Meetings with your salespeople can often be seen as a grind, or a necessity, rather than something to be looked forward to.
For many sales managers, they can turn into long, boring sessions that people can’t wait to get out of.
Many sales meetings fail because of the following reasons:
– administrative matters receive more time than sales matters
– one or more salespeople dominate the meeting
– trivial matters encroach on more important subjects
– management uses threatening tactics rather than motivational ones
– when the format is more about lectures than participative discussions
– where attendees have differing levels of competences
– when there is no or little agenda
– when the meeting takes too long
– when there are few or no action points made at the end of the meeting
If you want to avoid these pitfalls, make sure you follow these essential tips for running better sales meetings:
Always have a purpose for a meeting, not just because it’s a certain day
If the only reason you’re meeting is because it’s a Monday, then prepare for poor results from it.
The session shouldn’t be run simply because it happens to be a certain day.
Instead, have a specific purpose for it.
I like the acronym PAIR for each meeting, which stands for ‘Purpose And Intended Result’.
Every meeting should have a purpose (e,g. To agree on next month’s campaign backup) and an intended result (e.g. To ascertain everyone’s specific agenda for the next sales conference).
With a specific purpose, you have something to measure the meeting’s success against.
Ask for everyone’s input to the meeting agenda
You only call a meeting when it’s the only way to get the PAIR accomplished.
If you can achieve the PAIR without calling everyone in, then you save everyone’s time and effort.
By getting everyone to contribute to the agenda, you know that everyone has the will to attend and knows what the outcome is going to be
Determine the best way to serve the purpose before calling a meeting
Having agreed what needs to be covered, is it necessary to get everyone in off the road or traveling to one place?
Would it be possible to cover all the subjects via Skype or by videoconference?
If so, you may save yourself and your team hours of traveling and wasted time.
We know of one sales manager who used to have a videoconference with his team at 0830 in the morning.
Everyone was then ready for their day at 0900 and he hadn’t wasted people’s time by getting them to commute to the office.
They could be out in the field straight after the call, and be productive early on.
Make sure the timings are kept to and cover all the agenda points
If you’ve scheduled an hour for a meeting that covers 8 points, and you’re only on point four after 55 minutes, determine if you need to carry on or maybe cover the other four points by email or at the next meeting.
Don’t grind on regardless without everyone’s agreement
Have action points at the end of each meeting
If the meeting was called just to bring everyone up-to-date with certain information, question if a meeting was the most effective and efficient way of getting that info out to people.
Each meeting needs actions to be followed up before the next meet up.
If people know they have to carry out actions and need to report back to you on them before the next meeting, they tend to take them more seriously than if the meeting is just a monologue of information download.
These five points should help you carry out a meaningful and effective meeting every time.
You want to ensure your meetings are looked-forward-to rather than a painful interjection into your sales team’s day.