Holding a weekly sales meeting to develop a sales team is very important but keeping that meeting engaging and effective can become challenging over time. The meetings can become repetitive and boring or even worse, negative complaint sessions. To keep this from happening you want to keep three powerful questions in your pocket for any or every sales meeting you conduct. Asking these three questions with an intent to follow through will develop a sales team that is constantly learning and improving, is confident and committed with the company they work for, and willing to commit to action they are accountable to. Ultimately these three questions help develop a sales team that produces more sales and is deserving of the label “Team.”
THE THREE QUESTIONS
What’s going right?
When I start working with most sales teams, I have a split reaction to this question. Half of the sales team loves it and can’t wait to share, and the other half of the team roll their eyes. Don’t let the eye-rollers get to you, they’ll come around if you stay the course. So where is the power in asking this? When you ask this question consistently it helps you develop a sales team in three ways:
- It allows people to verbalize strengths that can be built on because people will do more of what they are successful at.
- It allows for a team to learn from their peers which leads to greater respect among team members.
- When you use this question to start your sales meeting it helps everyone become engaged and sets a positive tone.
Let the team know sharing is not limited to closing a deal. In fact, it’s better when they share what they did more than what happened to them. Because of this I sometimes follow up a share about winning a deal with, “What did you do right to help you win that deal?”
What do you need from me or the company?
In order to develop a sales team, they will need to know that you are supporting them. When you ask this question, it’s critical that you take notes, determine action steps to resolve their needs and then follow up and show them you listened and got things done for them. Asking and acting on the answers to this question will help as follows:
- Demonstrates you care and are a leader who supports them.
- Builds trust and helps remove obstacles that have slowed a team’s sales efforts.
- Creates more willingness on the team’s part to do more of what you ask of them.
This question has a HUGE by-product for owners and managers. When a manager or owner starts acknowledging and solving issues that are helpful to a sales team, that team will wait for the sales meeting to bring up issues rather than setting off alarms all week.
What will you do this week?
Selling is about action and now that the team has learned from each other and has expressed their issues, it’s time for their commitment to this week’s activity. Asking this question will help you develop a sales team in these three ways:
- It helps salespeople exercise their decision making on high priority sales activity.
- It develops personal and team accountability.
- It leads to more results.
You also might find that the commitments being made end up being shared in the answer to “what went right” in the next sales meeting. This signals a team’s accountability is growing.
To summarize, “What’s going right?” helps the team learn. “What do you need?” helps the team build confidence in the company they represent. “What will you do?” builds accountability and results. Asked consistently and together, they help you develop a sales team you’ll be proud of.