once is almost never enough. Since we know someone at some time will break one of the rules, decide as a team how you will address non-compliance. The kinds of consequences teams come up with tend to fall into one of three categories:
The sales meeting should never run longer than 1 hour – ideally 45 minutes. In meetings and in sales meetings in particular, the leader should avoid the boring tone of an “update” meeting. If it’s information that can be found in a report, then send it via email instead of bringing people together. Allow the participants an opportunity to discuss the latest updates in the meeting, just don’t present them.
Assign one rep each week to make this presentation about a successful sales interaction they’ve had since the previous meeting. Send your people to Toastmasters if they can’t tell a good sales story. Presentation skills are critical in the sales profession and this is an opportunity for them to practice theirs. Guidelines:
Round table topics are discussions – each person should come prepared to discuss what they do in different circumstances, or how they address specific issues that the manager has included on the agenda. At minimum, each of these topics should be addressed annually:
Don’t get stuck in a rut with the same agenda and the same people talking each week. Once the meeting habit is firmly established, bring some new life to the meeting. For example, Google “brain teaser” and choose a puzzle for the team to complete. Split team members into smaller groups and give them 5 minutes to solve it. Or, pick one or two upcoming sales deals, split everyone into teams and give them 5 minutes to come up with their most creative ideas for closing the sale. Take another 10 minutes to present the answers – the sales rep whose deal it is will definitely appreciate the input!
Important: Stick to the allotted time! And have Fun!
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