As we enter the final month of the year, many sales leaders are fiercely focused on bringing the year to a strong close. While closing out Q4 is critical, sales managers must also begin to focus on a strong start to Q1. One of the key factors to having a highly motivated and functioning team is having a culture of effective team meetings. The benefits of regular sales team meetings cannot be overstated; they can serve to reinforce the team spirit, uncover leads and opportunities, create new sales strategies, bring salespeople up-to-date with the latest business developments and encourage knowledge-sharing.
Sales team meetings are only of value if every participant gains something useful from them, but a meeting’s effectiveness can be hampered by a number of factors. In this article, Kodiak Group shares with you six barriers to effective sales team meetings and how to avoid them.
- Sales team meetings are regarded as an ordeal rather than of benefit
Few things in business life are as dreary as a meeting that is repetitive and seems to drag on for hours. Many poorly run meetings involve nothing more than every individual reporting their updated forecast and recent activities. These are all things that can be provided in a report! Sales team meetings need to be short and feature a varied agenda which needs to be adhered to. The benefits of a well-run forty-five minute weekly sales team meeting far outweigh a monthly three-hour marathon session which bores the sales team to death.
- The sales manager dominates the sales team meeting
For attendees to gain the greatest value from meetings everyone’s participation should be encouraged. Each salesperson should be allowed to contribute news, ideas, successes and updates with the sales manager taking responsibility for time-keeping and ensuring that the agenda isn’t strayed from.
- Sales team meetings are boring
Boredom equals apathy, and an apathetic sales team meeting is worthless. Meetings should be lively, fun, engaging and inspiring. A few examples of ways in which sales team meetings can be enlivened include the introduction of different presentation methods, surprise guest speakers, prize-giving for sales achievements or interactive question-and-answer sessions.
- Sales team meetings offer attendees very little real value
A good sales meeting agenda should offer variety and always include something that is of value to attendees such as a short group training session, brainstorming, role-playing, sharing of best practices and other developmental items. However, if there is genuinely no compelling reason to hold a sales team meeting at all it may be more productive to cancel and reschedule a meeting rather than waste attendees’ time.
- Sales team meetings are random and unfocused
An effective sales team meeting requires preparation and structure. An agenda should be formalized and distributed to attendees in advance of each meeting in order that they will know what to expect and can prepare any items for contribution. During the meeting the sales manager should introduce each agenda item and ensure that it is focused upon and returned to should conversation stray off-topic.
- Sales team meetings are poorly attended or not taken seriously
Of course, attendance at sales team meetings can be made mandatory, but if attendees feel that there are more worthwhile uses for their time this may cause resentment, apathy or a failure to take meetings seriously. By eliminating the barriers to effective and productive sales team meetings outlined in points 1 to 5, and ensuring that attendees have fun, interact, learn something useful and have the opportunity to contribute and be heard, ensuring attendance at regular meetings should be no problem at all.
Kodiak Group offer a playbook-driven approach to equipping managers to be effective leaders. Components include a customized Cadence of Meetings, Meetings Agendas, and Best Practices and skill development sessions for leading meetings and coaching teams. For individuals who prefer the convenience of online training, courses such as Managing Sales Team Meetings are also available via Kodiak Group’s innovative and versatile E-learning platform.