How often as a sales director, do you get that dreaded feeling from your reps, as well as yourself, about the weekly sales meeting? Does it last longer than it should? Did you feel like something was accomplished, or did you just go through the motions? Why is that feeling so common?
Let’s first define what a sales meeting is for by defining what it is not for.
1. It is not for having each sales representative discuss what is happening with him/her. This is a huge waste of everyone’s time.
2. It is not for that representative who loves to hear himself/herself talk.
3. It is not for the sales manager to lecture.
4. It is not for calling someone out in public about his/her performance.
It seems the sales meeting has never really been truly defined, so let’s define what it is supposed to be and what will make it most productive.
1. Have an agenda with subjects to cover and what time they are meant to be covered. Keep to your agenda to avoid distractions.
2. Keep it motivating. Use the sales meeting to share success stories. If a sales person didn’t have a “great” week, discuss the positives that came out of that. There is always something that they can learn and share that will make them feel better and stay motivated.
3. Make it a teaching opportunity. Training should always be a part of your sales meeting. Bring in something helpful to them – it could be an article, a new product or service, or a great story.
4. Schedule one of your representatives to present something. Plan ahead with them to do this when you want to instruct on selling a difficult product or service or a new way of looking at something. Give the presenter a timeframe in the meeting. If the presentation involves a new products or service, it can force them to really learn it and become the knowledge leader.
Now for the individual coaching and pipeline review: We often think this should be done in a group meeting, but it shouldn’t be. It should happen in short one-on-one meetings every week with each rep.
This can work if you set a very strict set of goals for this meeting. If you feel weekly is too often, that is because you are so caught up now in micro meetings with your representatives, quick calls, emails and texts that, all together, probably take more time than weekly individual meetings. Plus, if sales representatives are struggling, they may be hiding. Don’t you want to nip that in the bud?
So how is this accomplished? You preset these meetings with the reps for 20 minutes each – and no more! If you do this right, you can get through it quickly and productively. Coaching is your first priority, so do this well – you won’t get the calls, emails and texts all day long.
The agenda comprises five things:
1. What/who are you working on right now?
2. What part of the sales process are you in with each of them?
3. Where are you toward your goals and what are your plans to make sure you reach them?
4. What do you need from me to help you accomplish this?
5. What are our action steps from this meeting and what are their time frames? ?
Greta Schulz is President of SchulzBusiness, a sales consulting and training firm. She is a best selling author of “To Sell IS Not To Sell” and works with Fortune 1000 companies and entrepreneurs. For more information or free sales tips go to www.schulzbusiness.com and sign up for “GretaNomics”, a weekly video tip series or email sales questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.