The sales team gathers on a video call or in a conference room. Stop. Look at the payroll in the room and ask yourself this question: Will this one-hour meeting provide the ROI needed to justify salespeople away from the opportunity cost of connecting with prospects and customers?
Sadly, research shows that 47% of people reported that meetings are a waste of time.
There was no agenda for the sales meeting.
Because there was no agenda, there is no purpose and objective for the meeting.
With no defined purpose and objective, the sales meeting defaults to a roll call meeting, what are your numbers meeting. Or worse, a complaint meeting.
Is it any wonder why sales meetings can create desperation rather than inspiration?
Apply the EQ skill of reality testing. The reality is that if you are not going to put in the work to conduct a successful sales meeting, cancel it. Stop wasting everyone’s time. Encourage your team to go for a walk during that hour. At least that activity is burning calories and giving their brain a break.
Running productive and inspiring sales meetings isn’t hard. What is hard is slowing down, applying the EQ skill of delayed gratification and investing time in planning your meeting.
Here’s a few easy steps to get started.
- Define the purpose and objective for the meeting. What is your desired outcome? What do you want you sales team thinking and doing differently after the meeting? If you’re not clear, your sales team is certainly not going to be clear on why they are showing up to this meeting.
- Create engagement. Send an agenda to the team BEFORE the meeting. Give your sales team pre-work before attending the meeting so they show up ready to participate.
For example, you’ve identified a gap in your sales team’s skills. They aren’t good at unseating the incumbent. The purpose and objective for the meeting is to learn tactics and strategies for this specific sales challenge.
- Ask your team to come to the sales meeting with three gaps they’ve identified in their competitors’ offerings. Teach and practice the selling skills that artfully point out such gaps to prospects, without ever mentioning the competitor’s name.
- Set expectations for a focused meeting. I am appalled, yes, appalled, at the lack of focus modeled and expected by sales leaders during meetings. Does anyone else find it strange that salespeople show up to group sales meetings with the goal of catching up on emails rather than each other?
- If your purpose and objective for a group sales meeting is training and development, ditch the distractions. The research is clear. Human beings cannot learn when they are multi-tasking. Sorry, it doesn’t matter if you are 25 or 55. The brain always wins because intentional learning takes focus and concentration.
- Create action items. Let your sales team know that you will be starting the next group sales meeting by asking everyone to share how they have specifically applied the learnings from this meeting. Ask the sales team to email you a specific “talk track” developed from the prior sales meeting or record in your company’s learning management system.
- Finally, have some fun. Remind your sales team there are two quotas to achieve in sales: The sales quota and the fun quota. Hard charging sales managers often forget to build in time for humor and laughter. You can find a funny video and share with your team. You can ask your sales team to create a funny bumper sticker.
Conduct group sales meetings that create inspiration not desperation.