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.
Insight #1 – Make It Interesting
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.
Insight #2 – Ground Rules Make “Interesting” Happen
“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:
- Show up on time
- Don’t talk over one another
- Come prepared
- End on time
- Talk about important things (don’t waste my time)
- Send an agenda in advance
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.
Insight #3 – Decide How You Should Respond In Advance Of The Inevitable
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:
- Financial penalties (e.g. having to put money in a jar for charity / to buy the office something)
- Humiliation (e.g. wearing a goofy hat / sitting in the corner )
- Convenience (e.g. bringing breakfast or a treat for everyone at the next meeting)
Now Run The Meeting
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.
Sample Weekly Sales Team Meeting Agenda
Success story from the trenches (2-5 minutes):
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:
- Tell us how you made the first contact.
- Tell us the customer’s situation. Who was the competitor, what did they do right, and what did they do wrong?
- Tell us what you think you did right and wrong.
- Tell us who helped in the sale – credit other sales staff, service, administration or coaches in the customer’s organization.
- Tell your story in 2-5 minutes. It’s entirely possible to have a boring war story if it goes on too long.
Corporate Review (10 minutes):
- Focused on non-sales corporate performance.
One Round Table Topic (30 minutes)
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:
- effective greetings
- pricing theory
- the paradox of choice
- prospect theory (getting the good / avoiding the bad)
- generating introductions
- asking questions about their business
- focusing on a call type
- getting to the decision maker
- bringing forth new objections
- discussing new approaches to handling objections
- discussing techniques or tactics to advance sales (questioning, linking, closing)
Switch It Up
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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