Think of the most successful teams in the history of sports.
New York Yankees 98’
Australian Cricket Team 03’
FC Barcelona 09’
Golden State Warriors 17’
Do you know what is common among all these top teams across different sports?
They all followed a system where each player fit like a glove.
You can find the same trait among the high performing sales teams.
Every sales rep has clarity on the product.
Every part of the sales process is well-documented.
Every opportunity is pursued until there is a definitive win or loss.
And just like how successful sports had systems as their keystones, the secret weapon of the high performing sales team is Sales Meetings.
It is the perfect mix of well-designed processes and feedback loops that come together to create a well-oiled machine that steamrolls the sales targets.
But the difference between amateur teams and top performing teams is. that they run effective, useful and regular meetings at a consistent cycle.
Like, ‘Predictable Productivity’.
Has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?
Clearly, Sales Meetings are important if you want your team to be successful.
The question is, how do you go about conducting these sales meetings?
How Should you Implement a System of Effective Sales Meetings?
When it comes to planning and execution, sales teams usually follow a top-down approach, where everything starts with the ‘Target’ – the magic number that the team is looking to hit at the end of the cycle. Then that number is divided and allocated to individual reps for the wheels to start operating.
But for the sales process to be really effective, there is a need for a bottoms-up approach.
Here, you focus on designing the systems and processes that are required for your sales reps to hit their individual targets.
Here are the 4 primary objectives that every sales manager needs to bear in mind when designing the team’s sales process:
1. Each sales rep must be equipped with tools, resources, and updates to sell effectively.
This is done in the monthly Sales Enablement Meeting.
2. At any given point, the sales team and individual sales reps need to know:
- Their individual quota
- How much of the target/ quota has been achieved and
- What is the likelihood of hitting or missing the quota?
The Sales Forecast Meeting is the perfect place to do this; typically conducted once every 2 weeks.
3. Each sales rep must have sufficient pipeline volume (top of the funnel leads) to hit the target allocated to her and must also be spending enough time on each of the deals in the pipeline to convert them into successfully closed opportunities.
Enter the Sales Pipeline Review Meeting, which typically happens once a week.
4. Each rep should have a clear idea of which deals to prioritize her efforts on and seek help on specific deals that require the attention/assistance of the senior executives.
The Daily Sales Huddle does just that.
Table of Contents
- Different Types of Sales Meetings
- Things to keep in mind for Productive Sales Meetings
Daily Sales Huddle
Objective: The key objective of this meeting is to help the sales reps prioritize their day and ensure that progress is made on key deals.
Ideal Duration: 15 – 20 mins
Who should attend: Sales Managers and Sales Reps
The agenda of the Daily Sales Huddle:
- Status update on important deals and deals at the finish stage
- Top focus areas/ items for the day
- Any roadblocks that require senior management intervention/ assistance
How to Run a Productive Daily Sales Huddle?
When running the sales huddle, gather your team around and ask every sales rep to take turns and provide a quick status update on important/high-value deals and those that are on the verge of closing.
As a manager, your objective is to make sure that the sales reps are focusing on important/ high probability deals.
At the same time, if any important deal is not moving forward as hoped, then you can jump in and give your inputs to get things back on track.
In case your sales reps have individual activity metrics like the number of calls to be made or prospects to be contacted etc, the daily sales huddle can be used to ensure that everyone was able to hit their daily activity targets.
Weekly Sales Pipeline Meetings
Objective: The key aim of this meeting is to make sure that there are enough opportunities in the pipeline to meet your targets.
Ideal Duration: 15 mins with each sales representative
Who should attend: For smaller teams, this could be done in a group format with the reps and sales manager. As teams get larger, it is best to run this in a 1-1 format.
Agenda for the Weekly Sales Pipeline Meeting:
- Number of opportunities are in the pipeline
- Total deal value of the opportunities in the pipeline
- Identify next steps to either purge or revive stagnant deals in the Pipeline
- Deep dive on a couple individual deals in the Pipeline
How to run your Sales Pipeline Meetings Efficiently?
When running a sales pipeline meeting, you need to focus on two objectives:
- Number of Opportunities in the pipeline
- Current Status of the individual deals
The first order of business during the pipeline review is to get an overview of all the deals in the pipeline and assess if there are enough opportunities for the rep to hit his targets.
An important objective here is to make sure that every sales rep has a balanced pipeline, with sufficient opportunities across all stages – top of the funnel, middle of the funnel and the bottom funnel.
Sales Pipeline Meetings ensure that sales reps spend time shoring up any part of the pipeline which may be weaker than the others.
For instance, if a sales rep only spends time on the bottom of the funnel i.e. closing deals, and fail to do enough prospecting, this will affect her ability to hit the targets further down the road.
You should also spend some time on deals that have been stagnant, without any activity and identify steps to add momentum to these deals.
