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Sales Managers: How Effective Are Your Sales Team Meetings?

  • by Elay Cohen
  • October 5, 2013

Sales Managers: How Effective Are Your Sales Team Meetings?

It’s no secret that
sales people learn best from each other.
I witnessed this year after year, meeting after meeting at
Salesforce.com.  The best sales
productivity programs you can provide your sales teams, is one that nurtures a
culture of rep-to-rep mentoring.  Salespeople
appreciate real life advice that they can immediately use in their deals.

Sales managers, you
have a captive audience on your weekly sales meetings.  I have a question to ask you: Are you making
the best use of this time?

With fifty two weeks a
year, 4 weeks in a month, and an hour per week, that equates to over three days
of selling time per rep.  It’s equivalent
to the amount of time your sales team might spend at a sales kick off event or
some kind of training workshop. It’s a lot of time out of the field.  How are you running your weekly sales team
meetings? Is every moment a learning moment?
Are your meetings fun and collaborative?
Are they driving pipeline and forecast accuracy in a scalable way?   Are you effectively crowdsourcing your teams to share best practices?

Here are some tips
to make your weekly sales team meetings more engaging and impactful:

1. Have a theme or best practice topic
identified for each sales meeting

For example: at the
beginning of a year you can select prospecting as a theme or right now at the
beginning of Q4 you choose an important topic like compelling events.

2.  Prepare
your team with topics to discuss on each meeting

Let your team know
your new meeting format and have them prepare by watching videos or reading
material before the meeting.

3.   Apply the topics to real life deals

As quickly as you
can, have the sales teams apply the principles to real life deals.

4.   Have each sales person share how their deal
story

Be specific about
the questions you want them to discuss and map them to the learning theme and
team goals.  Keep these stories down to a
minute or two to keep the conversation focused. 

5.  Inspire
your sales people to provide feedback to one another

In the context of
each deal story presented have your sales team share their views.  In a constructive and professional way, put
everyone on the hot seat.

We call this kind of
meeting a Sales Huddle.

Yesterday, I
participated in a Sales Huddle with a sales team on sales topic called
Compelling Events.  We followed the steps
above and very quickly the entire sales team became actively engaged in mentoring and coaching each
other.  The sales manager lead the
meeting and each salesperson came prepared with an active deal in their
pipeline.  We had a set of questions that
pertained to the compelling events topics.
The engagement we experienced was amazing. Everyone contributed and each
deal discussed moved forward.

Here are some mentoring comments that came from the salespeople in this Sales Huddle not from the sales
manager.

  • “Use case would need to be more
    compelling/critical.”
  • “My concern is access to power
    and confirming budget.”
  • “Drill into timing and why now.”
  • “Look at their alternatives and
    focus on value.”
  • “Politics is too big to
    overcome.”

In a focused
sixty-minute session, new learning topics and best compelling events were
reviewed as a team. The topics were debated and then applied to their deals.
The sales manager facilitated the conversation and the sales team was engaged
and sharing their real life deal experiences.
We then reviewed a number of deals and action plans were created to move
deals from a less qualified state to one that will be more qualified with more
discovery.

Sales managers,
consider applying the Sales Huddle meeting format to your weekly meetings as a
way to drive better engagement across your sales teams.  The benefits to you and your organization are
immense: improvements in forecast accuracy, more qualified pipeline and real
life learning on the job.

If you’re interested
in learning more request an invitation to Try SalesHood

Up-Level Your Team and Nurture Sales Excellence

TRY SALESHOOD
About the Author
Elay Cohen

Elay Cohen

Elay Cohen is the author of SalesHood: How Winning Sales Managers Inspire Sales Teams to Succeed and the co-founder of SalesHood, a SaaS sales enablement platform and community for sales professionals. Elay is the former Senior Vice President of Sales Productivity at Salesforce. Recognized as the company's "2011 Top Executive", and credited for creating and executing all of Salesforce's sales productivity programs that accelerated its growth from $300M to $3B+ in revenue. The sales training and sales support innovations delivered over these years by Elay and his team to thousands of sales reps resulted in unprecedented hypergrowth. He also created the Partner Relationship Management (PRM) category.

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