Many business areas thrive on exchange. At snapADDY, for example, several employees are often involved in the development of new product features. The individual work plans have to fit together perfectly. That is why it is essential to know the position of each colleague. Meanwhile, sales representatives manage very well on their own, as they support the customer without depending on the work performance of other colleagues. As a result, internal sales meetings are often seen as a waste of time and a necessary evil – at best.
Before the recent restructuring of our sales meetings, this was also the case for us. In the meantime, all colleagues find our weekly meeting helpful and meaningful and participate actively. In this article, I would like to share our tips and experience for running sales meetings efficiently.
1. Set objectives and communicate them directly to the team
Ask yourself the following questions: What do I want to achieve and what added value will the meeting bring to everyone involved? Often, meetings are held for the sake of conducting them, without the participants being able to set a clear objective.
Communicate this added value clearly to the team and regularly reflect on whether the objective is being met. This is the only way to ensure the effectiveness of the meeting.
Our meeting goals are to motivate the team, discuss the pipeline, exchange information with marketing, business development, and customer success departments, as well as provide further training. We achieve all these goals with about 15 participants in about 30 minutes.
For larger teams, you need to schedule several meetings and focus on specific objectives. For non-sales teams (e.g., marketing), it is usually enough for a colleague to attend and report the results in the corresponding next team meeting.
2. Preparation – also by the team
At the beginning of our meetings, we discuss the highlights of the past week and the KPI's status. As a manager, it is important to prepare them to avoid spending unnecessary time in the CRM or reporting tool during the meeting.
It is also important that each team member prepare his or her pipeline to discuss it briefly and concisely. For this reason, the entire team always has access to the meeting minutes. In this way, everyone can prepare themselves with the content of each training.
Don't start your meeting with, "How was last week? Who wants to start?" Human beings are creatures of habit and need structure – especially in regular meetings. Our meeting minutes are always structured the same way. That way, everyone knows what to expect and at what time. For example, this is our sales agenda:
- Last week's wins and highlights
- Current statistics (KPIs)
- Pipeline progress
- New marketing, business development, and customer success topics
- News from competitors and partners
- Further training
4. Daily stand-ups
If you are familiar with Scrum, you will surely know about the daily stand-up meetings (max. 15 minutes.) Here you can discuss what has happened since the last exchange and what is especially relevant for the daily sales routine: Are there obstacles preventing a certain deal from closing? – Perhaps a colleague has had a similar problem and can help you. Is there a new pitch presentation that works much better than the previous ones? – Feel free to share it with the whole team.
This daily meeting facilitates the weekly meeting. As a side effect, it also strengthens team bonding, especially if some of the employees work remotely. We always hold our sessions a little before the midday break, so we choose a time that avoids interruptions or affects the daily routine of colleagues.
5. Competitors analysis
In a dream world, we would be the only quality supplier and solve all the customer's problems, who search to solve them and thoroughly analyzes our solutions. However, a brief search on the Internet often offers the potential customer many solutions, all of which seem to be the best for a given purpose. To highlight the positive aspects of the company and compare them with the competitors, salespeople and marketers must have an excellent knowledge of the market.
The most valuable information is obtained by talking to people who use the competitor's solution. These conversations are typically held by individual salespeople during a demonstration or phone call. Incorporating a competitors analysis into your weekly sales meeting helps you break down these knowledge boundaries and share valuable information with the entire team.
"Life is too short for long meetings" – Klaus Klages. On that note, I hope our tips will help you make meetings more effective in the future. Please feel free to share with me your experience in organizing meetings. I would be happy to get your feedback.
Victor Weitzmann works as Sales Operations Manager at snapADDY since April 2021. During his studies in Management, he supported the team as a working student. Earlier, he also gained experience as an intern and student in IT recruitment and business development.