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How to Run an Efficient Online Sales Meeting

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online sales meeting using video call

With many employees working from home, businesses have turned to virtual meetings to keep everyone connected. Since most businesses use face-to-face meetings, running a sales meeting online means some shifting in tactics to keep it productive. That is why it is essential to know how to run an efficient online sales meeting.

After all, you want to accomplish your meeting goals and keep everyone engaged. It is essential to continue turning the wheels of business and stay connected to your team. But how do you run an efficient online sales meeting?

How to Run an Online Sales Meeting

It turns out that running an online sales meeting is not very different from running one in person. The technical aspects are different, and you need to take a few extra steps in preparation, but the shift is easy to implement.

Start by having a focused agenda, as you would for any other sales meeting. Then, follow these steps to keep yourself and your staff engaged and participating throughout the meeting. If you do, you will accomplish the goals set for the meeting.

1.     Ensure Everyone Has the Proper Software

Although the most popular online meeting software is Zoom, there are some other programs you could choose to run your meeting. Each one has unique options, but the overall purpose is to conduct a business meeting.

Some of your choices are:

  • GoToMeeting
  • Cisco Webex Meetings
  • BlueJeans
  • Microsoft Teams
  • UberConference

No matter which software you choose, prepare for your meeting by communicating with your sales staff the software they need to download. Also, suggest that they test the software before the meeting. That way, if any glitches or bugs appear, everyone can address them before the meeting starts.

This preparation ensures everyone can virtually attend the meeting and will not have to address issues like lack of audio in the middle of an online sales meeting. Instead, they can concentrate on your agenda.

2.     Prepare for Your Meeting Beforehand

While your staff tests their equipment, you also want to test yours. Check your microphone as well as your webcam to be sure your team can hear and see you. You might consider investing in proper lighting or positioning yourself near a window for good lighting when you speak.

The ability to see and hear you is the most vital aspect of online meeting preparation.

You do not necessarily need to invest in an independent microphone, but make sure your computer microphone picks up your voice, so your staff is not struggling to hear you. Again, the worst time to troubleshoot technical issues is during your meeting. Doing so while everyone is waiting will take away from the effectiveness of the meeting overall.

Consider what your staff will see behind you as you speak. You do not want anything distracting your viewers in the background. Clear away anything that might distract them. Using shelves as a backdrop, a plain wall with simple wall hangings or a virtual backdrop in your chosen software are all good options.

Your Presentation

Besides working to prevent technical issues, prepare thoroughly, and incorporate visuals into your presentation.  You will not be walking around a room or writing on a whiteboard to interact with your sales team. Instead, you will use screen sharing to show your audience the ideas you have for the direction of the meeting.

You want strong visuals that engage your sales team and keep them interested in what you are saying. PowerPoint delivers acceptable visuals but can be a bit stale. If you want to know how to run an efficient online sales meeting, you have to engage your team in your presentation.

Use exciting visuals or mind maps to get everyone brainstorming about how to reach your next sales goals. But remember, control the time on each topic, or you risk losing their attention.

Share with Your Sales Team

When you complete the agenda and goals for your online sales meeting, share a copy with those who will attend the meeting. Doing so allows the attendees to prepare any questions ahead of time. They will also know the meeting topics so that the meeting can move along smoothly.

Having an agenda also informs the team of progress during your presentation so they can stay focused on your words and not on the clock. Setting subject and time expectations will allow your team to prepare themselves for a full meeting. When people know what to expect, they are more likely to stay engaged the whole time.

Set Expectations

Similar to sharing the agenda of your meeting, you also want to establish expectations for the meeting. How long will the meeting last? What time will it start? What time will it end? These are questions your sales team should know before the meeting.

Plus, if you expect someone on your sales team to take an active role in the presentation, communicate that as well. The more you have established ahead of time; the more productive your online meeting will be.

