Sales meetings… Do they deliver value in your company?
Unfortunately, for many salespeople it’s the meeting they dread the most.
Their manager will go around the room asking each person to share their results. But most people can’t concentrate, they’re too busy thinking what they will say. Then once their turn has passed, they switch off. Struggling to stay engaged, as they hear colleagues discuss opportunities, they are not involved in. Some have told me they feel these meetings are a waste of time, simply an exercise where they justify their existence to management!
Let’s look at some better ways to get everyone engaged and benefitting from this potentially valuable time together.
The bottom line is you want to run killer sales meetings where you get accountability and results and your team get valuable insight and direction to win more deals.
- Make a distinction and separate your Forecast meetings from your Pipeline
Your Forecast meetings are great opportunities to talk with your sales people about the deals they expect to close soon. But they are not the right time to talk about the general pipeline health, which is determined by the quality and quantity of sales opportunities in the pipeline at the early to mid-sales stages.
It’s important that you make this distinction and separate your Forecast meetings from your Pipeline meetings, otherwise confusion will reign, and you will struggle to keep the meeting on track.
In your Pipeline meetings you need to ask your sales team about the new opportunities they have recently registered in your CRM. These early stage sales opportunities are the ones that will have a larger overall impact on your company’s future health. As a manager, this is where you need to focus your energy. These early stage opportunities are where you can add the most value to your team’s efforts. They allow you an excellent opportunity to develop their performance potential. Done right this investment of time spent up stream will pay off handsomely with stronger conversion rates. And reduce time spent fire-fighting late stage deals.
- Focus on transferring knowledge and maximising potential.
Rather than giving your team a grilling with a question and answer session, try using some smart qualification tools to review sales opportunities together collaboratively. These tools help you teach your team the vital questions to ask and the key information you are looking for. Identify together the gaps in their deals and agree some next steps to move them forward. This gives you accountability and visibility over your pipeline and helps them with specific points to action to win the order. Do this deal review as a team, everyone can contribute their ideas and experience which will accelerate the learning process.
- Constructive criticism can wait.
Keep the atmosphere positive and upbeat during your sales meetings.
Refrain from using these team meetings for any direct personal constructive criticism. Save that for your private 1-2-1 coaching sessions. No one likes being made to look a fool in front of their peers. So, remember your goal is to win hearts and minds not arguments.
- Set an agenda.
Firstly, send your sales team calendar invites for all your forecast and pipeline meetings for the year, then stick to them. Your commitment to them says volumes about the value they bring. If you start moving or cancelling them don’t expect anyone else to take them seriously.
Secondly, post the agenda well in advance so everyone knows what will be covered. It gives them time to think about the subjects and prepare mentally. Rather than turning up unprepared and unable to participate fully.
You wouldn’t go to a prospective client meeting unprepared so why inflict poor planning and preparation on your team!
- Share new ideas and fresh perspectives.
Use a section of the meeting to raise new ideas, share fresh perspectives from your recent interactions with clients or the market in general. You can also assign someone to research and present briefly a particular industry innovation, a common sales challenge or an area to develop best practice.
This keeps your meetings relevant, interesting and impactful.
- Jointly create win plans for important deals.
Big deals can suck you in like a vortex, taking huge amounts of time and energy. They can also cause a myopic view as you become too close to a deal to see the wood for the trees.
Help people in this situation by reviewing big deals as a team. It’s fun to do a war-room session together, map out all the gaps and share ideas on what you need to do to win the deal. Everyone in the room benefits when you share expertise and your best ideas.
So, here’s my challenge to you, don’t let your next sales meeting become boring or routine. Get creative, engage your team and drive performance to the next level!
If you’d like a sample of the tools mentioned in this post drop me an email and I’ll share some examples with you.
Here’s to your continued sales success!