Don’t get held back by failing sales team meetings, fix them!
We’ve interviewed hundreds of sales managers over the years, and some of their biggest complaints are that team meetings are frustrating, monotonous, and unproductive.
What’s going wrong? Should sales teams just stop meeting altogether?
Instead of avoiding sales team meetings, use these five strategies to transform them!
Fix Your Failing Sales Team Meetings:
1. Monotonous meetings are always led by the same person; interesting meetings allow others to lead.
Simply setting up a rotating schedule for facilitation has two immediate results – each meeting will have a different atmosphere set by the facilitator and team members will all gain experience and become better at facilitating meetings.
2. Frustrating meetings provide no avenue for interaction; empowering meetings are highly interactive.
A ninety minute monologue on what’s going on in sales will almost always lose interest. Group discussions and brainstorming sessions are key to a successful sales meeting. This might be the only time in a week the whole sales team is together – take advantage of the combined knowledge of all participants!
3. Boring meetings cover information that is irrelevant to most participants; fascinating meetings are focused.
Are you marching down a list of all open opportunities and asking each sales rep to provide an update? If you have less than 10 opportunities, that might be okay. More than that, and every other rep will be looking at the clock or out the window. One-on-one meetings are the best times to review most opportunities. In team meetings, discuss key opportunities and ones in which you want the team’s input.
4. Demoralizing meetings look back; motivating meetings are forward-looking.
While it’s important to cover sales results in team meetings, that shouldn’t be the key purpose of the meeting. Instead, quickly review the numbers, then discuss what you can learn from them – if you exceeded your goals, it will probably be more of the same activity, while if you fell short you can decide what to do differently. This is also a great time to set a key goal for the team in the coming week.
5. Unproductive meetings cover only numbers and news; informative meetings include skills improvement.
Sales and product training shouldn’t only happen at the annual retreat. Take 10 – 15 minutes in your meeting to improve skills. You can have everyone read an article or watch a video before the meeting, then discuss what they learned. Alternately, you could ask the team to share lessons they learned in the past week or even bring in an outside speaker.
Have any other ideas on how to target and fix failing sales team meetings? What are your best practices for sales meetings? What’s the worst thing you’ve seen in one? I’d love to read your feedback in the comments!