Let’s face it: virtually no one looks forward to company meetings.
This is especially true for your salespeople – meetings take away valuable time that they could be selling and most attendees leave those meetings without the feeling that they learned something new or that it was a productive use of their time.
Even if you have been a sales manager for a while and perhaps even consider yourself an expert at holding productive sales meetings, chances are there is still a lot of room for improvement.
So how can you improve your sales meetings to make them even more effective?
Keep reading to discover 11 remarkably simple meeting tips to help you plan and execute your most successful sales meeting yet, and who knows – you may even notice an instant boost in productivity from your sales team as a result of your improvements!
11 Tips to Help You Run a Successful Sales Meeting
1. Ask yourself if there is truly a need for a meeting.
All too often, sales managers schedule their team’s day full of meetings, many of which are unnecessary. If you are guilty of this, it is a major problem because it takes away a large chunk of time that your salespeople could spend selling to customers and generating revenue for your business.
So before you start planning your meeting, ask yourself whether or not it is necessary. If it could be handled just as well via email or another less time-consuming method, consider that method instead.
2. Prepare yourself.
If you have determined that there is a need for a meeting, start planning the subject matter you will need to cover during that meeting.
Create an agenda and outline to help ensure that you stay on task during the meeting, and print out any necessary documents or handouts ahead of time. When you come to a meeting well-prepared, your salespeople will know that you mean business and that the meeting is important.
3. Prepare your team.
After you have prepared yourself for the meeting, you should prepare your team. Start by emailing each of them an agenda so they know exactly what to expect. You should also let them know when the meeting starts and ends – that way, they can plan their day appropriately.
Be sure to let your team know if they need to bring anything with them to the meeting – that way, you do not have to stop in the middle of your meeting to ask them to get something from their workstation.
4. Start on the right foot.
If you fail to start your meetings on time, you will send a message to your team that punctuality is not important. So if you want your team to be on time and make your meetings a priority, you should do the same. Schedule a set time for your meeting, and stick to it.
Also, try to open your sales meeting with something energizing to help engage your team from the start, like a quick motivational speech or trivia game. Just make sure you avoid letting the energizing event take up too much time – you want your salespeople to get back to work as soon as they can so they can continue generating revenue for your business.
5. Keep it concise.
Your salespeople may end up zoning out if you are too long-winded. That is why you must stick to your agenda and keep the meeting as short as possible.
You should also avoid letting your salespeople take over the meeting. While it is good to encourage feedback and sharing, you must set time limits for anyone who wishes to give a personal update or share a story. Otherwise, you may find your meeting running over the allotted time, which will frustrate your team by hindering them from spending their time selling.
6. Focus on one issue at a time.
You should not overwhelm your salespeople by delivering too much information at once. Instead, focus your meeting on just one of the many great sales meeting topics available, and make an effort to keep the meeting about that topic the entire time.
For example, you may not want to hold a lengthy meeting about every step in the sales process. Instead, you could focus the meeting on one step in the sales process, like building rapport or closing a sale.
7. Encourage positivity.
While discussing individual problems with selling is important, a team meeting is usually not the best place to do so. For one thing, it can take up too much time. On top of that, it can shift the tone of your meeting from positive to negative.
So make sure that you avoid letting your team bring up individual problems unless they are also presenting solutions to those problems or telling a brief story of how they overcame their problems to sell more.
That being said, you certainly should not ignore your team’s problems altogether. Schedule a one-on-one meeting with any salesperson who is facing something challenging so you can help them overcome it and improve their sales results.
Also, be sure you encourage your team and focus some part of your meeting on showing them how they can improve their process and make more money. If you can do that, they will be excited to come to your meetings and make an effort to show up on time every time.
8. Encourage discussion.
After you finish covering the information in your meeting, it is likely that your salespeople will want to discuss it. Allow them to do so, and be open to listening to their thoughts.
However, make sure you set a time limit on the discussion so you avoid wasting your time and theirs by allowing the meeting to run longer than necessary.
9. Recap and let your team know what to do next.
After your team leaves the meeting, send a brief email to them that goes over what was discussed and agreed upon during the meeting. If there are any next steps your team needs to take, remind them.
For example, if your meeting was focused on helping your team get better at closing and you assigned a specific task to them related to closing, you would send an email that covers the main points of the meeting and reminds them of what they must do next.
That way, you set your team up for success and make it easier for them to meet your expectations.
10. Add variety to your meetings.
If your meetings are always presented the same way, you may find your team disengaged. That is why you must vary the format or delivery of the information in your meetings.
For example, if you often deliver the meeting information yourself along with a slideshow presentation, consider having someone else run the meeting for you a different way.
11. Always strive to improve your meetings.
No sales manager is perfect, so you may find yourself acting in a way contradictory to the tips in this post on occasion. What is most important is that you recognize when you are running a meeting ineffectively and work to improve your process every time.
Also, you may want to touch base with your team for honest feedback on your current sales meetings. You may find that they prefer a different delivery format, a different time of day for the meeting, or something else.
Then, you can consider making those changes to ensure your team always comes to your meetings with a positive attitude.