Are you protecting your sales team from failure or disappointment so they won't get discouraged…
What are the body posture and faces of your sales team telling you during your sales-team meetings? How willing are they to engage into discussions you initiate? I hope they’re engaged, but let’s face it weekly sales-team meetings can become routine and easily fall into a rut. When that happens at a small business the meetings usually stop taking place. If you ask the team if they want to keep having the meetings, they’ll be polite and tell the boss, “If you want to.” But what they want to say is, “These meetings are boring.” There’s no one else to blame but us, the sales leader. What can we do about it? Let me give you some ideas on how to keep your sales-team meetings interesting.
In a previous blogpost, Sales Meeting Can Be Money Makers I covered more sales meeting details. It might be a good idea to check it out to make sure you have your meeting structure in place. To keep your sales people engaged and more interested in your meetings, work on the following eight ideas.
- Keep the purpose of your meetings focused on helping sales people sell more. It’s easy to use sales meetings as a way for us as sales managers to get what “we need.” Of course, it’s fine to collect information you need to get your job done, but that information should in turn be used to help your sales people sell more.
- Let the team contribute to the agenda. Ask your team what they need to learn and what they want to discuss or practice to help them be at their best. Add their requests to the agenda of an upcoming meeting.
- Focus on strengths and solutions more than problems. It’s easy to see problems or discuss issues. But too much focus on problems can lead to excessive complaining. It takes more work to discuss what is going right and then build on those strengths and experiences. Sales people like sharing what is going right and it gives everyone a time to share what is interesting to them. You can’t ignore issues and problems, so dedicate time to identify the issues and come up with a time or action to solve problems rather than using up too much time in the sales meeting.
- Facilitate discussion. Ask questions more than making statements. Draw out discussion and facilitate equal participation. Keeping people involved will make their experience more interesting.
- Promote team teaching. There is power in WE. Let the team teach each other. When someone has a question, let the team answer it. If the answer can’t be found among the team, assign someone to find the answer and teach the team at the next meeting. Most people find it interesting to teach others something they know.
- Start on time and end on time or early. People start losing interest when a meeting start time is delayed. You can also lose everyone’s attention when you go past the end time. If the agenda is done and the energy has left the room, end the meeting early.
- Share leadership. In addition to team learning, you can allow for shared leadership. Let others lead the meeting or portions of a meeting. Allow for people to facilitate and improve the skill of guiding conversation. Allow someone to build the agenda and conduct the whole meeting. When you change up leadership, the other team members will listen differently and you can challenge everyone to provide their teammate support.
- Initiate sales quality discussion when reviewing the sales pipeline. Rather than simply looking at the numbers in a pipeline allow each sales person to share about the sales conversations or messaging they’ve had with their prospects. You want to dig into the type of conversations people had more than the cold facts of the opportunity. Some questions you might consider asking would be:
- How were you introduced (referred) to your prospect?
- What have you identified as their key buying motives or pain points?
- Did you establish agreement to be introduced to all buyers involved in the decision yet? If so, how did that conversation go?
- What can you tell us about your prospects buying process?
Give these a try and see if you can increase the interest and engagement during your sales-team meetings.
Help others with your comments:
What are you doing to keep your meetings interesting? Use the comment box below to share your ideas with other readers.