Just because you call it a sales meeting, doesn’t mean it is.
Most sales managers don’t actually hold sales meetings… but they think they do. Sure, they assemble the sales team together regularly. Yes, they lead the meeting with quota updates and sales reports.
Yet, to observe this Monday morning ritual is to witness a group responsible for paying the bills, which would rather sit in a dentists chair or, ideally, be out in the field selling. So, what is the purpose of a sales meeting really?
Sales meetings are about equipping salespeople to grow their personal income. The primary focus of a sales meeting is your salespeople – not your company, not your products, not the sales manager, and (surprise) not the customer!
Corporate executives and sales leaders all over the world just don’t get this. Sales managers cover a variety of non-sales topics and then call it a “sales meeting” because (A) salespeople are in attendance and (B) they reviewed some sales numbers. I’ve actually noted five universal topics that dominate the weekly gathering of “rock stars” again and again that should be eliminated.
Here are five (5) things to remove from your sales meetings right now:
1. Policy & Procedures—Don’t waste time reviewing company policies. Save that for a different meeting or send them an email. Too often, sales meetings are the “catch-all” for the information flow from senior management. This is neither the time nor the place. Keep policy and procedure issues out of your sales meetings. If you don’t, your salespeople will check out.
2. Prodding – If you’re having to prod your sales reps into action, either you’re boring or you need new sales reps. Eliminate prodding and focus on issues that are relevant to your salespeople – how to make more sales, ask better questions, upsell, acquire more leads, improve presentation skills, close more deals, leverage more referrals, answer objections better, etc. Sales meetings should be about the salespeople and nothing else.
3. Paperwork—Salespeople are notorious for filling out time sheets and expense reports incorrectly – if at all. Resolve this with your offenders privately. However, if they are top performers get them an admin assistant. You want your superstars selling – not spending endless hours engaged in data entry.
4. Products—Product training deserves its own session. On the other hand, how to sell the product makes for a great sales meeting. Work together to create a list identifying your products features and benefits. Develop good questions to ask prospects, how to overcome objections or list ways to differentiate yourself from your competition.
5. Pestering—Why aren’t you making quota? Why is our forecast off? Sales managers shouldn’t ask these questions in a sales meeting. They should offer solutions to these issues by role-playing, coaching and equipping their sales reps to improve performance. Don’t pester your sales reps – train, coach and lead them to higher levels of performance.
There’s nothing wrong discussing these five topics with your sales team. Again, the sales meeting is just not the place for them. You can adequately cover most of these subjects in an email. If not, hold another meeting and keep it short.
Sales meetings = Sales development. That’s it.
As for sales meeting topics: Practice sales skills. Teach new sales techniques. Facilitate discussion about lessons learned in the field. Develop strategies for overcoming stalls and objections. Role-play how to upsell to existing customers. Practice referral selling.
Focus your sales meetings on helping your sales reps earn more money and watch your sales soar.