The top 3 goals of an effective sales meeting should be to Motivate, Educate and Coordinate efforts. These three goals should work together to create an environment where your sales personnel can perform to the best of their abilities, both individually and as a team.
Sales meetings provide motivation for your sales staff through rewards and cultural buy-in. Sales meetings offer a venue for education on the skills necessary to do the job. Finally, sales meetings are a time to discuss objectives and coordinate efforts. Following are 10 tips to help meet these goals and plan more productive sales meetings.
Have an Agenda.
It can be a struggle to keep the attention of attendees during sales meeting. If the meeting is unfocused, or tends to run long, you will lose their attention and the meeting will lose its impact.
The solution is to have a well-defined agenda written down beforehand. You may even want to print the agenda and pass around copies before the meeting starts. If you are really committed to your agenda, you can ask your staff to help you keep on focus, by encouraging attendees to participate in keeping the meeting on topic.
Remember to keep the focus of the meeting simple. Focus on one or two key issues only. Use your management meetings, or other venues to discuss broader issues, but focus only on the highest priority items during sales meeting.
Start on Time, End on Time.
If you want your sales people to take sales meeting seriously, then you need to take it seriously as well. Send a clear message, by starting on time and rewarding those who are punctual.
Plan the length of the meeting and stick to it. 30-45 minutes is a about the right amount of time to cover your meeting objectives without losing everyone’s attention. Ending on time means a commitment to your agenda and a willingness to avoid any conversation that does not closely relate to your agenda.
Take time every sales meeting to develop skills and knowledge with your sales personnel. Watch instructional videos, do role-plays, and participate in other activities that will teach and hone the skills necessary to be successful in sales.
Consider calling upon one of your more seasoned sales veteran to share knowledge or experience with the younger crowd. This will not only educate, but can build unity as well.
Set Objectives as a Team.
Before you commit to your objectives for the week, consider discussing them first in sales meeting. Some objectives are non-negotiable, but buy-in from your sales staff will be much greater if they have a say in what they will be working toward. It may not always be practical, but try to get a consensus before committing to any objective.
Once objectives have been set, you need to make specific assignments in order to meet the objective. As with Tip #4, involve your staff in making these assignments. Remember that a volunteer for an assignment is more likely to follow through than someone who has been asked.
Ask for Accountability.
Take time in your meeting to reflect on the previous sales meeting. You should set aside time at the beginning of the meeting to review objectives and assignments from the previous week. Sales managers should report on overall performance, but individuals should also be called upon to report back about specific assignments.
Accountability can add a new dimension to your sales meetings and will encourage buy-in to objectives, and dealership culture.
Reward Effort and Results.
Be sure to have prizes, and spiffs, and other rewards for those who have performed well throughout the week.
Of course, you should reward those who have met or exceeded objectives, but also consider rewards for those who improved on a skill, or who showed a lot of heart (in spite of results). Recognition can go a long way for individual development and sustained improvement.
Focus on Team.
While experts do encourage time for open discussion during any sales meeting, you must be careful to keep the conversation on topic. If there are too many individual issues that need to be addressed, you can burn your entire meeting without accomplishing the most important objectives.
Focus the conversation on issues that affect the entire team. Focus on ways to work better together and to attain team objectives. Weekly one-on-one sessions with each sales person would be a much better forum to address individual issues. Minimizing discussion of individual issues will also help you stick to your agenda and to end on time.
Sales meeting would not be complete without a few cheers and a stirring motivational speech. Make sure you get your staff pumped up for the week ahead by promoting excitement and energy. It is basic psychology, but excitement and enthusiasm has been proven to yield better performance.
At the end of the day, don’t forget to Have Fun! Do fun things together with your team in sales meeting. Help them learn the culture at your dealership and learn to go to battle together. Remember that enjoying what you do is a big part of success.