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Sales Strategy
Mar 20, 2019 | Canadian Professional Sales Association

Sales meetings are important. They have the potential to be an effective tool in engaging, motivating and inspiring your team. However, they equally have the potential for the opposite: to be counterproductive, distracting and a waste of everyone’s time. If you want to run effective sales meetings that supercharge your reps and send them back into the field sporting their game face and high confidence levels, use the CPSA’s Meeting in a Box Templates to create dynamic weekly meetings. Here’s what you need to do to run effective sales meetings.

Set Goals for Your Meeting

So you want your sales meeting to be effective, but what does effective look like? Before you start planning your meeting, you must establish the meeting’s purpose and desired learning outcomes: what do you want your team to walk away knowing? How do you want them to change their behaviour? What does success look like? For example, if your meeting is on prospecting, your planned outcomes might look something like this:

What do I want them to walk away knowing?

  • Why prospecting is important
  • How prospecting has changed
  • Some of the latest tools and trends.

How do I want them to change their behaviour?

  • Dedicate time to effective prospecting
  • Try a new tool

What does success look like?

  • Team shares prospecting tools that work for them
  • Each team member commits to trying a new tool that week

Get Your Team Ready to Learn

Good meetings are succinct and leave a powerful impression. But if you want your team to participate and get something out of a sales meeting, you need to give them the opportunity to prepare. It’s a good idea to send out pre-learning materials a week in advance so that your team can engage with the topic at hand. But don’t turn this into a make-work situation, your reps are busy enough! Set the expectation that they should read the two to three targeted, well-written, quick reads you send out ahead of time so that they have time to prepare their thoughts and are ready to add to the discussion. The more prepared everyone is, the more everyone will get out of the meeting.

Less Talk, More Action

We learn better by doing than by being lectured and for that reason, it’s important to add an interactive element to an effective sales meeting. Active participation in meetings leads to learning being more deeply embedded. Plus, building in time for discussion where team members can share their thoughts and ideas is not only great for engagement, it gets their buy-in to the meeting’s learning outcomes. When people feel listened to and heard, it makes them feel good and thus more amenable and open to the message being conveyed. Get creative about the kinds of discussion/group activities that you will ask your team to complete in sales meetings to keep the energy high and the learning strong.

Reinforce Take-Aways

Since you are designing your meeting to be dynamic and interactive, it will be impossible to know beforehand exactly what thoughts and ideas will arise during the meeting. That being said, you should have a clear idea in your mind what you want the meeting to highlight. Use questioning to guide discussions towards important learning goals and at the end of the meeting, take time to summarize the key learning points that have arisen. A word of caution, while you have your learning outcomes in mind, it’s important to hear everyone’s contributions. Don’t disregard or discard someone’s ideas in this summary just because it wasn’t something you had planned on.  In the event that something comes up you don’t agree with, instead of shooting it down, try and reframe it into a more acceptable.

For example, imagine you are running a meeting on goal setting and a team member says they don’t believe that SMART goals work. Uh oh! (An especially big “uh oh” if that’s the accepted structure for your company). Instead of shooting them down, use questioning to discover why they think that - is there another tool they find more useful? If not, and you feel they are just being a little difficult, use the opportunity to share some of the reasons why many people feel that the tool IS effective and why having a goal setting structure, in general, is important.

Establish Next Steps

As discussed above, an effective sales meeting will result in reps changing their behaviour and using their new learning. To make sure this happens you need to clearly outline what you expect them to do in follow-up to the meeting. AND make them accountable for doing so. Perhaps next steps are to trying a new strategy over the month ahead or simply accessing the CPSA learning hub to learn more about the topic. Whatever you asking them to do, tracking this follow-up is important otherwise in many cases it simply will not materialize.

Equipped with pre-learning resources and exercises, the CPSA’s 15 minute weekly Meetings in a Box series will educate and motivate your team. Access the CPSA’s Meeting in a Box templates and resources here.

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