First of all, this forces a sales manager to plan a productive meeting instead of just jumping on a weekly call and resorting to the roundtable update approach.
The agenda should change for each meeting. If you send the same template each week, they will stop looking at it. Keep agendas fresh and relevant.
When sales people know the manager is being proactive and planning for their meetings, they are more likely to take them more seriously, also.
Invite RELEVANT guest speakers. Who could join your sales team call and share information that will help your sales people sell more?
This could be an internal product specialist who could clear up confusion or answer questions about a new product offering.
This could be a customer who could give a short talk on their experience working with your firm.
This could be someone from your marketing team to share some current market research relevant to your customers.
Share ownership for a productive meeting with the entire team. Share meeting planning and executing responsibilities with team members. For example, someone can be the timekeeper, someone can lead an agenda topic, someone can send the agenda out in advance, someone can secure a guest speaker, etc. It’s everyone’s responsibility to use this time wisely.
Assign pre-work. This doesn’t have to be a huge project, just a small amount of preparation so they can contribute to a successful, helpful sales team meeting. And, again, meetings are always more interesting when more people have input.
Give them an article to read before the meeting.
Ask them to think about a topic and be prepared with their thoughts or ideas on that topic.
Ask them to research something for the sales team.
Team Book Club: Read and discuss a current business book as a team. Read the chapter before the meeting and discuss it during the meeting for a set time.
Reinforce recent sales training. Most sales training organizations have reinforcement modules designed for sales managers to use after the formal training. Use these. Each meeting, asks a different sales person to “teach” the next module. This forces the team to study and practice the sales methodologies and skills that will make them more successful.
Have fun. Celebrate successes!
Don’t do a data dump. If administrative things can be shared via email, do so. Give the team a chance to ask questions or make clarifications on something they received via e-mail, but do not dump all this info on them during their meeting.
Stick to the allotted time. Enough said?
Share Best Practices. Again, make sure this is on the agenda. Ask one sales person per week to share something they have tried that is working. They should be able to tell the rest of the team how and why they did it and share any tools that will help someone else try it.
Surprise ’em! Don’t get stuck in a rut of the same agenda, in the same order with the same people talking each week. Try something new such as:
Throw out a challenge or problem and ask group to solve it by the end of the meeting.
Pick one or two deals and spend the time creating an account strategy for those deals. The person who owns the deals will be grateful for the input and everyone will gain valuable ideas for their own deals.
Do a scavenger hunt on the phone. (For example: Collectively, look for 5 prospects you should be calling on, look for 5 prospects you should stop calling on, etc)