I have sat in many sales meetings and bore myself to death. Yes, sales meeting is a mean to regroup and keep abreast of the latest numbers and possible closing for the near future. Honestly, numbers and charts could also be sent via email.
Before you argue that the team may not read it, let me ask how are you so sure that the team is focused in that meeting and not spacing out in an alternate universe.
Sales meeting is essential. It has to be done right to even remotely have an impact on numbers. Just like any other meetings, it is not a one way street. Sales managers do not just speak of done deals and projection with hopes that the team will digest everything said and in the blink of an eye, they will be motivated. The team has to be engaged.
Effective sales meeting should have an agenda. Through experience, I have consolidated some key notes:
1. Projection – This is probably the easiest bit. Every sales manager would have projected some kind of number to the bigger boys up there. Be transparent and share it with the team what has been projected for the month, quarter or even year. After all, they will be the people who will help you get there.
2. Current standing – Be prepared and have an accurate tabulation of all deals done to date and how far behind from target. Not a difficult thing to do.
However, the delivery has to be impeccable. The tonality could have a variation of impact. Be very careful not to put a specific individual on a pedestal or bruising anyone’s morale. Ensure you stay on a neutral course and address the team collectively. The last thing you need is, a team member leaving the meeting feeling crappy which could affect his work.
3. Pipeline – Have the team send you a forecast of potential closing before the meeting. An honest piece, of course. You do a tabulation of all the forecast for discussion and maybe you can get your hopes up a little, that it’s not that bad. Truth is, sharing this is not the end of discussion.
This is the part where sales managers fail miserably. The facts and figures are there. Ask the right questions to provide the assist they need. A few brain is better than one. Have an open dialogue and brainstorm. You will soon realise some will be an easy closing and some would definitely need help. The million dollar question is “What can we do to ensure we close this prospect?”
4. Lost deals – Sales managers barely even touch on this. What a shame. The way to improve, is to learn from your lost deals. It’s a free lesson staring at you and you are not arsed to even give it some time. The “let’s move on, we have an OK pipeline and still selling” mentality is not helping you grow.
This is where you get real time feedback from people on the ground who are dealing with clients daily. They are your clients’ voice. This is your chance to take every feedback and analyse to eventually roll out a new game plan. You are after all, the alpha of the pack. Remember, doing the same thing over and over again, will not get you a different result.