A good leader values communication and initiative within a sales team, meaning that regular meetings are necessary. However, it is not easy planning an effective meeting. The key is keeping employees engaged while plowing through large amounts of information. Proper sales training will develop managers with strong leadership and communication skills while preparing team members to utilize meetings as a tool for success.
The global shift to remote work over the past year has led to longer days, more meetings, and increased feelings of burnout. Now, we know sales team meetings are valuable and necessary. However, we don't want to have more (or longer) meetings, thinking increased time on-screen with coworkers or direct reports replaces the physical proximity of working together in an office.
Here are four tips for a smooth, effective sales team meeting that avoids burnout:
- Keep It Short and Sweet. Sales teams could otherwise use time spent in meetings to contact leads and grow relationships with potential or current clients; therefore, it's best to make the meeting short and to the point. Keep material simple and relevant for attendees and try to stray from repeating ideas. Come up with an agenda and do not deviate from outlined topics.
- Keep It Small. Keep the meetings as small as possible to prevent anyone from mentally checking out. The smaller the group, the more involved every participant will need to be. If a large group is unavoidable, really think about keeping the meeting to a half hour or less.
- Stand Up. Have your team stand during the meeting. If taking place virtually, this might mean some camera angles have to be adjusted, but standing will help your team remain attentive. Everyone involved will likely make their points more quickly, preventing a meeting from running long. Not to mention the added health benefits of getting up out of your chair throughout the day!
- Encourage Interaction and Have Fun. While the sales leader should establish his or her role, team members will lose interest fast if the leader doesn't allow for dialogue, questions, or collaboration. Distribute the agenda to your team prior to the meeting, so they know specifics of the discussion and what kind of feedback they might want to offer. An engaging meeting is also more fun, so look for ways to create and maintain excitement. Play music as everyone joins, have an ongoing healthy competition for prizes or bragging rights, and talk about big life events. If you're familiar with Carew's Dimensions of Professional Selling® sales training program, you may recall that Positive Contact is used at the outset of any customer engagement. Positive Contact is helpful internally as well, and is an effective means to build rapport and create personal connections within your team. Allow a few minutes of non-work-related talk or personal life updates at the beginning of your sales team meeting.
Not all meetings are an effective use of time. Especially now, as the data shows how COVID-19 has impacted our work and increased the number of meetings on many people's calendars. Consider these four tips to ensure your sales team meetings are productive and informative and propel your team toward success, not toward burnout.