Developmental sales meetings are replacing weekly numbers reviews all over the country. What are they? They’re sales meetings that focus entirely on making every sales pro more productive, and nothing else. They’re interactive, and at their core, develop sales skills, deepen understanding of the market, and share best practices throughout the group. Teams who institute developmental sales meetings see consistent growth. Here are ten tips to help your team get started.
1. The only reason to get the whole team together is to do something you can’t do in an email.
There should be something to learn, celebrate, or otherwise interact with, or it doesn’t belong in a team meeting. Sales is an appointment-driven business, and every appointment – even a sales meeting – should help the reps make money.
2. Set a 3 point agenda in advance, no more and no less.
If you have more than 3 things to work through, set another meeting. Put your agenda on the whiteboard, and cross items off when the subject is closed. If you have fewer than three, hold off until you have more to do. You can work on a single skill, praise those who are succeeding with that skill, and practice overcoming one objection; voila! Three developmental agenda points.
3. One of your key points needs to be about skill development.
Yep, every time. (This is the developmental part of developmental sales meetings!) Honing skills is a constant process, and you need to set the expectation that it’s a normal part of the professional expectations you have for the team. Beyond that, even if they resist working a particular skill, you’d be surprised how much sinks in!
4. This is a positive experience, every single time.
Bad news does not belong in your weekly team meeting. You need to set aside a separate time for bad news. (It shouldn’t happen very often!) This time is forward -looking, about working together toward positive goals, not talking about failure. Show them you believe in them and their impending or continued success!
5. Meetings have a mandatory start and finish time.
Don’t start late! Do not run over! Punctuality is vital to a sales organization. Failing to attend a sales meeting must result in disciplinary action. (Otherwise, it isn’t really mandatory, is it?)
6. Some topics you may want to discuss in every meeting.
Maybe you always discuss market developments, or spotlight a competitor’s strategy. Other subjects might be seasonal or one-offs, like particular promotions or news events. The key is to keep it short and relevant to making today a successful day selling.
7. Data, data, data.
Effective sales meetings need to be based on real numbers. Are you approaching the right leads? Where is the most common deal breakdown point? What percentage of leads are converting? At what margin? How many times are sales following up? How many up or cross-sell opportunities have closed? All of this information should be available in your CRM. Make it work for the team! Don’t lay blame for missed goals; concentrate on figuring out how to better improve everyone’s success rate.
8. There’s always plenty of new stuff to discuss.
Don’t dwell on what they already know, like what the KPI dashboard looks like. You can do that in daily huddles. Touch on a new fact, or a developing skill, and then get right to the meat and potatoes. Sales is an appointment-driven business, and you want to set an example of running an efficient meeting. If you will be relying on data the team usually doesn’t see, email it out as much in advance as you can.
9. Track which skills are tied to which metrics to make skills more meaningful.
It’s not just converted customers, inbound leads and revenue per customer that need to be discussed in effective sales and marketing meetings. It’s important to focus on how those numbers were achieved, and which things are changing. You never want to be too far ahead of, or behind, your market. People like to grow, and they like to see their paychecks grow as their skills improve. Knowing which skills might need work helps reps focus on the right things.
10. Focus on the essentials.
Remember, meetings are more effective when they address important topics. If you don’t have something important to share with the team, postpone the meeting, or devote it entirely to skills development. The team is together to collaborate and learn. Don’t let them down!
To read more about sales meetings and team development, click here.
Do you need help creating effective sales meetings for your team? click here.