7 tips for more effective sales meetings

Most of us have sales meetings on a regular basis, usually each week or month. Making this time with your sales (and marketing) team effective can result in much better sales performance, so it's worth considering how you are running these meetings and if you can shake things up a little.

Here are seven tips for more efficient sales meetings.

1. Bring data, discuss data

All meetings are more effective if discussions are centralised around hard facts that everybody is aware of. Salesforce users get to use customised reports and dashboards to make sure that all sales and marketing staff are seeing data in real time.

2. Focus on a single key issue

Effective meetings tend to focus on a single topic or theme. Staying focused on this theme allows the group enough time to properly discuss the issue and come up with solutions that are actionable.

3. Reward excellent performance

Sales staff are goal orientated, don't miss an opportunity to showcase your best performers during your sales meetings. Recognition from your peers is highly motivational and encouraging a culture of peak performance among the rest of the group.

Make sure that each sales person's Salesforce dashboard displays a sales leaderboard as default so that the team is aware of not just their own sales targets, but also their position within the team.

4. Pay attention to housekeeping

There are some very basic 'housekeeping' rules that all meetings should observe

  • Send out the agenda at least 48 hours in advance
  • Take minutes of the meeting, and distribute the previous meeting's minutes
  • Meetings start on time and end on time - this requires the discussions to be managed to prevent the group from going off the topic
  • One conversation at a time - the group should be all tuned into a single discussion rather than having several 'chats' taking place at the same time

5. Agree on the next steps & timeframe

The purpose of sales meetings is to agree on specific actions or expected improvements. Whatever is agreed needs to be documented (who is responsible and when it's due), and distributed with the meeting minutes

6. Focus on sales skills

Pick a sales skill and dedicate a short section of the meeting to discussing this. Reminding the team of the sales craft is a great use of your time, particularly if one of the team members is particularly strong and can give examples of how they have used this particular skill to their advantage.

  • Dealing with objections
  • Asking for referrals
  • Negotiating on price
  • Selling against a specific competitor
  • Prospecting

7. Work on motivation

Your sales team thrives on motivation and confidence. The regular sales meeting is your only real dedicated time for giving them the platform to discuss pure sales issues and to share their frustrations and successes. It's essential that the team leaves this meeting in a positive frame of mind and with a small number of key action points that they can immediately use to help them close more deals.