You know the sales meeting we are talking about. Full of dread, the sales team mandatorily attends. Bad coffee, not enough windows and the management focus is on numbers, projects, numbers, goals, numbers and blah, blah blah for long soul-sucking hours where everyone at the table is mostly screaming on the inside. Plus some of the salespeople are bitching about clients, commission structure, territories, etc. Nothing about this kind of sales meeting is helpful to anyone.
Sales meetings and trainings don’t have to be that way!!!
Here are my top tips on how to have a GREAT sales meeting—the kind of meeting where everyone, both management and sales team, is actually looking forward to attending:
1. Conduct the meeting outside the office. This is critical. If you don’t, everyone will continue to work. (They will find a way, trust me.) Instead, try having the meeting at a hotel or new, innovative location that will spur productivity and inspire more creativity.
2. The meeting must be well-planned with a clear agenda. Organizations tend to fall into a pattern of just doing what they did last time. Spend some dedicated time planning (and getting creative with) this meeting if you want better results.
3. Make the focus more focused. What do I mean? Of course you must address the current state of affairs, growth opportunities, broad strategic initiatives and tactical problem-solving. But if it goes on too long you will lose your people. Hone it down to the most important messages and set time limits.
4. Be motivational. This is so important. Everyone needs to participate in some way. A salesperson who happens to be a CRM whiz can share their expertise with the group, for example. Figure out ways to provide opportunities for everyone to be involved. Celebrate group success.
5. Recognize and reward. If you took a poll of top producers, they would tell you that compensation is absolutely important but that recognition is equally desired. All sales reps want their success to be acknowledged.
6. MUST have fun! The other 5 guidelines don’t matter if you don’t include FUN in the sales meeting–not only once or twice either. Embrace humor, as people tend to remember more that way. One idea is to begin with a surprise, big wow opener to wake up the house and get their full, rapt attention off the bat. Rockin’ music always helps too. Then, have a cool networking hour to send everyone off at the end.
Lastly, if you are having some of the sales team fly in for the meeting or training, have them come in the night before so they are well rested and fresh in the morning. Having a sales meeting start after lunch is a sure way to put people to sleep!
I’d love to hear from you about your epic sales meeting moments. Tell us what works and what should never be done again!
About the blogger: Carl Landau is Grand Poobah of Niche Media. He is a media/event guru, SF Giants fan and part-time blogger. His 15 minutes of fame took place in the mid-eighties when he launched his famous, “Buy an Ad, Get a Cat” ad campaign. He has long since patched things up with the SPCA.
Niche Media has created super niched-out events specifically for magazine publishers for over 12 years. We’ve helped pave the way for the era of boutique events that connect specific audiences and provide great educational, friendly and super-fun environments! Plus, Carl Landau–Niche Media’s Grand Poobah–also created a blog all about creating and marketing targeted events: blog.NicheEventNation.com Check it out!
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