Several years ago the company I was consulting for had their usual Monday 7AM, two hour sales meeting. I had just started with the company so I was observing. Pretty much everyone in the room was comatose! Every one of the reps reviewed their previous week’s activities, updating everyone on the status of certain deals that were in the works. Several weeks later I took over the meetings from the owner as we had previously agreed. I changed the format somewhat but the outcome, sadly, was not that different. This scenario forever changed my mind about sales meetings.
My conclusions were this:
1. Sales meetings are necessary. (Maybe a necessary evil!)
2. They should be kept to one hour.
3. Every third meeting an outside speaker should talk about specific topics dealing with sales training, the industry, specific products, marketing etc.
4. Every other meeting the salespeople should role-play specific sales situations. Use situations relative to sales scenarios the salespeople find themselves in. Don’t make them vanilla! Make the role-plays real-life. Write out the role-plays ahead of time and give the reps 5 minutes to prepare their approach.
5. Have other people in the company sit in on the sales meetings.
6. Instead of reviewing all the deals in the sales funnel for each rep have each of them highlight one sale that particularly frustrates them and then get feedback from the other salespeople on how they would approach it.
7. Have the meetings on Monday, not Friday.
I can think of other things but that’s enough to implement.
If all of your reps are remote there are two approaches. Talk with each of them weekly at a specific time for a specific amount of time. Leave 15 minutes between calls. Have a set agenda so each rep knows what’s expected. The other alternative is a conference call with everyone at the same time. I’m not against these but they do take coordination because there is always one or two nimrods that need to talk more than the rest. I would do a conference call once every three weeks or month and leave the other weeks for one-on-one calls.
The Final Thought: The people who enjoy meetings shouldn’t be in charge of anything.