Sales meetings are like hamburgers. There are many flavors and combinations available, and although we have a good idea of how they look, it’s likely that our favorite isn’t quite as delicious.
I should. As a speaker, trainer, consultant, and sales trainer for over 20 years, I have sat in rooms with managers and salespeople from all over North America and the world. As you can see, I have seen it all, from the very good to the really, truly awful.
What makes a great sales meeting? Although I don’t have a single answer, I think it would be the sales meeting that educates, motivates, and spreads ideas that will help field producers. Anything more than that is a bonus.
This is where sales managers can get into trouble. They try to make meetings something they aren’t and end up wasting a lot of time. Here are four signs your sales meetings may not be working. I also have some suggestions for how to fix them. This is a result of my experience working in many industries and companies. If you find something similar to your department, it’s likely that you are making the same mistakes as thousands of others.
1. It is not unusual to talk about the same topics every week.
It is possible that you are stuck in a rut or bored and disengaged if you keep on talking about the same issues over and over again.
You can shake things up by inviting an outside speaker or a video clip with inspirational messages. These things might just be able to change the way you sell. They won’t transform your sales department, but they may just give you some breathing space. That’s the first step towards improving your bottom line.
2. People will make excuses for leaving early.
If your sales team isn’t interested in staying, it could be a sign you’re taking on too much. This is a sign that there is not enough learning.
Covering company news, changes to product offerings, sales meetings, and other matters is something you will always have to do. Don’t let them become a glorified version of your high school morning announcements. You can share your knowledge, tips, and stories with the field. No one is ever bored when they are learning new ways to make more money.
3. Your top performers don’t attend:
Now you have an entire room for salespeople but no top-producing ones. This is bad for many reasons. Not least, you need your top salespeople to spend time with the rest, especially the younger recruits who may be able to learn from them.
You can encourage your top salespeople to stay with you by giving them occasional awards or congratulations. Although it seems obvious, top salespeople are motivated by both the need for money and the desire to be respected. You might find that they will stay longer if you offer them both.
4. Nobody speaks or takes part:
Not even someone who has been in the business of speaking for as long as I can keep an entire sales team’s attention week after week. Encourage your sales team members to share stories, discuss tactics, and voice concerns.
It’s not about improving your meetings. Although that will be a benefit, it is also essential for improving your communication skills. You will also benefit from your producers being involved in a better understanding of their needs in terms of support, training, product knowledge, and other issues.
You can educate your sales team and make them more productive by holding regular sales meetings. Or you can set aside time to learn about the sound of your voice. Which do you think is more enjoyable? And better for your sales team?