Engaging with your sales team is one of the best ways to ensure your team remains on target and in sync when attaining the company's objectives and goals. But, given how swamped sales managers are with other work, planning for a meeting may not be your top priority.
Thankfully, you can plan an influential team session in under 30 minutes using the tips and steps summarised below.
A sales meeting agenda outlines your scheduled team session, allowing you to keep the discussion within the allocated time, organized, on-topic, and – more importantly – constructive.
The agenda's purpose is to keep the conversation moving, enabling your team to focus on critical issues, create solutions, and then implement those solutions.
If a sales meeting agenda is structured correctly, you can accelerate your progress and leverage your team's strengths, resulting in a pleasing bottom line.
Your progress is accelerated because your sales meeting agenda keeps you focused and homed in on the topics that matter. You're emphasizing the issues that meet results, therefore improving performance. But there are several other reasons to create an agenda that will undoubtedly enhance your team's performance; these benefits include:
67 Percent of professionals believe having an agenda is vital to productivity; your team will hold similar views.
A clear outline ensures your team is not hurriedly discussing critical issues because they are ill-prepared or diverting to shallow remarks that add no value and go nowhere.
The outline allows you to direct the conversation, improving your control of the meeting's outcome.
UK, US, German, and Swiss businesses lose a cumulative $541 billion a year through unproductive meetings. This is according to data from Doodle, a leading scheduling platform that collected feedback from 6,500 of the world's leading businesses.
Since remote work and telecommuting have increased meetings by 13 percent, businesses can expect to lose an additional $70 billion in precious hours because of unproductive meetings.
By creating your sales meeting agenda, you can reduce the number of meetings you're hosting and recover the resources and time wasted on frivolous meetings.
If everyone's on board, you can expect to reach resolutions quicker. The meeting's outline enables team members to prepare their talking points, ensuring they give succinct input at the meeting. This heads-up is key to employees feeling they're providing valuable feedback, which can also magnify their sense of worth.
Consider the last time you were in a meeting, especially one longer than 30 minutes. Did it provide any concrete benefit to your work or change your output or thinking?
Most meetings you're in – except those you're leading – will feel redundant, and often by the time it ends, most of the discussion has exited your memory. Your team is in that same boat if you're not creating a meeting outline.
Given that professionals spend more than 2 hours a week in meetings they believe are "pointless," your team will feel they're on the receiving end of nothing more than another mandatory meeting that potentially goes nowhere. Change that perception by including an agenda that your team can sink their teeth into.
The foundation to creating a meeting outline in minutes is to start with a SWOT – Strength, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats – analysis. The analysis helps you identify talking points you should prioritize.
Create headings for each category on a Google Doc, and enter information that correlates with each. If you're working within a group of sales team leaders or managers, consider sharing the file with others so they can give input on each category, especially areas you may have missed.
The SWOT document shouldn't be finite, you should be able to add to it whenever something new arises.
Using your list of strengths, create your first item on the agenda: an introduction that includes successes and wins. Starting with this guarantees you're building morale and sets the tone of the meeting. This is not the time to summarise; rather, use this segment to express your gratitude to your team.
Avoid singling out any specific employee, as this can cause division, unhealthy competition, and devolve into animosity.
If you plan to share your meeting outline with your team, the elements beneath this segment will not be included in the document. Instead, add this section as "open remarks" when you enter it in the public doc.
After you've listed your successes and wins, pivot to addressing the team's weaknesses. Here, you'll list the most pressing concerns facing your team.
The purpose of addressing shortcomings is to strategize to meet projections, but they can also be the most sensitive topic to broach.
So, instead of portraying these as weaknesses, list each shortcoming under the guise of strategizing, detailing KPIs and other metrics to kickstart the strategizing.
These are areas you want to improve. So include a category titled "strategy sessions" and list one or two pivotal weaknesses you can home in on.
You're only listing one or two at a time because as resolutions discussed in strategy sessions are implemented, you should ascertain their efficacy.
It's also not overwhelming to your team when you focus on one or two weaknesses.
Consider this section of the agenda an opportunity to inspire your team by sharing the trends that would affect their work.
Sharing market trends is a way to encourage participation, as this is an excellent opportunity for your team to share trends they've discovered and relay how they intend to implement them in their work.
It's also an opportunity to emphasize being agile and up-to-date, traits that will benefit your sales team tremendously.
When you're incorporating new software or SaaS tools, you should include a training session. Keep these brief. Ideally, your training sessions shouldn't be longer than 30 percent of the time allocated to the sales meeting.
If this time isn't enough for an extensive training session, shorten the segment and direct team members to more elaborate resources.
Where many sales managers fall short when creating the meeting outline is that they try to allocate the same time to activities and often replace training sessions with short motivational sessions.
Avoid giving motivational speeches when you don't have any training as many professionals won't find these useful and will resent spending 15 minutes listening to your thoughts to extend the meeting's time.
Relevance is everything when discussing the company's housekeeping. Therefore, only discuss policy changes, announcements, feedback from other departments, and process updates that affect the sales team.
Give your team something to look forward to with a list of action items to implement between this meeting and the next.
This is a summary of the most critical items discussed during the meeting, but can also include targets for the next month or quarter.
Beyond discussing these action items only at the meeting, consider putting them in an email, guaranteeing the information remains top-of-mind for your team.
Every sales meeting should have two agendas, the one you – and other managers or executives – are referencing and the one you're sharing with your team.
Each shouldn't be too extensive. Instead, they should include a heading followed by bullet points of what should be discussed.
Last Quarter Review
Assessments of KPIs
Metrics to Improve
Next Quarter Targets and Necessary Actions
Now that you have this guide on creating an effective meeting outline, you'll find developing your sales meeting agenda is less time-consuming while providing more value to your team and company. This is the formula needed in the vibrant environment of a sales team.
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