Regular sales meeting are a necessary evil.
On the one hand, good sales leaders know that regular gatherings with their team are vital to achieving objectives, meeting goals and nipping problems before they blow out of proportion and threaten productivity.
On the other hand, they can devolve into mind-numbing time-wasters that do nothing more than keep the sales team from actually selling.
The trick is to go into every sales meeting with a plan of action that keeps the discussion on track, interesting and informative. Here are a few suggestions:
- Set hard start and end times and insist on punctuality. Not only are late arrivers disruptive, but permitting tardiness sends the wrong message about the importance you, as the leader, place on sales meetings.
- Set an agenda and distribute it in advance. Avoid allowing the introduction of items that are not on the agenda. If something is worth discussing, it’s also worth preparing for, so include it on the next meeting’s agenda.
- Keep the number of topics manageable. Trying to blow through 15 things in 30 minutes is unrealistic and counter-productive.
- Include a balanced mix of sales and non-sales oriented subjects. If you spend 30 minutes reviewing changes in company policies or procedures, 30 minutes should also be spent on topics related to sales.
- Particularly when touchy subjects such as team performance are on the agenda, handle criticisms constructively and balance them out with positive messages. Also, never single any one person out for criticism; the staff meeting is not the place to deal with individual employee problems.
- Don’t turn meetings into lectures. Interactive meetings are far more interesting and productive than those dominated by one person, even if that person is you. Asking questions and soliciting input keeps the team engaged.
Last but never least, set the right example. Your own punctuality, enthusiasm and attitude about the sales meeting will set the tone for the entire team.