Do you run a productive and successful sales meeting everytime? If your answer is yes, then congratulations! You are one of the few sales professionals who have honed and mastered a skill crucial to selling effectively.
In most organizations, sales meetings waste a salesperson’s time and quite frankly, deliver very little value. While we appreciate that sales teams need to dedicate some of their time to meet their managers, if those meetings aren’t helping the bottom line, they are a waste of time.
A meeting that wastes a salesperson’s time is more likely to demotivate that person. On the other hand, if your sales meetings can deliver value, you will increase your team’s productivity. This is where meeting tools come in. A meeting tool like Aira has built-in analytics, from which you can draw insights into meeting performance. This article, however, is not about meeting tools, but simple behavioral adjustments that once implemented will shape how your salespeople view sales meetings. More on that below.
The secrets of running a successful sales meeting
1. Limit your meeting to one agenda item
You can cover many issues in a meeting agenda. But time is money for salespeople so instead of addressing multiple issues, focus one crucial agenda item. Discussions centered around one area has several advantages:
- You can dig deep into that issue or topic, and understand it
- That item becomes the metric that matters for that week
- Your team will remain focused on the subject discussed
2. Send out the meeting agenda way before the meeting date
Do you want your salespeople to be well prepared for your meetings? If yes, make use of your AI meeting assistant to send out the agenda well ahead of time. Make your agenda items actionable.
3. Keep time
Do you want your team to respect your meetings? Do you want to create a sense of urgency throughout the workweek? Then lead by example by sticking to your meeting timelines. Keep time, and you give your salespeople a template of how they should handle their customers’ time.
We also mentioned earlier that time is money. Keeping time tells your salespeople that you value their time.
4. Keep your meetings to under one hour
Another important aspect of time is meeting length. 36% of meeting attendants lose attention when attending any meeting that lasts more than 45 minutes. So, to make the most out of your meeting session,
- Divide your meeting time into 3 portions of 15 minutes each
- Discuss the most important issues within the first 15 minutes. Former Yahoo CEO, Marisa Meyer, is famous for keeping all her meetings to 15 minutes.
5. Make meetings relevant and pertinent
People tend to drift during a meeting if they notice that the meeting items don’t concern them.
Let’s assume you have 4 salespeople, each representing a region. If you want to have productive discussions with them, schedule a meeting with each one. This might seem redundant but look at it this way: whenever someone is giving an update on their region, the other three are likely to check out of the meeting because that region does not affect their performance.
In addition, if there’s an issue that has to do with one person, follow up with that person after the meeting.
6. Encourage discussion
Your salespeople, not you, are the ones facing customers. They are also the ones who have to deal with challenges in the field. So, they want you to hear them as much as you want them to listen to you.
Turn your meeting into a forum for discussion, where issues are tabled, discussed and action taken immediately.
7. Updates do not warrant a meeting
We cannot stress this enough: meetings centered around updates have little to no value to a salesperson. Some things can be addressed on email. Learn to identify such matters so that you don’t hold unnecessary meetings.
8. Recognize and reward performance
There is nothing more motivating for a salesperson (besides the commissions of course), than recognition. Therefore, whenever you hold a meeting, recognize, congratulate and reward your top performers. The following happens when you reward salespeople regularly:
- You set the pace for your salespeople every week. Everyone will try to hit their targets so that they can shine during the next meeting
- The end result is that you are more likely to hit your monthly target by remaining focused week on week
- Your meetings become something that salespeople look forward to attending
9. Turn meetings into a performance improvement platform
As you hold more meetings, you will start to notice performance trends. Some of those trends may indicate areas that need improvement.
You don’t need to wait for your next training workshop to address key performance issues. Instead, use your sales meetings to deliver bite-sized training sessions that will help your teams to start changing their results immediately.
10. Make your sales team feel like a part of the company
Since majority of salespeople spend most of their time in the field, one of the times they get to interact with the company is during meetings. Take it upon yourself to give them a positive experience during these rare moments. They should feel like insiders and know that their contribution is not only appreciated, but also shapes growth. In a word, offer motivation.
There are several ways to do this. For instance, have the company head attend a meeting and reward individuals by name. Or, do something as simple as offering refreshments during meetings.
11. Agree on next steps
You expect your salespeople to leave their customers with clarity on what the next steps will be, right? The same should go for meetings. After every meeting, each person’s responsibility should be very clear. Send meeting notes and action items Immediately after the meeting. You can do this very easily with AIRA.
Yes, improving your sales meetings is as simple as implementing all or some of these 11 points. As you implement these tips,
- Ask your team for feedback. A simple question like this will suffice, “Hey, how do you think today’s meeting went and what can we do to improve the next meeting?”
- Use AIRA analytics to track meeting performance trends
That’s it! Happy meeting!