Introduction:

It’s no secret that a vast majority of teams are having lousy weekly sales meetings every week. Unfortunately, they’ve changed to where it’s more for the benefit of the managers and ownership to feel good about themselves. With less focus about driving opportunities and making your sales reps better and selling your stuff. But I think it’s time we turn that around.

 

What we’re going to cover:

  • Time.
  • Unprepared.
  • Administrative.
  • Poor data management.
  • Suggestions.

 

 

Time.

Too early.

“In today’s modern world there’s a number of issues that present themselves early in the morning. Maybe they have kids they need to get to the bus stop. And you might say well that’s not my problem but yes, it is. In a family where both parents are working there has to be some consideration for how people operate.”

 

Too late.

“This used to happen to me where I worked at a company and the owner would want a meeting, ‘bring in the whole sales team for this thing at 3:30 on a Wednesday’. 3:30 pm on a Wednesday for someone who’s territory is 60 miles away, that means at 2:15 they have to leave their territory. And if they hope to get any kind of food in them, let’s say we take a 20-minute lunch, they’re ending their day a little before 2. That’s prime selling time, 3 hours of prime selling time gone.”

 

Too long.

Sometimes the meetings are too long, they can go can 1.5 to 2 to 2.5 hours, that’s ridiculous. Because it depends on the type of team you have, what kind of culture you have, all of those things factor into sales meetings.”

 

Too frequent.

” I know my meetings, when I was VP,  the sheer number went up. Every time I turned around I was in another meeting. It was way too frequent, way too long, it didn’t’ allow me to do what I need to do on the sales side because I’m in meetings.”

Unprepared.

No agenda.

“Monday morning rolls around, you start a meeting, you sit down and your sales manager comes running into the meeting all disheveled, a cup of coffee, and really doesn’t have a prepared meeting. There’s no agenda, you’re not really talking about anything important, and you’re spending time on stuff that doesn’t make sense. That’s unacceptable.”

 

No reason to meet.

“I know back in the day you’d have meetings and you’d come in and they’d give you the numbers for the week, for the previous week, your activity numbers, well heck that stuff’s available in a CRM you don’t need to do that in a meeting. And for 20 people? That will take forever, that’s 30 minutes’ bang, gone. You don’t need to do that, you don’t need to go over that.”

 

Scattered.

“Oftentimes these weekly sales meetings that occur, the reason that people are unprepared is because we’ve always had this meeting. And over time different people have taken responsibility for the meeting and its sort of melted down into this wasteland of nothingness. They’re very scattered, they’re all over the place, you’re talking about different things, different weeks, etc.

Or management gets up and gives these long motivational speeches and people are falling asleep. Or owners come in and they want to give a speech, or they bring in somebody from another department to talk about a new policy, is that really the right time for those types of things?”

 

Punishment.

“The word punishment means sales reps view it as a punishment coming into the meeting. Maybe you brow beat them, maybe the month is really crappy and the managers pounding their fist saying you have to sell more. The old saying is the beatings will cease when the morale improves, so  keep that in mind, you’re really not getting any value out of it.”

 

Administrative.

Internal messaging.

“You bring them in, you’re doing all the tedious stuff, you’re talking about paperwork, red tape, internal messaging and all the junk quite frankly that you can deliver to them in other ways. Something like an internal web page that has all that stuff. Maybe they have a library, a repository of information, and if they need some additional help on how to fill out those contracts or what’s changed on that they can reach out to the appropriate person. How hard is it to put a document or a video together explaining that? Why do you need to bring them in for that?”

 

Tedious stuff.

“It’s really early in the morning, trying to cram everything in, your manager comes in disheveled with no agenda, no real focus on what the outcome is supposed to be, and then admin gets up and you’re talking about all kinds of things like paperwork and contracts and putting the right paperwork for vacation time, the crazy stuff. Stuff that people talk to you about 6 times over in a company, that’s delivered in a meeting. You think your meeting would suck with that? I think so.”

 

Poor data management.

This is the problem.

“You have really good technology out there, in the form of a CRM, that allows you to track pretty much everything. But sales reps aren’t using it or they’re not using it at 100%, the way it’s supposed to be used. So, it doesn’t give you the data as a manger that you need to have a really effective meeting. And you spend the meeting trying to gather the data from the salespeople because it’s not available to you. So, you spend a lot of time talking about metrics, and calls, and emails, and demos, and deal progress, when all of that stuff should be right in front of you.”

 

Mixed Bag.

“9 times out of 10 the people who design the CRM or how it’s going to be used in a company aren’t the sales people. It’s senior level staff and management. So, everybody’s talking about what they need for the CRM to be effective for their department, the information that helps them, the dashboard, with no thought on what it’s going to take for the sales rep to be successful.

 

What happens with proper data management?

“Imagine walking into the sales meeting and everything’s right in front of you. As a manager you know where they are in a deal, you’ve seen all the notes, you know how many emails or calls or whatever metrics you’re tracking are right there. And you can look at that and make determinations, actually you can look at all that stuff ahead of time so when you go into the meeting you’re prepared, you’re prepared with quality questions instead of having them deliver the news again on the same subject, over and over again because it’s not in the system.”

 

Questions to ask yourself.

“So if you’re not managing the data that’s coming into the work that they’re doing how can you have an effective meeting? Did you really make any progress and do they really care about what you’re talking about or is this just part of the game that they play to get through the day? Ask yourself that question. Are they getting anything out of this?”

 

Suggestions.

Culture.

“So, you have to decide you want to take control of your meetings. You might not be able to fix all those meetings but you need to take control of yours. Why? Because really good effective meetings help drive the number up. The meetings and the type of meetings depends on the team that you have. One size doesn’t fit all.”

 

Logistics.

“Logistics plays a big role in this, I’m not saying you should never go into the office or never have people in the office, there’s something to be said for people getting together and there’s a lot of ways you can do that. But if you can make it logistically easier for sales reps to attend the meetings and make them good, you’re going to have better outcomes.”

 

Outcomes & goals.

“What do you want from your meetings? ‘Well we have to talk about forecast, the pipeline, activities, all the stuff that’s going on in the company’ Okay but it doesn’t all have to be at the same time. But asking what do you want to accomplish in your meetings and then laying it out, and living by that. It’s set in stone but it can evolve as your world evolves.”

 

Types of meetings.

” Am I going to have all of that crammed into one meeting a week or am I going to break it up? Maybe I have the same number or meetings but I talk about different things.”

 

Keep Filling The Funnel

We would love to hear from you. Let us know what you think about this episode. Please feel free to reach out to us if there is a specific sales topic you would like me to cover.  You can find me on Twitter at @Sheajohnr or email me at jshea@alignment-group.com.  And if you get a chance, please feel free to review us on iTunes.

 

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