3.     Tell Your Family

Even though you are not in the office, you must remain professional. But the fact is, you are at home, and people might not realize you are conducting business. So, let your family and friends know that you will be in a meeting, so you are not disturbed.

Tell them the time, date and duration of the meeting to keep them well informed and prepared. Keeping disturbances to a minimum or eliminating them will keep the meeting focused on the goal.

Remember to turn off your phone and the notifications on your computer to stay focused on the meeting.

4.     Mute Your Microphone

Whether you are using your computer microphone or a separate one, your microphone will pick up the smallest noises. If everyone in the meeting has their microphones on at the same time, it will be hard to run the meeting.

As the meeting leader, you will have a hard time speaking over others, and they will have a hard time listening to your sales topics in a discussion. You never know when a lawnmower will kick on, someone’s child will scream or a device will cause feedback. It is best to ask everyone to mute their microphones when they are not speaking.

Establish rules ahead of time regarding when sales members can unmute their mics. You may want to ask for feedback periodically to keep your staff engaged and control the meeting. Encourage your sales team to write down any questions or comments.

5.     Dress Appropriately

Since you are at home, you are probably working in casual clothes, but that is because no one can see you. Meeting norms and discussion formats apply when conducting staff business online. That includes the way you dress.

Be sure to dress according to your company’s expectations and that your staff does the same. If you decide ahead of time that it is okay for casual wear, communicate that to your sales team before you meet.

On the other hand, if you expect them to dress as they would in the office, communicate that as well. As the leader of the sales meeting, you need to lead in everything from attire to the discussion. Whatever dress you deem appropriate for your staff, applies to everyone—including yourself.

Man dressed in a button down and jeans sitting in front of computer

6.     Stay on Track

You and your staff are at home, so the business vibe is different, and it is easy to get distracted. However, you have to keep your meeting on track. If you do not, you will lose your team’s interest, they will disengage and you will not accomplish your meeting goals.

Write out the key points you want to hit in your meeting. Practice talking about these points ahead of time and assign an approximate time for each topic. Then, when you are running your online sales meeting, keep your eye on the time.

Be excited and full of energy when presenting your topics. That energy is contagious and will get your team enthusiastic about the subject matter.

Refocus Your Sales Team

If a topic drags on too long or strays off point, bring the meeting back under control and refocus your sales staff. Your goal is to hit all of your points in their allotted time. You will know these times because you practiced them before the meeting.

Assure your team that they will have a chance to ask questions at the end. Also, keep a note of all questions that come up during the meeting so you can address them. You could even have support staff takes notes during the meeting.

If you miss any points or the sales staff has issues, you can address them in a follow-up email or set another meeting.

You want to keep your online sales meeting to an hour. If you try to make the meeting longer, you risk losing the effectiveness of the meeting.

7.     Leave Time for Questions and Answers

Since muting your sales team’s mics during the meeting will not allow for discussion, leave time for questions at the end of the meeting. Fifteen minutes for questions and answers should be sufficient. If the questions run longer than that, it is best to set another meeting time to address additional issues.

Either before the meeting or in your introduction, assure your staff that there will be time for questions at the end. After all, the sales topics in a discussion will naturally lead to questions from your sales team. Again, encourage them to write down any questions that arise during the meeting so you can answer them at the end.

That way, meeting members will be less likely to unmute their mics for questions. They will know you have set aside time to hear them before the call ends.

Meeting Norms and Discussions Online

Knowing how to run an online sales meeting is essential in today’s world. Advancements in technology make this option an enticing one. Luckily, preparing for an online sales meeting is not very different than preparing for an in-person meeting.

Apart from the technical issues and the possible distractions, you can run it like any other sales meeting for your business. You might find that it is more efficient to meet with your sales team online than in the office.

As you know, sales teams are busy selling, and it might be easier to get a team together online than in the office on any given day. Once you learn how to run an efficient online sales meeting, you might actually prefer it.

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