February 16, 2016

If you have ever held a sales meeting before, you know that salespeople are not always thrilled to attend.

And it is easy to understand why they might feel that way. If they are not selling, then they are not making money, and they know that your meeting is a non-sales activity. They may also assume that your meeting is going to take up more of their time than it should and walk into the meeting with a negative attitude as a result.

effective-sales-meeting

 

Do not let that happen – if you do, it is highly likely that your salespeople will not look forward to attending your meetings in the future, which means that you probably will not get the results you want from those meetings. So, follow the tips outlined in this blog post to ensure you are well-equipped to hold a successful sales meeting for your sales team.

How to Hold a Successful Sales Meeting

1. Provide attendees with an agenda ahead of time and stick to it.

Your salespeople will want to know what to expect in your meeting before they attend, so send a brief email about the meeting that includes an agenda. That way, everyone can plan accordingly and bring everything they need with them.

Be detailed in your agenda, and outline your main talking points. By doing so, you will increase your chances of getting better feedback and engaging your sales team.

2. Sell the value of the meeting.

Since meetings are non-sales activities, your salespeople need to know the value of the meeting to truly appreciate the time they will spend in it.

When you send the meeting agenda out to your team, also send a brief statement that lets your salespeople know what they will get out of attending the meeting. This will help ensure your salespeople come into the meeting with the good attitude necessary to benefit from attending.

3. Set a clear objective and focus on meeting it during the meeting.

You may want to cover tons of topics during one meeting, but if you do that, you will likely end up overwhelming and boring your team.

Instead, pick the most relevant topics and stick to talking about those. You many also want to bring in another party to talk about some of your topics so your sales team can hear the perspective of someone other than their sales manager.

A warning to the wise: do not be too redundant during your sales meetings or your team will disengage. Get to each point quickly and avoid revisiting any topic unless it is truly necessary to do so.

4. Keep the meeting as short as possible and end it on time.

It can be tempting to hold off on starting a meeting until everyone arrives, but you should not do that. Instead, start your meeting at the exact time you outlined in your agenda. Anyone who is late will be able to catch up later.

sales-meeting-time-efficiency

Avoid letting your meeting run past the end time you specified in your agenda. If you do let it run for longer than you planned, your salespeople will become frustrated and develop a negative attitude toward your meetings.

5. Provide refreshments in long meetings.

Sometimes, long meetings are unavoidable. If that is the case with the meeting you are planning, be sure to bring some refreshments, like water and snacks.

If your meeting is going to take place around lunch time, you may want to provide a full meal for your attendees. That way, everyone can focus on the content of the meeting instead of thinking about how hungry or thirsty they are.

6. Allow for discussion and feedback.

Think back to your favorite college class. Chances are, the professor did not simply present every lecture as a monologue – she probably allowed for open discussion to encourage learning and make the experience more interactive and engaging for everyone.

engaging-sales-meeting

You should do the same by allowing your salespeople to brainstorm, provide feedback, discuss their success stories and more. Make sure you plan for this ahead of time when you are creating the schedule for your meeting – otherwise, your meeting may end up taking too long.

7. Use visuals to help get your point across

Depending on the topic of your meeting, you may choose to use videos, e-learning courses, PowerPoint slides or some other method of delivering information. Doing so is a great way to keep your team interested in the content being discussed.

However, you should avoid adding in too many visuals just for the sake of adding visuals. Think about whether your team would benefit from having a visual before you choose to use one and make your decision based on that knowledge.

8. Use the meeting as an opportunity to motivate your team.

Your sales meeting is one of the main times for your salespeople to interact with you and share the way they feel about you and the company as a whole.

That is why it is so important for you to keep a positive attitude during your meetings, show the confidence you have in your team and encourage them to improve. Remember, your goal is for your salespeople to leave the meeting feeling like it was good use of their time and they are much more likely do that if you motivate them to succeed.

9. Give your salespeople actionable items.

If your meeting topic allows for it, you should provide your team with actionable takeaways that they can use to better themselves at work.

For example, if you hold a meeting that discusses a new product your company will start selling soon, you should not only explain the product. Instead, you should use the meeting as an opportunity to tell your salespeople how to identify the prospects for that new product and sell it effectively. You could also make your salespeople aware of training resources and upcoming coaching sessions during the meeting to help them learn even more about the new product they must sell.

Regardless of what you plan to discuss in your next sales meeting, think about what results you want to achieve from the meeting while creating the agenda. Doing so will make it much easier for you to understand which actionable items you should give your salespeople.

10. Follow up with attendees after the meeting.

To make sure your salespeople remember the points discussed in the meeting, send a brief follow-up email outlining what was covered. You may also want to list out any actionable items discussed during the meeting and give each salesperson a list of goals based on the content of the meeting. It is even better if you can create a tailored list of goals for each salesperson.

With all of the knowledge outlined in this post, you can easily hold a successful sales meeting that powers your team forward toward success. While preparing for a sales meeting is a time investment for you as the sale manager, it is well worth the increased morale, productivity and sales you can see as a result.