Have you ever worked out how much it costs to run a sales meeting? Not just the direct cost of having all your team in the room together, which by itself is expensive, but what about the opportunity cost of missing out on improved sales performance or having a detrimental impact on sales culture?
Many sales meetings are not only costing companies a fortune but may also be causing a negative return. Meaning that many sales meetings are not only delivering little in value but more importantly they could be causing a negative impact on sales culture and sales performance.
When our friends from Sales ITV surveyed 1500 sales leaders and sales people they found that 69% of sales leaders used their sales meetings as a primary motivational strategy for the sales team but 57% of sales people stated that they found their sales meetings de-motivational! Wow that is a significant disconnect.
What about turning your sales meetings on its head and focusing on a forum that is fun, energetic and most importantly allows your team to get better. Think of your sales meeting as practice time. Learn why you win and lose deals, create and improve your sales process and how you can provide a more professional service that is designed to help your clients.
A successful sales organisation will have built a consistent approach to how sales people are operating and to do so you need to train and coach, the sales meeting is the perfect place for this. In our Mood of the Sales leader report we found out that almost 29% of sales leaders are doing no development of their team at all. This includes no one on one coaching, no ride alongs and no development in their sales meetings, which is scary. If you are a sales leader it is time to change that and the sales meeting is the perfect place to start. The best sales team’s practice and learn many of them are doing these 3 to 5 times per week.
11 ways to make your sales meetings valuable:
What is the objective of your sales meeting?
Get clear on the objective of your sales meetings. The answer should always be a mixture of improving your company sales culture, motivating or inspiring your team and the number one reason is a sales meeting should be designed to improve the performance of the team.
Be prepared for the meeting, set and share the agenda and make sure your sales team are aware that they should be prepared as well.
Set the standard:
Start your sales meetings on time and finish on time. Do not tolerate people to be late or to book meetings on top of the sales meeting. If you tolerate this behaviour then that sets the tone for your sales team to do the same to clients.
Remove the admin:
Admin has no place in a sales meeting. If it is not of value to everyone in the room, then get rid of it. If you want to hear from an individual on a particular deal, then save it for your one on one. Don’t ask each team member to talk about the opportunities they are working on unless there is some learning value.
Remove the boredom:
Most of us who have been in sales for some time have all either sat through poorly run boring sales meetings or run these boring sales meetings ourselves. Even the sales manager is bored out of their mind. Make it interesting!
Mix it up:
One of the great ways to mix up a sales meeting is by adding different points of view. Ask external speakers to come to your meeting, utilise video from thought leaders, get input from marketing, the CEO, bring in a client and find out why they use your company, what they like about you and what they don’t.
Performance, performance, performance:
Your number one reason to hold a sales meeting should be about looking for improved performance. Use your sales meeting to train, to coach, to build consistency, use win/loss to understand why you win deals and why you lose deals and look for opportunities to improve. Find out the best way to answer certain questions and train to these.
Focus on the important:
Focus on the important stuff and remember that changing behaviour and embedding the learning takes time so don’t move on to quickly. Revisit learnings time after time and keep improving.
Provide time for discussion and input:
There is a lot of value in learning and hearing from the team and no one likes to be talked at for a whole meeting. Make sure the team has an opportunity to speak, to engage, to ask questions and are encouraged to do so.
If you want to create a great sales culture you need to celebrate success. Too often sales meetings are beat ups, so it is no surprise that many sales people hate them. Put success on a pedestal and enjoy the enjoy the energy that success brings to a team.
Provide a forum that motivates, sales culture can have the biggest impact on ongoing performance and your sales meeting is the perfect place to start.