How often as a sales director, do you get that dreaded feeling from your reps as well as yourself about the weekly sales meeting? Does it go longer then it should? Did you really feel like you got something accomplished or did you just go through the motions? Why is that feeling so common?
Lets first define what a sales meeting is for by defining what is it not for.
- It is not to go around the room and have each sales representative go around the room and have each one discuss what is happening with them. This is a huge waste of everyone’s time and boredom will set in quickly.
- It is not for that representative that loves to hear him or herself talk. Weather they are doing well or having trouble, to go on and on about what happened at a particular meeting and what was said it additionally non-productive.
- A sales meeting is not for the sales manager to lecture either. Often our sales managers are past sales representatives themselves, so they will go into a rant of how they did things or tell stories.
- It is not for calling someone out in public about their performance. Never a good idea for anyone.
It seems that the sales meeting has never really been truly defined so let’s define what it is supposed to be for and what will make it most productive.
- Have an agenda with times and subjects to cover. Keep to your agenda. Sales people need structure or they will get quickly distracted.
- Keep it motivating. Use the sales meeting to share success stories and if a sales person didn’t have a “great” week, what positives came out of that. There is always something that they can learn, share etc. that will make them feel better, not worse and that is imperative in keeping them motivated for the upcoming week.
- Make it a teaching opportunity. Training should always be a part of your sales meeting. Bring in something that can leave them with information that will help them in their sales efforts. It could be an article you found, a new product or service or a great story.
- Engage one of your representatives to present something. Plan ahead when wanting to bring in a way of selling a difficult product or service, a new way of looking at something or some success one of the representative’s had and ask them to create a presentation (give them a timeframe) in the meeting so it isn’t always on the manager. They like these opportunities to show their stuff. If it involves a new products or service, it can force them to really learn it and become the knowledge leader when it comes to that product or service.
Lets talk about individual coaching and pipeline review. We often think that this type of individualism should be dome in front of the room and clearly it shouldn’t be. When does that happen? That should happen in short one on ones. One on ones should happen every week with each rep. YES every week! How can this be accomplished? If you as the sales director set a very strict set of goals for this meeting. If you feel weekly is too often, that is because you are so caught up now worth small micro meetings with your representatives, quick calls, emails and texts that if added up. Probably takes up more time then this. Plus, if a sales representative is struggling, they may be hiding away and not contacting you at all. Don’t you want to nip that in the bud sooner as opposed to later?
So how is this accomplished? You preset these meetings with the reps for 20 minutes each AND NO MORE! That’s right! If you do this right, you can get trough it quickly and productively. Your #1 job is coaching them so make it your priority. If you do this well, you wont get all of the calls, emails and texts all day long.
What is the agenda? It is made up of 5 things;
- What/who are you working on right now?
- What part of the sales process are you in with each of them?*
- Where are you toward your goal and what are your plans to make sure you reach them?
- What do you need from me to help you get this accomplished/completed?
- What are our action steps (your and mine) from this meeting and what are the time frames for those?
*Having a clear and conscience sales process will be imperative here.
We tend to do too much of this in our sales meeting so when the leave, they then begin taking their individual time with you. Schedule that upfront with each and make your sales meeting a motivating learning experience.