All of our clients have some form of weekly “pump ’em up” sales team call or huddle. Sales managers believe the common purpose is to make sure the team is focused on the right priorities. Sales people think they are posturing meetings and a waste of time.
So how do you make them matter? Here are the 3 meetings sales leaders should be having with regularity. Do this and your sales people will behave like business people instead of going through the motions in “rah rah” meetings.
1. Bag the weekly team call.
Its purpose is too often just to bring the team together, and it achieves nothing. Instead, have a weekly 1:1 with each sales person, lasting 30-45 minutes depending on their coaching needs, and review the following:
- Top 3 priorities for the week: What three opportunities will the sales person be advancing that week?
- What specific steps will they be taking and how do they believe it will influence the forecast?
- How can the sales manager or marketing team provide support to the sales person’s priorities that week?
2. Institute the practice of a monthly sales team huddle.
- Keep it brief – no more than 30 minutes!
- The purpose is to review progress toward team goals and the specific actions that need to be taken to remain on the path to success.
- If the team is surpassing goal, the purpose is to review the progress and celebrate the wins so far.
3. Conduct quarterly reviews.
- A 1:1 with the sales representative to review their sales plan, performance against goal, and adjustments that need to be made to the plan to achieve success.
- This is a business meeting between the sales leader and the sales representative. The sales representative should be providing a “state-of-the-union” report to the sales leader, not the other way around. Too many sales managers adopt the thinking that they are the “answer man,” and they end up spending their time telling the sales rep what forecast reports indicate and what they should be doing to be successful instead of listening to the sales rep and the issues they are dealing with.
- Sales leaders need to be prepared to ask meaningful questions that test the sales person’s rationale and cut through the posturing and ass-kissing. This is a no-BS meeting that uncovers whether the sales person is on track to achieve their goals. If they are not, the gaps are discussed and addressed.
- These are critical meetings that should reveal the reality of the individual sales person’s ability to achieve their goal for the year. If you are still unclear or unsure at the end of this meeting, you didn’t do your job of a sales leader. You didn’t ask the right questions, you didn’t listen enough and you didn’t hold the sales person accountable.
Readers, what have been your experiences with sales meetings? Any other examples of successful meeting strategies you’ve used? Share them with us!