“Meetings are a waste of time. I don’t even know why we have meetings. Well, that was an hour of nothing.” Hopefully, this isn’t what your sales team members say about your group sales meetings. But how would they rank group sales meetings if asked?
The next time you conduct a group sales meeting, add up the payroll in the room or on the conference call. Then ask yourself this powerful question: Did this sales meeting provide the ROI necessary to cover the salaries attending? (I’m not even including opportunity costs from the team being off the phones or not in meetings with customers.) If not, take a look at two strategies that will change the “waste of time” dialogue to, “Now, that was worth my time.”
Strategy One. Practice what you preach. Sales managers teach their salespeople the importance of establishing a purpose and objective with prospects and customers to ensure alignment. But how many sales managers hold meetings where the sales team has no clue as to its agenda?
Step one in conducting effective meetings is getting clear on your purpose and objective for scheduling one. And if you don’t have one, don’t hold one!
Is this sales meeting being held to develop selling skills? If so, which skill will you focus on improving? Do the sales team members know they will be practicing for the majority of the sales meeting? Is this a meeting designed to motivate your sales team? If that is the purpose and objective, what tools will you tap into besides the usual rah-rah, we-can-do-it rhetoric? You may have to research inspirational videos or stories of people who’ve overcome the odds. Or, you may have to ask customers to send testimonial letters that praise your salespeople. Maybe you get the CEO to write a letter of thanks to the sales team.
Great sales meetings start with a clear purpose and objective.
Strategy Two. Create tech-free meeting zones. Now, I’m sure a few hearts stopped while reading that sentence. Yes, have your sales team put away its cellphones, alias adult binkies, during sales meetings.
Sales meetings are designed to build teamwork. But it’s pretty hard to build teamwork when no one is paying attention to what other members of their team are saying. Sales meetings are for skill development. Human beings can’t engage in deep learning if they are constantly interrupted by texts and emails.
I’m pretty sure an airline pilot involved in a flight simulation doesn’t take her cellphone into the simulator.
Sales leaders, if you are going to conduct sales meetings, make them worth your time and your team’s time.