6 Secrets to Leading Sales Meetings that People Want to Attend

At DoubleDigit Sales, we recently conducted a poll that asked sales leaders to rate the quality of their sales meetings. On average, sales managers gave themselves just 6.3 out of 10. Only 21 percent rated their meetings at 8 out of 10 or higher – leaving 79 percent at 7 out of 10 or less.

If you find yourself heading into a meeting and you know at the end of it you’ll rate it a 7 out of 10 or less, would you want to attend? Not me. Now, think of your sales team. How energized will they be?

Sales meetings are a critical component of a great sales culture -- an opportunity to build the skills of the entire team and motivate them. In each meeting, if you provide your team with just one idea, strategy or tactic that will improve their game, and motivate with some positive reinforcement or reward, you will see a gain in productivity and sales results.

Here are six techniques guaranteed to improve your next sales meeting:

1. Start with an energizerSales Meetings Infographic

Begin your sales meetings on time and start with some fun. Reward those who are punctual to help eliminate the lateness factor.

From week to week you'll find my team doing trivia games, telling funny stories, sharing sales highlights of the week, or discussing their focus for the month ahead.

2. Conduct a capability activity

Every sales meeting must stretch and challenge team members' skills to keep them at the top of their game. Capability activities can focus on prospecting, networking, lead generation, client meetings, presenting solutions or closing.

The capability activity is all about ongoing skill development and is the key to creating value at the meeting.

3. Keep it Simply Simple (K.I.S.S)

Always ask, "Does this item need to be in the meeting or could it be done outside the meeting or as pre-work?"

Keep it simple with four steps:

• Make sure the pace of the meeting is fast (pace should be dramatically faster than if it were a one on one meeting)

• Create the right atmosphere by making it engaging

• Add value by helping the team better execute on a key sales skill that will help them close business

• Have shared ownership; meaning you have the members share content on a regular basis

4. Have three rules for individual updates

When discussing personal updates make sure the topics are small and the answers timed, so they don't take over the meeting or sap the team's energy.

To ensure individual updates don't take up too much of the sales meeting, follow these three rules:

• Set time limits

• Create different themes around successes, like key learnings and future focus

• Know when to take individual issues offline

5. Motivate and reward

You must build motivation into every sales meeting. The sales team has a tough challenge and needs to feel supported and recognized. This isn't about big gifts or exceptional moments -- the simplest "thank you" can have great meaning.

Think about sorting the rewards into different categories. You can make them fun, competitive, team-based, recognition-based or even externally focused, such as getting input or recognizing someone outside of the sales team.

6. Follow a standard agenda

The standard agenda should be:

a) Energizer

b) Capability Activity

c) Team/Business Update

d) Individual Update

e) Reward/Recognition

If you follow this format, you'll have a standard, consistent and easy-to-follow agenda that will keep you focused and on track. With it, you can reduce your meeting preparation time dramatically. With these six techniques, my sales managers have reduced their meeting preparation time to 10 minutes or less per meeting, while consistently creating high-value meetings. This focused and consistent investment of your time will guarantee gains in your sales teams' productivity and overall results.

What techniques have worked for your team?