How to Plan and Prepare Your Next Sales Meeting

Posted on 10/28/2013 in Sales Management

Are Your Quarterly Sales Meetings a Snore? Does your typical quarterly sales meeting agenda look something like this:

1. New product updates, company news, etc.

2. Last Quarter Sales Results – Highlights, Lowlights

3. Next Quarter Goals – Targets, Expected Challenges

…. Socialize

Items 1-3 do need to stay on your agenda, but most sales managers can condense and present it in a very short time frame. And don't worry, the socializing will ordinarily take care of itself. However, skills building should not be left off the agenda.  Don’t assume that you don’t have enough time. When you have your entire sales team together take advantage of the captive audience. You have an audience who can share experience and good ideas from another. All you have to do is carve out the time and lead the topic.

It takes some planning on your part and STAR has developed some sales meeting kits to help you plan  

Here’s some helpful advice on how to make your sales meetings more interactive and engaging:

A typical quarterly sales meeting is short, at most 2-2.5 hours long. So, try to reserve 50% of your quarterly meeting for sales skills development. To do this in a time-efficient manner, create a Sales Skills Clinic Worksheet as a pre-assignment. The simple worksheet (one page usually suffices) serves to introduce the topic you choose, include instructions for the brainstorm, group activity, or role play session and give each salesperson a chance to do some preparation and leave space for notes. Depending upon the session, it can be helpful to collect the notes and type an anonymous summary of good ideas to email as a post-meeting reinforcement.  Be sure to let everyone know in advance if you plan to do this.

There are plenty of sales topics that work well in this short format.  A few suggestions are listed below:

How about a Questioning Clinic?  All salespeople need to ask effective questions and thoroughly listen to genuinely understand customer needs. A sales meeting is a super format for this short skill-building and idea-sharing session.  An earlier blog titled How Intelligent are your Sales Questions may be helpful. 

Another great topic is a Value Statements Brainstorm. Are your salespeople prepared to communicate the quantifiable value you have to offer the customer?  Why not give them the chance to brainstorm some highly effective quantifiable value statements for each of the different types of customers you have? A one hour session gives time for small group brainstorm sessions and mini role play sessions with feedback.  A recent blog titled Are you Proficient at Selling Value in Both Tangible and Intangible Terms? may be helpful.

Another option to consider is a Referrals Clinic. Your salespeople most likely avoid asking for referrals (most do!), so why not have them practice what to say in a comfortable format? A recent blog titled Does Customer Satisfaction Guarantee Referrals? may be helpful.

The topics are endless – Sales Call Planning, Objections, Identifying Key Accounts, Prospecting Methods, Upselling and Cross-Selling and many more.  If you need help digging deeper into any of these sales skills topics for your team, please visit our Sales Meeting Kits pages or contact us to discuss our workshops,online training and coaching services.