Published December 17, 2012
Sales teams are meeting-phobic, but with Q4 closing, you need to know what's happening in their world. What's your best tip for running a productive sales meeting?
The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only nonprofit organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, the YEC recently launched #StartupLab, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses via live video chats, an expert content library and email lessons. Email your questions about best practices for starting up and/or managing a small business to firstname.lastname@example.org.
No. 1: Keep the Excitement Up
From Robert Sofia of Platinum Advisor Marketing Strategies, LLC
Sales meetings are all about creating excitement. Never let them become gripe sessions or chances to drone on about boring procedures. Play pump-up music before you start. Give away prizes. Talk about big plans. Get everyone revved up, then break! Keep the meeting short, sweet, and 100% positive!
No. 2: Get an Outside Perspective
From Jordan Guernsey of Molding Box
We utilize sales coaching and business therapists to bring outside opinions or approaches to our sales. The team can get exhausted with the same old "song and dance" from the sales manager; an outside presence tends to spur new life. They can vent frustration, bounce ideas, and ask for help, getting a different response than they’re used to.
No. 3: Keep It Short and Sweet
From John Hall of Digital Talent Agents
Keep it short and sweet. Come with an agenda and stick to it. If you open the door for additional ideas, you end up not being effective at what you meant to accomplish.
No. 4: Flip the Format
From Aron Schoenfeld of Do It In Person LLC
Let the sales team run the meeting and present to you. Give them the data that they need such as past performance and let them create the charts and presentations. They will then see where they are and be forced to come up with their own plans and give you all the reasons for the decline or increase. Use that as an opportunity to thank them, show them you trust them and then fire them up.
No. 5: Analyze Up-to-Date Reports
From DC Fawcett of Paramount Digital Publishing
My best tip for running a productive sales meeting is to ensure the reports are accurate and up-to-date before the meeting is scheduled. These reports should be available to analyze during the meeting, which will lead the meeting in the correct fashion.
No. 6: Have Weekly One-on-Ones
From Aaron Schwartz of Modify Watches
Group meetings are important so that everyone can share lessons learned, and strategize to offer better value to customers. But weekly -- or even daily --one-on-one meetings are critical to making sure that you catch any issues. Not only will your sales team feel encouraged because the manager is interested in their work, but you will be able to make quick changes to optimize for Q4 opportunities.
No. 7: Come Prepared
From Abby Ross of Blueye Creative
There is a major difference between running a “meeting” and a “status check-in.” In meetings, we set an agenda, have people prepared ahead of time, and discuss more strategic planning, leaving with action items. “Check-ins” are limited in time and more tactical; we discuss current deals, roadblocks, and reconnect on projections.
No. 8: Stand Up -- Literally
From Lisa Nicole Bell of Inspired Life Media Group
Instead of sitting around a conference room table and trudging through an agenda, have everyone stand. Not only does standing retain attention, it also encourages everyone to get to the point and end the meeting quickly.
No. 9: Establish Preset Goals & Metrics
From Robert J. Moore of RJMetrics
I believe in shorter meetings that focus on pre-established metrics and goals that are clearly tied to the compensation of the sales team. That way, each member of the team has a vested interest in the outcome, and can know what to expect and how to best prepare.
No. 10: Interact!
From Andrew Schrage of Money Crashers Personal Finance
The best way to run an effective sales meeting is to make it interactive. Employees attending a meeting where top-down information is disbursed with no dialogue will lose interest fast. Plus, your team members may have creative and innovative suggestions to improve sales. Make sure you give them a meeting agenda beforehand so they know what kinds of feedback you’re looking for.