Sales meetings are a critical component of a great sales culture -- an opportunity to build the skills of the entire team and motivate them. In each meeting, if you provide your team with just one idea, strategy or tactic that will improve their game, and motivate with some positive reinforcement or reward, you will see a gain in productivity and sales results.
Here are six keys that guarantee your next sales meeting will help deliver the results:
1. Start with an energizer. Begin your meetings on time and start with some fun. Reward those who are punctual to help eliminate the lateness factor.
From week to week you'll find my team doing trivia games, telling funny stories, sharing sales highlights of the week, or discussing their focus for the month ahead.
2. Keep it simply simple (K.I.S.S.). Always ask, "Does this item need to be in the meeting or could it be done outside the meeting or as pre-work?"
Keep it simply simple with four steps: Make sure the pace of the meeting is fast, create the right atmosphere by ensuring it is fun, add value by helping the team better execute on a key sales skill that will help them close business and have shared ownership, meaning you have the members share content on a regular basis.
3. Have three rules for individual updates. When discussing personal updates make sure the topics are small and the answers timed, so they don't take over the meeting or sap the team's energy.
To ensure individual updates don't take up too much of the sales meeting, follow these three rules: set time limits, create different themes around successes, like key learnings and future focus and know when to take individual issues offline.
4. Motivate and reward. You must build motivation into every team meeting. The sales team has a tough challenge and needs to feel supported and recognized. This isn't about big gifts or exceptional moments -- the simplest "thank you" can have great meaning.
Think about sorting the rewards into different categories. You can make them fun, competitive, team-based, recognition-based or even externally focused, such as getting input or recognizing someone outside of the sales team.
5. Capability activity. Every sales meeting must stretch and challenge team members' skills to keep them at the top of their game. Capability activities can focus on prospecting, networking, lead generation, client meetings, presenting solutions or closing. The capability activity is all about ongoing skill development and is the key to creating value at the meeting.
6. Standard agenda. If you follow our format, you'll have a standard, consistent and easy-to-follow agenda that will keep you focused and on track. With it, you can reduce your meeting preparation time dramatically. Keeping your agendas in a folder for reference will also ensure you don't repeat any of the fun and creative segments.
With these six keys, my sales managers have managed to reduce meeting preparation time to 10 minutes or less per meeting, while consistently creating high-value meetings. This focused and consistent investment of your time will guarantee gains in your sales teams' productivity and overall results.
Kevin Higgins is CEO of training organization Fusion Learning, recognized by Selling Power as one of the top 20 sales training companies in North America and as one of Canadas Top Small and Medium Employers for 2014. He is the author of Engage Me: Strategies From The Sales Effectiveness Source.