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Topics Covered: <a href='/resources/search/?query=Sales Management'>Sales Management</a>
Sales Strategy
Feb 22, 2018 | Canadian Professional Sales Association lock

Be honest; how successful are your sales team meetings? Do they add value and increase your team’s effectiveness or do the vast majority of participants see them as a waste of time? According to WorkFront research from 2015, more than 50% of those surveyed found that rather than helping, meetings were wasteful and got in the way of their actual work. When your work is sales, that’s a high number of reps feeling that meetings are keeping them from valuable time in the field actually selling.

So how do you lead a successful sales team meeting that your reps actually want to attend rather than tolerating as a necessary (or unnecessary, as the case may be) evil?

Here are our steps to leading successful sales team meetings.

Step One: Have a Consistent and Timed Agenda

If you want to eliminate waffle and keep your sales meetings moving at a healthy and energizing pace, you need to have a clear and consistent agenda each week. That’s not to say you can’t mix things up (more on that later) but there should be a number of basic items that your reps know they will be required to report on and a set amount of time to do so. For example, reps should be prepared to report on their sales numbers, a breakdown of their activities and what’s in their pipeline. Make sure each rep sticks to their allotted time so that no individual takes over the meeting and saps out the energy.

The purpose of reporting is not only accountability and building a culture of healthy competition but also to share learnings amongst the group. So use your place as leader to facilitate this learning: ask questions to elicit what has led to success or what can be taken away from failures so the whole team can learn. Be strict with your own timing and don’t let the meeting get side tracked. Be ready to “park” useful insights or questions so they can be discussed offline in more detail or at a different sales team meeting in the future.

Step Two: Interactive Learning Activities

A big reason we have sales team meetings is that they offer an opportunity to further the growth and learning of your team and improve results. But it’s hard for your team to learn if they are just subjected to a boring lecture. Rather than you droning on about best practices or a new strategy, you need to get your team involved by incorporating an activity that will help them learn and grow. When you are planning the meeting, ask yourself: what is the one learning that I want my team to walk away with that will help them make more sales this week? Then find a capability activity that will help them get there - it could focus on prospecting, networking or presenting for example. Whatever the focus is, make sure the reps are actively participating and mix things up with different types of activity such as role play or team trivia.

Step Three: Use Rewards

Your team meetings should be motivational, inspiring and positive. Sales can be high stakes and high stress so use meetings as an opportunity to track success and give rewards where appropriate. If you make use of gamification or leader boards, these can be reviewed/highlighted in meetings. But whatever rewards you use, don’t forget the power of simple praise for a job well done. Take the time to thank team members who have gone above and beyond each week; this will not only encourage the reps in question, it will serve as inspiration to the whole team.

If you use the steps above, you should quickly see an increase in the efficacy of your sales team meetings. If you are looking for more support in becoming an effective sales manager, consider the CPSA’s training program in Professional Sales Management.

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