I know people don’t like to admit they are in sales, but the truth is we all are somehow. If we aren’t selling the benefits of a product and service to our clients and explaining how it meets their needs, we are selling ourselves as the expert they can trust.
Most people resist the label of course because sales can get a bad wrap. It also comes with a lot of pressure so finding and maintaining motivation can be a challenge.
As a business coach who specialises in designing and rolling out sales and service frameworks, I get to witness and coach some of the best sales teams. I also get to sit in on their sales meetings and see firsthand what makes a successful sales meeting – and what doesn’t.
So what types of meetings do high performing teams have?
First, they kick off every Monday with a weekly sales meeting. Now the main objective of this is to motivate your staff, managers and leaders. In this meeting, you set the tone for the week – from top to bottom – and get them fired up to hit their goals. These meetings help to build team trust and ensure everyone knows the priorities.
Next, they do a follow-up meeting on a Wednesday or Thursday at the latest. This quick check-in reminds people of what they committed to at the beginning of the week and helps them to get back on track. Hence, you don’t want to leave it to close of business on Friday! Wednesday is ideal as it allows enough time to work smarter or differently. Then, on Friday they do another check in and debrief – what worked, what didn’t and what needs to happen differently to achieve the goal for next week.
But let’s get a little deeper and look at what should be covered in each meeting. While there’s no escaping the competitive, numbers-based environment of sales, here are five tips for running a successful sales meeting that will leave you and your team inspired and motivated to achieve your goals.
1. Start with successes and learn from challenges
All sales meetings should start with a positive so celebrate your successes and wins. Then, look at what can be learned through the challenges and pushbacks. This allows your team to share what works for them as well as brainstorm and problem solve objections to be more confident in their sales approach.
2. Discuss upcoming pipeline opportunities
Next, focus on what is in each team member’s pipeline and how are they going to pursue and proceed with opportunities. Try not to get too bogged down in the details here, the focus of this agenda item is for the group to ask questions and brainstorm how these opportunities can be moved forward. Once this section is complete, do a recap of what was said and focus on what’s most important – what will make the difference to hitting the numbers each week, month or quarter.
3. Cover a training topic
This is often missed in meetings, but it is so important. As a leader, you should know where your team’s gaps are and keep a running list of them to identify training opportunities. Set aside a portion of your meeting to address a training topic that helps to fill one of these gaps. It might be a skills practice on overcoming objections, a role-play on how to show the benefits of your solution or an example of how to handle a specific situation with a client. Remember training is ongoing.
4. Address additional agenda items
Sometimes leaders will send out an email to staff asking for agenda items, most of the time you might get one or two, and that’s it – so this is an excellent opportunity to ask if anything has come up that people want to have a quick chance to discuss. You want to manage this section of the meeting carefully – we all know the talkers in the team!
5. End with a motivational topic
End the meeting on a motivational note. It could be recognition for a job well done, a key milestone reached, or a customer testimonial. Always remember that a meeting should be about your team, about engaging them and motivating them to be the best they can be – it’s not an opportunity for you to talk or lecture for the entire meeting. This is boring and can be quickly done in an email.
Need help getting results for your team in either sales or service? Call me today on 0409 129 723.