If needed, you should also take a call on whether these stagnant deals need to be purged – sometimes your sales reps might be reluctant to give up on leads even if they are clearly dead in the water; such deals need to be chucked out to pave way for the hot leads coming in.
Bi-Monthly Sales Forecast Meeting
Objective: The main aim of this meeting is to ensure that the team is on track to hit sales targets and take corrective action if any; so that the targets can be met.
Ideal Meeting Duration: 45 – 60 mins
Who should attend: Sales Managers and Sales Reps
Agenda of the Bi-Monthly Sales Forecast Meeting:
- Setting Sales targets for the upcoming month – including details of which rep is responsible for what opportunity.
- Evaluating whether the team is on track to hit the targets.
- Discussing what measures should be taken if the team is struggling to hit the targets.
There are 2 sales forecast meetings every month.
- At the beginning of the month – to discuss the targets to be achieved for the month.
- In the middle of the month – to evaluate if the team is on course to hit the targets.
How to Run your Sales Forecast Meetings Efficiently?
For the meetings at the start of the month, the focus is setting targets for the month and coming up with individual action plans – how many calls each rep should make, how many meetings should he setup etc.
When it comes to meetings in the middle of the month, the focus is on assessing the progress made i.e, deals already closed and deals at the bottom of the funnel which is likely to close before the end of the month.
In this meeting, you consolidate the deals from each rep’s pipeline and calculate an aggregate across your entire sales team. Some reps maybe tracking below and other above targets. But overall, it provides a sense of how likely the entire team is to meet the target.
If the team looks like falling short of the target then you need to discuss the corrective measures to help your team; this may involve having a chat with the marketing team to generate more leads or give discounts to close specific deals, etc.
The goal is to do whatever necessary to get the team back on track to hit the goals.
An updated forecast is also shared with other members in the organization – such as the CEO, to ensure that there are no last minute surprises.
Monthly Sales Enablement Meeting
Objective: The purpose of this is to get the sales team updated with information and content that they need to sell more effectively.
Ideal Duration: 30 – 45 mins
Who should attend: Sales Managers, Sales Reps, Sales Enablement Teams
The agenda for the Monthly Sales Enablement Meetings:
- Latest features added to the product and other features in the pipeline
- Resources that the sales reps currently have and what they need to close deals more effectively
- Other updates that the sales reps should be aware of
How to Run a Successful Sales Enablement Meeting?
In the sales enablement meetings, your sales team should sit with product and marketing teams and work together to add more value to the prospects during the buying process.
From a product team perspective, these meetings are a great opportunity for the team to share what they have been working on – new integrations, new features added and how they will improve the product.
Likewise, since the sales reps are the ones directly interacting with the prospects, they can share insights on the expectations, market trends etc.
The other purpose of sales enablement meetings is, having a discussion with the marketing and learning what are all the resources created that the prospect will find helpful – this could be whitepapers, ebooks, case studies or videos.
When engaging with particular prospects, they might have specifically asked for a particular resource – the sales reps can use the sales enablement meetings to ask the marketing team for help to get the resources ready which will help close the deal.
Finally, you can also have a discussion on whether the sales team needs any new tools that will help them improve their sales process.
Things to Keep in Mind for Productive Sales Meetings
1. Respect Everyone’s Time
For a salesperson, time is the most valuable commodity; and when the entire team is attending meetings, make sure that you respect everyone’s time.
You can save so much time by adopting a few simple practices:
- Invite a team member only if it makes sense for them to attend; not simply because you have to.
- Always start and end your meetings on time.
- Discuss only topics that are relevant to everyone at the table; not just a small group.
By keeping your meetings on time, you set an example for your sales team to follow the same with their prospects.
2. Appreciate your Team’s Performance
When conducting sales meetings, take a moment to appreciate your team’s performance – a delighted team is more attentive, interactive and more open to sharing their opinions.
Just how important can this recognition be?
This 2015 study by Cicero sums it up:
A sales rep who sees their efforts acknowledged, will feel valued and be highly motivated to work hard for the team!
One of the easiest and effective ways to achieve this is, appreciating the team for something they achieved in the previous week – it could be the accomplishment of a big milestone or the closing of a small deal; it doesn’t matter.
This simple practice of starting off your sales meetings with your team’s recent success can go a long way in ensuring that they keep getting better.
3. Always end your meetings on a positive note
For most sales reps, sales meetings are the most interaction they have with the team and for your part, create a positive environment that leaves them energized to crush their targets.
Even if parts of the meeting did not go well, always make sure that you end your meetings on a high note filled with positivity!
It can do wonders for your team!
As a sales executive, your natural instinct would be to have meetings as and when you need, rather than follow a system of meetings, in a bid to save time.
But when you have a cadence of meetings, the discussions become more productive, every team member becomes fully aware of their roles and responsibilities, and there is a general sense of direction as to where the team is headed.
Follow this guide to understand how you can implement a system of meetings that help you achieve the primary objectives of your team’s sales process.