Truth be told, most sales meetings SUCK!
They are a complete waste of the sales rep’s time because;
Too much time is spent reviewing each rep’s projections, pipeline.
Things are discussed that would have been better suited for an email and;
Too much time is spent teetering between motivational “rah rah”, and bullying the team to greater performance.
And then there’s the lectures and “When I was a sales rep” diatribes.
Someone hand me the jaws of life baby, ‘cause its time we pull the sales team from the wreck!
Take turns being CMO (Chief Meeting Officer) for that week or month
The Chief Meeting Officer’s job is to plan the meeting and run it with your manager’s blessing. The beauty of this is that you get to experience many different styles and you will work an important muscle group called “facilitation”.
The “C.M.O.” appoints a scribe for that meeting. The scribe’s job is to take down the minutes and send everyone a recap 24-48 hours after the meeting.
Agree that the meetings will now start and end on time and a zero tolerance policy with regard to bitching is now in effect. Oh and shut off the damn phones and get your f’n nose out of your computer. You’re busy, we get it, now lets go back to playing nice with the other kids!
Utilize A “Parking Lot”
This is simply a flip chart or a pad of paper with the heading “Parking Lot” written on it. From now on, when you run out of time on a discussion or someone has this urge to take the meeting way the hell into left field, you can simply “Parking Lot” the idea.
If you use your parking lot properly, you will now have tons of future meeting topics that no one can push back on. Why? Because they suggested the topic!
Oh, and I forgot to mention that it keeps people from droning on forever. You’re welcome!
Take turns doing a quick report on an article or blog post
You can have 1-2 reps per meeting give a 3-5 minute presentation on an article. The presenter gets to work on presentation skills, and the group will benefit from the knowledge share.
THE BEST way to learn is to teach!
Pick a topic and ask the group the ultimate brainstorming question. “In What Ways Can We” and then fill in the blank.
Example: “In what ways can we get in front of more opportunities?” “In what ways can we overcome price objections” “In what ways can we penetrate our accounts more effectively?” Admit it, you laughed when I said “penetrate”. Me too!
“On The Spot”
Write down on 3 x 5 cards different things each person needs to know inside and out. You could have product/service questions, perhaps a common objection, give us your 30 second elevator speech etc.
The Rep picks a random card out of a hat and they must stand up in front of their peers and respond. The group offers feedback and discusses different ways of handling that same situation. Don’t want to use random cards? Take turns fielding left hooks thrown by the sales team.
Have everyone bring their email templates. Share ideas, critique, brainstorm. Better yet, download this email workshop with 20 email templates.
Vertical Market Discussion
Have someone who has sold a particular vertical do a presentation to include: Overview of that vertical, typical points of entry and title of the decision makers, buzzwords, typical pain/opportunity points, perhaps a case history or two, typical questions you would use in a needs analysis for that vertical, name of an industry trade group, websites etc.
Have someone think of a recent appointment they were on and have them play that prospect. Someone else plays the role of the rep and has to uncover the needs. Everyone can offer input and constructive feedback.
Have A Guest Presenter
A guest presenter can be anyone from someone on the sales team, a rep from another region, someone from another department to a professional speaker like this guy. Can’t afford to fly someone in? Have them call in!
One more thing . . .
Get the “action verbs” flowing at the close of the meeting
In other words . . .
Have everyone flag at least one take away and then;
Create at least one ACTION item and then (this is the critical part)
Get it on their calendar IMMEDIATELY
Otherwise you might want to conclude your meeting with an “AMEN” because all you did was facilitate a group prayer!
You can actually kick this up a notch . . .
Pair everyone up in two’s and make them “Accountability Partners”.
As Accountability Partners, you check in with each other, regularly to, well, hold each other accountable, offer advice and resources etc.
I don’t know about you, but I have a hard time slacking when I know I have to face someone regularly, who’s going to hold me accountable.
Hire Paul To Speak At Your Regional/National Meeting