When we’re coaching sales managers, we often get questions about weekly sales meetings:
If you have a weekly meeting with your sales team, what is regularly on the agenda? What is useful to you as a manager? What is helpful to your salespeople?
These are great questions that don't get enough attention. Frankly, sales meetings can get a bad reputation when managers aren't using them constructively.
First, we should talk about what you should avoid.
Sales meetings earn a bad reputation when we use them as an opportunity for the sales manager to scrutinize the sales team—or worse, beat upon them where they're deficient. Don't use these meetings as a replacement for reviewing a report or a one-on-one, which you should handle separately to address potentially difficult issues in a more sensitive, personal setting.
Your goal is to create an environment for your sales team to feel comfortable raising concerns and seeking advice. If your sales team is dreading your weekly sales meeting, you're not fostering an opportunity for growth.
A different approach to the sales meeting is to first think about the sales team. A sales meeting should be about training and motivating the team, improving their performance, and solving their problems. Here are five sales meeting agenda items that I recommend.
1) HighlightsBefore the meeting, ask everyone to prepare a high point. What was the best thing that happened with a customer in the last week? Or the best thing that happened in your sales world? Get everyone involved. Celebrate success.
Then have the team spend time sharing success stories and challenges. What was the most significant pushback from a customer? What was the biggest objection? What was a problem that someone ran into that they overcame? Socialize and talk about those. These are useful and productive conversations that engage everyone and allow your sales team to solve problems and learn together.
2) PipelineWhat are the new opportunities and top meetings coming up that need help? Don't scrutinize every deal that you can do one-on-one. How can the team help each other close more business?
3) TrainingKeep a running list of training needs. Share a video, a blog post, or a key discussion topic. Ask your team members to present on a topic or share a customer story. Reinforce training not as an event but an ongoing effort.
4) Walk-On ItemsWhat's getting in the way of closing business? Don't try to solve every issue but focus on a list to investigate.
5) MotivationRemember, the meeting should be about your team, not about you. Can you create a team competition, fun event, or stretch goal to motivate them?
Key TakeawaysShare the expertise, competencies, and successes the team is having as a team and as a company. End the meeting with an upbeat takeaway so that everyone can feel good about what they're doing.
Remember that the meeting should be a point for your team to come together, not a time for you to talk, scrutinize, or present during the entire meeting. Design your agenda to make your meetings fun and engaging, allow for collaboration, and ask your team to prepare successes and challenges.