Most sales meetings are a complete waste of time and money. Managers try to pack in too much into the agenda. There is little time devoted to learning and practicing sales skills, and there is never enough free time available to network share informally and have fun.
Going to a nice location and then sticking your team in a dark room and subjecting them to "Death by Slides" is no way to motivate and inspire your sales force. Have some meetings outside with no PowerPoint slides aloud.
Have you asked your reps what they need to learn to be more effective? Are you involving the sales people as presenters? If not, you are missing a great opportunity for them to teach their colleagues and to become totally engaged.
Sales people hate to sit in a chair all day listening to boring presentations. Develop some interactive learning exercises to get them on their feet and working with their teams. We often learn more from each other than we do from our managers.
The big question is, what should you avoid doing at sales meetings and what should you do more of, so that you get a positive R.O.I. and increased sales after the meeting.
4 Ways to Make Sales Meetings Pay Off
- A Sales Assessment is one of the best ways to get to know your sales people better, build a strong team and help them to sell more effectively. A great assessment that is easy to use and facilitate at a sales meeting is called DYNAMIX®. Reps receive a 30-page profile on their selling strengths and areas to improve and managers receive a coaching grid to help them to better manage their reps. DYNAMIX® uses a 4 color communication and sales model which helps reps to better understand and communicate with their customers. This exercise is fun and motivating and reps get some great ideas as to how they can improve their sales effectiveness. After the meeting each rep commits to a development and coaching plan to grow their sales.
Team Building Exercises are fun and motivating and they can be linked to your products, services and solutions. One great idea is to put your sales people into teams of 4-5 per team. Each team has to agree on a team name and team cheer. Teams are competing for points and prizes (they don't need to be expensive) which helps them to focus and get engaged in the exercise. You then rotate the teams through different stations which are run by your managers. Each station is related to a product or service that you sell. You also want the reps to practice a sales skill at each station. They may be practicing objection handling related to a new product and the manager can be the customer. The rep could shoot a target with a nerf gun to select which objection their team will handle. The team then creates an answer on a flip chart and one rep practices with the manager. Points are given for how effective the answer is and the way the objection is handled. After 10 minutes they rotate to the next station where there is a completely different activity. This is a great way to learn while having fun. We have over 50 different sales team activities related to sales skills which you can choose from depending on your needs.
Recognition Pays Off. Your sales people work really hard so make sure you have a rewards and recognition diner. Celebrate your successes and remember that more is better than less. Don't just give out awards for top sales. Think of the behaviors that you want to encourage like, most improved, most growth, most new customers, best attitude, best service and reward them as well.
What will they do Differently Monday Morning? This is a great question to ask yourself as you design your sales meeting. Make sure that you begin with the end in mind. What has to happen during the meeting for it to be a total success? Get your reps input prior to the meeting and ask for their feedback on every aspect of the meeting. Make sure that they have an action plan on paper as to what they will do differently Monday morning to grow their sales. The managers need to then coach and follow up until the new behaviors become habits and this can take several months. Reps should be in the field with customers 70% of the time and their managers should be in the field 70% of the time coaching and developing reps. Your sales meeting should give the reps the tools and skills to make every sales call more effective.
Sales meetings should be seen as an investment rather than an expense. Make sure that all of your leaders are aligned around the same vision and messages. Have less PowerPoint slides and more interactive exercises. Start and finish each part of the meeting on time. Include free time and some time for fun and make sure to include a sales assessment and a team activity so that reps learn and grow and get concrete ideas on how to grow their sales.
Contact Paul Fergus at [email protected] or call him at 1-877-633-9555 to discuss how to make your next sales meeting a complete success.