There are two things a sales manager must accomplish in every sales meeting. You must hold your salespeople’s attention, and you must teach them something. If you fail to do both, you are wasting everyone’s time. Well run sales meetings can mean the difference between stimulating and enervating your team. A sales meeting should be well organized and have a primary goal. They should be held for one of five basic reasons.
- Train or retrain. The more your salespeople know, the better they will perform. Most salespeople forget the majority of their training and use only those skills that help them to get by. They may be meeting their quotas, but continued training will help them exceed their goals. Training should be more practical than theoretical. Information must be specific and useful in order to help your team. They should be able to leave the meeting and immediately implement what you have taught.
- Improve communications. Regardless of other goals, sales meetings should always improve communication. Salespeople are social animals who enjoy belonging to a family. The sales team is a family, and you are both of its parents. As such, an important part of your job is making all members of the team feel that they belong.
- Motivate the team. Keeping the team’s morale high is one of the leadership skills that come with sales manager’s job. Raising the morale is a legitimate reason to have a sales meeting. In fact, if that is not the primary reason for the meeting, it should always be the secondary reason. Your people should always leave a sales meeting feeling better than when they arrived. One part of motivation is recognition. Use sales meetings as a time to give recognition to top performers and salespeople who are improving.
- Solve problems. A meeting can be devoted to discussing problems, but make sure they pertain to everyone. Often, the best problem-solving sessions are conducted with the team broken up into small groups. This gives each person a chance to have his or her problem addressed by the group members. It’s a well known fact that salespeople learn most from each other.
- Introduce new products or contests. Meeting is the best way to introduce a new product or a sales contest. And do it with a bang. Get everyone fired up and ready to roll. Keep your finger on the pulse of your team, be perceptive enough to see what your people need to learn to excel, and you will circumvent major stumbling blocks. Keep the atmosphere of the meeting upbeat. Uninspired sales meetings rob the sales team of energy rather than giving it a lift.
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