Newsflash: the vast majority of meetings suck.
Meetings are notorious for being tedious, boring, and a waste of time. But here’s the good news: by implementing some quick time management changes, you can make your meetings more productive, and ensure that everyone actually benefits from coming together.
In this article, we discuss tips to help you improve your sales meetings and share 11 innovative sales meeting ideas that your inside sales team is bound to love.
There are three reasons why sales meetings suck, and these are:
- They drag on for too long.
- They lack focus.
- Your sales reps aren’t contributing.
First off, if your sales meetings tend to drag on for too long, an easy fix is to mandate that each meeting should only run for a certain duration (we recommend a maximum of 20 to 30 minutes, depending on the size of your team). Make sure you stick to the specified time so that team members are motivated to stay on track and not get distracted.
Next, if your problem is that your sales meetings lack focus, you’ll want to set an agenda for each meeting and email everyone with this agenda at least two days prior to the meeting. In this agenda, state the purpose of the meeting, the topics to be discussed, and nominate someone to be the timekeeper. Again, this helps keep your team focused.
Last but not least, if your sales reps aren’t contributing for fear of their colleagues outshining them, then you’ll have to work on your company culture. Make sure that you only hire team players, encourage your employees to collaborate together and learn from each other, and don’t hesitate to get rid of any “bad apples” who are toxic to the team. Let’s be honest, coaching a sales team is hard enough as it is.
11 innovative sales meeting ideas
Now that you know how to improve upon your sales meetings, check out these 11 innovative meeting ideas that you can implement for your sales team.
1. Set goals and provide updates
If you want your sales team to achieve results, the first step is to ensure that they have the right goals to work towards. So call a meeting at the start of each year and get everyone to set their goals, and then follow this up with regular meetings where team members provide updates on their progress. Remember: accountability is key.
2. Discuss key challenges
If one of your sales reps is facing a challenge that’s affecting their progress, chances are that their colleagues have experienced the same problem (or are currently experiencing it). By getting together and crowdsourcing solutions, your sales reps will be able to come up with more innovative ways of overcoming their challenges.
3. Share best practices
Other than meeting to discuss the problems they’re facing, also encourage your sales reps to meet to discuss what’s working for them.
If Rep A notices that cold-calling at a certain timing improves pick-up rates, the whole team would benefit from this knowledge. If Rep B comes up with a great “hook” that they can use to start a conversation with a lead, again, the whole team can benefit from the tip. It’s all about using the combined smarts of the entire team to work towards a common goal.
4. Improve product knowledge
The more expertise your sales reps have on your product, the better. This way, they’ll be able to explain your product (and the benefits of your product) more accurately to potential clients; this also allows them to pitch more convincingly.
To ensure that your reps are knowledgeable enough about your product, arrange for regular meetings in which they discuss product features, updates, and more. You might also want to have members of your product team sit in to share more insights.
5. Discuss prospecting tips
Cold calling is hard; so is sending cold emails. To allow your sales reps to learn from each other and capitalize upon each other’s experience, set up a meeting so that they can discuss the methods and strategies they use to reach out to clients.
At the start of these meetings, consider getting all your sales reps to share how many cold call or cold email outreach responses they’ve gotten (in that particular week). You can then have the week’s “top prospector” host the meeting, and lead the team on discussing cold calling tricks.
6. Navigate qualifying leads
For your sales reps to be productive, they’ll have to learn how to identify the hottest leads, and sift out the low quality leads who aren’t likely to convert. This way, they can allocate more time to engaging the high quality leads, and avoid wasting time on leads who are of lower quality.
To help your sales reps with this, schedule a meeting for them to discuss how to qualify leads. Get them to share the qualifying questions that they ask their leads, or discuss how they conduct research on a lead to identify whether they’re a good fit.
|TIP: Read up on BANT and how it’s used to qualify leads.|
7. Figure out how to build rapport
The more rapport you build with your lead, the easier it is to close a sale.
While someone who’s new to sales might find it hard to engage a lead in conversation and build rapport with them, this probably comes naturally to more seasoned sales reps. Bearing this in mind, get your sales reps with each other to discuss techniques and methods they use to win over their leads.
8. Talk about your competition
On top of understanding your company’s products, your sales reps should also be familiar with your competitors and their products.
Why? Well, if a lead tells your sales rep that they’re still in the midst of evaluating various options, you’ll want your sales rep to take the initiative and educate your lead on why your product stands out over the rest.
So have your sales reps meet to discuss the competition. Other than talking about products and product features, they should also be discussing their latest promotions and marketing campaigns, and how this might affect your company.
9. Review sales objections
“My budget isn’t large enough.” “The timing just isn’t right.”
It’s frustrating to encounter a sales objection, especially when you’re this close to landing a sale. Get your sales reps to share how they counter and overcome sales objections, and discuss how to put a lead’s concerns at rest.
10. Roleplay and practice calls
You know how they say practice makes perfect? This makes a ton of sense especially for salespeople. In fact, we’d say that 99.9% of sales reps do badly when they cold call a person for the first, second, or third time.
That’s where roleplaying comes in. Here, you’ll want to get your team together so that your less experienced reps can learn tried-and-true methods of cold calling and pitching to a lead. The reps who are more experienced can also fine-tune their skills when demonstrating how to cold call (or pitch) to the newbies on the team.
11. Celebrate wins
Last but not least, it’s important to recognize the achievements of your sales reps and ensure that team morale is high. To do this, set up a recurring meeting so that your team can get together and celebrate their wins.
You can keep the meeting short, so it doesn’t eat too much into the work day. Just 10 minutes will do the trick (and do wonders for your employee satisfaction)!
Time to transform your sales meetings
You now know what you’re doing wrong with your sales meetings, and what you should be doing instead. What are you waiting for?
Send out a company-wide email and let your team know that you’re implementing these changes to your sales meetings and watch as the productivity and effectiveness of your meetings skyrocket. To watch your team’s efficiency grow even more, try taking meeting notes with a CRM to ensure organization and accountability.
Ready to learn more about being an efficient sales team? Learn the keys to an effective outbound sales outreach strategy.