If you’ve ever run a sales meeting, you probably know that most salespeople aren’t thrilled to attend. Good sales reps prefer to spend their time selling, not sitting in a conference room. After all, they can’t make quota daydreaming their way through a boring meeting.
Attending lots of meetings is a fact of corporate life, and the trend in our collaborative culture is to have more meetings. According to the Harvard Business Review, business meetings have increased in length and frequency over the past 50 years. The average executive sits in 23 hours of meetings per week compared to 10 hours per week in the 1960s.
Holding regular sales meetings is essential to managing your team successfully, but your meetings don’t have to be dull. When thinking about your upcoming sales meeting, consider the following six critical elements for success.
#1 Define your Objective
A poorly defined objective is the root cause of many boring meetings. Your meeting objective should be explicitly defined as: “what do you want your sales team to do differently as a result of the meeting.”
#2 Grab their Attention
You should start your meeting with an attention-getting lead-in: a challenge, a story, a provocative question. Keep it short and straightforward. Your lead-in is also an opportunity to provide an overview or agenda for the meeting.
#3 Be Organized
Next, you need to organize the content of your meeting in a logical sequence. What are the steps or topics you must include to accomplish your objective? Cut out any filler.
#4 Mix it Up
A sure-fire way to bore your team is to do all the talking. Mix it up by assigning portions of the presentations to members of your team. A change of pace in presenter and methods will help keep your team focused and engaged.
#5 Keep it Short
Sales reps have short attention spans, so keep your meeting short. Avoid “death by PowerPoint” by limiting the number of slides in your presentation. If your meeting objective requires a longer meeting, break up your overall time into shorter segments such as 15 minutes. This will help you keep your team focused.
#6 Engage your Team
The key to a successful sales meeting is audience participation. That means using some form of group activity to enhance your team’s understanding, learning, and reinforcement of your meeting objective. Creating opportunities for group engagement can take many forms. Use devices such as role plays, exercises or games, Q&A sessions, brainstorming challenging topics, or competitions.
A dynamic sales meeting should be participative, not a lecture. We’ve provided a framework or tool to help you develop a one-hour participative meeting, not a lecture. With proper planning, your sales meetings can engage and motivate your team.
About David Jacoby