How many times have you been in a sales meeting and your mind wanders or worse, you can see the minds of others wandering. You catch up on a few emails; someone sits glued to their phone, everyone else scratches their heads avoiding eye contact with the sales manager. Relatable? You’re not alone.
Despite our universal dislike of business meetings, a sales meeting is critical to the success of a business. The trick is making sure it’s productive. In this short article, we’re going to cover the key topics that should be included in every sales meeting. We’ve also created a free downloadable Sales Meeting Template which you can use to make your meeting a beneficial as possible. Click here or the image below to download.
Things to do before your meeting:
What’s it all about?
Just because someone put a recurring meeting in your company calendar does not mean there needs to be a meeting every Monday at 9 am. Meetings should only take place when there is a purpose, for example:
How are you going to deal with a competitor’s grab at your customer base?
How is the company’s latest product releases going to impact sales?
Are there going to be changes made to your sales training program?
You get the idea. The key takeaway is ensuring that your meeting has purpose and you’re not having a meeting just for the sake of it.
One of the primary reasons people procrastinate during any meeting is due to the lack of purpose or focus. There is nothing more frustrating than being pulled away from your desk to sit in a meeting that has little to no direction. Solution? The agenda.
Write your agenda well in advance of your meeting and circulate that agenda to attendees so they know what to expect and prepare for any questions that may arise.
Keep your agenda concise, but avoid making it just surface level with the obvious:
You need to make sure you get the specifics:
- Topics (such as upcoming events, blockers, product launches)
- Decisions to be made
Does Bob the cleaner really need to sit in on your sales meeting? Dramatic example, but if it’s not relevant to that person or they will not contribute to the meeting, then do not invite them. People, out of social anxiety, often say yes to things when what they mean is ‘no.’
So next time, instead of walking through your office asking if everyone wants to come to your meeting, think about what a person has to offer. Will they be making their highest form of contribution to your company by attending your meeting? If not, then save this precious resource for another time.
Things to consider during the meeting:
Negativity does nobody any good. Why not start your meeting by covering the successes of the previous week or period. Encourage everyone to participate and share their successes – from observer to contributor.
Funnel Status and Update
Moving to the present period work from the top to bottom of your sales funnel. Have each salesperson talk through key deals on their funnel. Get an update on their progress. Identify any blockages. Assess the health of the funnel more generally; is there a steady flow of leads streaming in at the top and trickling down to the bottom?
Sales Forecast + Momentum
Accurate forecasting is critical to growing a business and predicting growth. Have each salesperson create and publish their own forecasts to reflect their confidence on closing deals. Pro tip – with forecasts in SalesSeek you can produce multiple forecasts based on different levels of optimism.
Equally important is sales momentum. Without forward momentum, sales stagnate and fall between the gaps. Pro tip – in SalesSeek you can quickly flip between your funnel view and your sales momentum view which we call Sink or Swim. Are deals sinking down to the sediment or swimming through the sales process towards a won deal?
When someone has done something great, let them know. To borrow from Dale Carnegie, ‘be hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise.’ Dale Carnegie’s lifelong study of people and what makes them tick, made popular by his book ‘How to win friends and influence people,’ illustrates how honest and frequent praise makes employees happier and more motivated. When people feel valued, and their efforts are recognized it is a basic instinct to want or even crave more of the same – in essence, praise = positive productivity.
Follow up actions, Questions, and Blockers
Now you have discussed the key topics; it’s critical to identify and record follow up actions and assign those responsibilities to the relevant person. Answer any question which may have come up but not already been answered. Discuss blockers and devise solutions to clearing those.
Whether you choose to use a spreadsheet, an elaborate post-it note system or a CRM solution, tracking progress is vital. Having had a successful meeting where your team’s objectives and actions have been defined it’s your job to ensure that the course they run is smooth. A CRM, such as SalesSeek, offers a bird’s eye view of the battleground, giving sales managers the signals they need to spot and avoid bumps in the road. Follow up with your team, and see their progress as deals move through the funnel.
SalesSeek provides significant visibility beyond traditional sales CRM, which predominantly focus on just sales teams. With SalesSeek you get the context of every interaction, be it a sales email proposal, a marketing newsletter open and click, a support inquiry via Intercom or Zendesk or a billing issue via Sage or Xero. There’s always clarity.
If you’re interested in trying SalesSeek for your team, click here for a free 14-day trial.