You don’t like sales meetings. We get it. No one typically does. You gain nothing from the discussions and you can think of better uses of your time. To make matters worse, meetings are really nothing more than the boss beating down on us or it’s just a festival of complaints from your co-workers. Not to mention that it’s always that one salesperson who hijacks the meeting to talk about things that only he finds important. The meetings are unproductive, out of control and you feel worse than you did before the meeting started. Not a fun way to start the week at all. You don’t like sales meetings and we don’t blame you, but what if there was a better way?
Despite all of your experience, we can still agree that there is a value in having a sales meeting if it were run properly. There are always important issues going on and if we are not communicating, problems arise and get worse. Lousy sales meetings are one of the first signs of a lousy sales culture and you already know what it is like to try to sell in a culture that does not develop its people. And there is your problem, you are not using your sales meetings to develop people, are you? So let’s talk about why your meetings suck and what you can do to fix it.
- There is no meeting agenda – This means that there is no structure to your meeting beyond modest chaos. The agenda can change from meeting to meeting based upon the mood of the boss or whatever is going on at the time. The first step you need to do is create a sales agenda and stick to it like glue every time.
- No one comes prepared – And why should they. They don’t even know what the agenda is going to be each time so they only come prepared to complain or defend themselves. Sound familiar? A consistent agenda creates prepared salespeople. Help your salespeople come prepared.
- There is no time commitment – Your meetings always start late because 1 or 2 people are always late. You never end the meeting on time because you allow tangents. Each agenda item must have its own time allotment. If additional discussion is necessary, chances are 2 or 3 people can take the conversation offline and fix it. Respect everyone else’s time and don’t make it their problem too. Stick to the time every time.
- Who is running the meeting anyway? – Poor meeting facilitation means a poor meeting. Period. Other salespeople hi-jack the meeting (they just love to do that) and where the is no control in your meeting, there is no productivity. Meetings need a leader that knows how to stay on track with the agenda while respectfully squelching tangents. Pick someone who knows how to run a meeting.
- You don’t work on sales problems – There is nothing to learn at your sales meetings. Sales problems do not include berating the team for not using the CRM properly (and they never will). What trends are you seeing in the marketplace? What sales objections are you frequently confronted with and how do you handle it? What cool products and opportunities are becoming available? No one walks away from a learning moment thinking that their time was wasted. Focus on learning and teaching.
- You are not recognizing achievements and victories – You have to bring something positive to your meetings. Salespeople love getting gold stars and having them on display for others to see. Victories also encourage your other lower performers to seek improvement. Why not brighten someone’s day with an accolade? Always take time to highlight success.