Running Effective Sales Meetings
An entrepreneur who runs his own sales meetings asked:
We run through an hour-long sales meeting every Monday morning and I am beginning to really question our approach.
Typically, each rep gives a quick status update of their pipeline potentials and then we discuss what we can do to move the deal forward in our pipeline…but that’s not always all that productive.
So, I’m wondering what the best-run sales meetings look like.
The purpose of sales meetings is two-fold; provide accountability and provide value to the “people in the seats.”
Accountability: At the sales meeting a brief review of sales performance to date, both revenue numbers and key sale activities (# of calls, # of proposals presented, etc.). I present the numbers and compliment high performers. As to under performers I let the lack of results speak for themselves – during the meeting.
In addition to the sales meetings I have weekly 1:1’s with each sales team member (app. 30 minutes) to review their pipelines in depth, discuss deal strategies and address any “under performance” issues (praise in public, critique in private). It has proven much more effective to review individual pipelines 1:1 than in an group setting – more time to review specific deals and sales people are not interested in nay pipeline but their own.
Value to people in the seats: This can take several forms. Training on your product or services, sales skills training, practice sessions (role plays) to hone skills and product knowledge, or team review of “stuck deals” / key sales challenges (not a pipeline review but a session where each team member presents a challenge or stuck deal and gets team feedback on how to address the issue).
Who speaks: Have other team members lead the meeting at times, particularly if you are conducting training. You must be in charge but rotating who speaks, trains and leads the discussions. It takes some burden off of you, gives you a chance to see how sales team members step up to the plate or not and keeps the meeting fresh.
Length of sales meetings: Preferred frequency is monthly (combined with weekly 1:1’s) and they run app. 3 hours. If you keep to a weekly schedule then no more than an hour.
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