I hear from a lot of area sales managers that they're struggling to make their sales meetings great, especially in the virtual world. Some are not even holding them. Others do, but feel they're a waste of time.
Nobody has time to waste!
So I've done some research with professional trainers, webinar leaders, and sales directors, and here are some of the best practices I've gathered to help you turn your sales meetings into a meaningful hour where you and your sales team leave inspired.
Aside from the basics, like limit or even eliminate the administrative minutia and make sure everyone has their tech working...
Here's how to make your sales meetings Awesome!
A- Agenda: Prepare an agenda with purposeful topics to be discussed, and send it out the day before so attendees come prepared to participate and offer their ideas on the key topics. Keep it short, 45 minutes- 1 hour, no more! Start on time and end on time. Enlist the help of someone to be the time keeper, and follow the agenda!
W- Worthwhile: Cover topics that are worthwhile and meaningful to the team. Make them current and educational. Find out what challenges they're having, and discuss solutions then and there, as a group. Solve real problems. What educational topics would be helpful? Cover them. Keep it to 1 key topic per meeting. You want them to leave feeling like they learned something, they received necessary direction, they got some result from attending the meeting.
E - Engaging: Build engagement throughout the meeting. Ask questions and interact during the meeting. When you send the agenda and key topics in advance, attendees have time to prepare so each can contribute. If someone is quiet, call on them, bring them into the conversation.
S - Show your face and space, and have everyone do the same. Personalize the meetings so even though people are not in the same room, they feel like they are talking to you, and not a photo of you. People need connection, showing your face is critical to building engagement.
O -Open strong: Open with something positive. Share a fun personal story. Have a sales person share a success story. Or a blooper! Laugh. Smile. This gets everyone engaged and gets them into a positive frame of mind. It's also a pattern interrupt, and gets their attention away from what they were doing and into the meeting.
M - Mix it up! During the meeting, use several resources so it's not all just you talking and them listening. Maybe show a short video. Or, if you're conducting training, do role plays. Use chat rooms to foster small group discussions or role plays. Use interesting and purposeful slides. Bring in a guest speaker. When you mix it up, not just during the meeting but also from meeting to meeting, you increase engagement.
E - Be encouraging. End every meeting on a positive note. Find something good they've been doing, and tell them how much you appreciate it. Or share a "motivational minute." Maybe it's an encouraging word. Maybe it's you telling them you believe in them and their ability to accomplish xyz. Maybe it's a congratulations, you're awesome! Whatever it is, make it genuine. And leave them inspired.
Holding productive meetings sets the tone for your team for the week. While some of this takes time to prepare, the time is well worth it. And other items are simply a matter of HOW you conduct the meetings.
For more proven strategies on how to plan your sales meetings more easily AND make them more impactful, consider signing up for my signature Leadership Development Program, 9 Steps to Leading a Rock Star Sales Team, where we share the essentials for new home sales leadership, including a survival guide for sales meetings. If you or someone you know would like to learn more, visit my website at: http://www.kathytuckercoaching.com
PS. If you know a sales leader who would benefit from this, please share.
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Kathy Tucker Coaching & Consulting is a boutique sales and leadership training company specializing in helping builders and real estate companies develop top producing sales teams and brilliant sales leaders who foster a healthy, high-performance sales culture.
Virtual Sales Training Workshops, 1:1 Coaching for Sales Professionals and Sales Leaders, and her Signature Leadership Development Program: 9 Steps to Leading a Rock Star Sales Team.