When employees are tuning out your weekly sales meetings, it can be hard to switch up the program to get the conversations flowing and your salespeople focused.
It’s Monday morning. Somewhere behind the venti cups of Starbucks and dim glow of a half dozen BlackBerry and iPhone screens exists a sales staff. You know, the people yawning, rolling their eyes, and checking their e-mail every five minutes. That sales staff! Each hazy pair of eyes is proof that your loosely thrown together agenda is electrifying the crowd!
Then, just as you’re really on a roll, up goes a hand in the air and one of your salespeople asks, “I need to call a customer back, how much longer is this meeting?” Ugh, a manager’s worst nightmare – validation that your weekly sales meetings have become time wasters.
As a sales professional, my goal is to stay busy. Once I start gaining momentum with prospecting activities and working deals, I feel as if there is little room for much else. This is a good thing, right? Well, yes and no. As a sales manager it’s also my job to arm everyone with the tools they need to be successful, an aim that can sometimes interrupt the very momentum we’re all trying to build.
I’ll admit, I too have stood in front of my team consumed only with visions of closed deals dancing in my head. Unfortunately, this thought process led to unfocused discussions and encouraged my team to let their minds “drift” in other directions as I jumped from point to point. Now don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I’m saying all weekly sales meetings have no value. I’m just saying that many sales managers, including myself, have sometimes lost touch with the reason why teams need these meetings to succeed.
When I realized just how much I had lost touch, I knew that I had to go back to some of the basics. I had to remind myself of all the great weekly sales meetings I have been a part of before I could find my way to an actually productive weekly sales meeting myself.
Shake Up Your Weekly Sales Meetings:
Phasers on stun! I have seen and done this numerous times in the past. This is where you restrict cell phone usage at the meeting not just by asking, but by actually placing a bucket where your team can deposit their phones for the entire meeting. Extreme? Not in the least. You are setting the tone and requesting the focus of your team.
Where are we now? This is where you have to be very specific on what you are looking for. “In order to hit our goal of X units, we need to have Y amount of prospects this week based on our closing ratio of Z%. Tell me, what will prevent us from hitting this number?” If your team is already exceeding the goal, show them what a wildly successful month would look like. Focusing on the specifics numbers you need to achieve can be the “meat” of your meeting.
Sharing is caring. Task members of your sales team to look for and capture their biggest obstacle with a current prospect in the week before the meeting. Then, during the meeting, share these obstacles and have each salesperson offer suggestions on how to overcome it. At the next meeting, follow up and discuss the outcome.
These are just three simple ways to move away from the totally ineffective meetings many of us experience weekly, but there are infinite other ways as well. Tell me about the most ineffective sales meeting you have been a part of and what you would have done differently?