Saturday, February 14, 2009

Sales Meetings Let Your Staff Do The Work And Get The Results You Want

Writen by Tom Richard

Are YOU as frustrated with your sales meetings as your sales staff is?

You fill the agenda with administrative crap, a bunch of whining and some pseudo-motivational words you picked up from somewhere. You give your staff a budget update and some suggestions on how to improve sales in the week ahead.

What about your sales staff? What are THEY doing?

Listening? Getting motivated to make some sales in the upcoming week?

I doubt it!

The problem is that you are speaking TO your sales staff instead of communicating WITH them. If they are an important part of the sales results, shouldn't they play an important role in the meeting?

The Plan

Making money isn't random.

Every business needs a plan to make money.

A great plan is one that focuses on producing results and holds EVERYONE accountable for achieving those desired results. This type of plan creates a production based organization.

Every business and sales organization has a target number that they need to hit either by the end of the month or the end of the quarter. Understanding your numbers and breaking them down into small, attainable chunks is the first step of creating a production based environment.

Every plan needs employees to make it work.

The most important ingredient, however, is the employees. To be productive, your employees need:

1.) Leadership

2.) Structure

3.) Systems

4.) The feeling that what they do matters

Your sales meetings should combine these factors to create an environment that will lead to productive employees.

Before the meeting, each person on the sales staff should create their own action plan. The action plan should be put in writing and should be developed by the employee, NOT the sales manager! This creates accountability, giving each member a sense of ownership and responsibility for achieving the goals of their action plan.

Unlike other methods of accountability, this action plan allows the salespeople to have the freedom to do it their own way while still keeping the objective in sight.

The Meeting

There are two goals of a weekly sales meeting:

1. Report production (How are we doing?)

2. Drive new production (How can we do better?)

Remember, the meeting should focus on producing sales results by highlighting each employee's contribution toward that common goal or number.

Therefore, the sales manager should simply facilitate these meetings and help celebrate successes. Nothing more! Let the sales staff get involved in the meeting by showing each other what they have accomplished and brainstorm ways to reach the common goal.

Report Production: How Are We Doing?

Your sales meeting should begin by having each member of the team present/report their production from the previous week. They should have the floor to themselves and report their contribution toward your goal, or number, and the team.

Think about this: would you want to stand in front of your co-workers/peers and show them your less than positive results?

NO! And your sales staff doesn't want to, either!

Your sales staff will be motivated throughout the entire week to be able to report positive data during the next week's meeting. They will WANT to prove to themselves and their peers that they are making a great contribution to the team. They may not make that crucial extra step for the sales manager or for the company, but when their friends and co-workers are expecting them to hit that number, they won't want to let them down!

This type of positive peer pressure will be more effective than ANY amount of coaching that a sales manager can provide. It is also better received; it motivates and inspires each member to own their goals and achievements within the system.

When each member is self-driven to do better, they will seek the leadership that is necessary for them to gain better results. The employee will take it upon themselves to turn to the leader for guidance and coaching. They will turn to the leader for sales answers.

This means that your staff will be more receptive of suggestions and advice. It also means that you won't be wasting your time giving lectures or reprimands to employees that you just can't seem to motivate!

Reward Production

This is also a good time to recognize and reward individuals that have produced results OR have taken action that will lead to results in the future. Most organizations fail to recognize and celebrate these actions that lead to results, and are missing a great opportunity to continually motivate and inspire their team members!

For example, if a team member hasn't actually made a sale, but has made several presentations to a number of people throughout the week, celebrate it! They are on their way toward producing positive results!

You know the actions that are required to make a sale, and you need to make the accomplishments of these actions just as important as the sale itself.

By letting each member shine and show their individual production, each team member will provide their OWN desire to produce results for the team!

Drive New Production: How Can We Do Better?

After everyone has given their report on their production from the week prior, it's time to drive new production and have each salesperson determine a new action plan for the upcoming week.

The best way to drive new production is to have a creative roundtable discussion about how the team can hit the goal number for the coming week. The sales manager should simply facilitate discussion. This isn't the time for you to bark orders or make everyone in the room listen to YOUR great ideas!

Allow each member of the team to choose how much of the number or goal they feel they can effectively be responsible for. Of course, make sure that the sum of everyone's individual goals is equal to or greater than the total weekly number.

This conversation is effective because every person on the team has the same goal in mind. There will be many new ideas presented in this style of sales meeting, because everyone will have a chance to brainstorm and give input.

Because each member will have a voice, each will feel like the team goal is their own personal goal, and will feel like they are making a difference. This style of meeting is effective because it provides the members of the team with the structure, system, and accountability they need to produce the results that you want!

By having a production based organization, you will be able to facilitate sales meetings that will keep EVERY member motivated to contribute to the team! Giving each member the chance to own their individual goals and brainstorm ideas will give them the drive and desire to do just what you hired them to do—produce sales!

Tom Richard is the author of a free weekly ezine on selling skills. To subscribe to this ezine send a blank email to Also Tom is the author of Smart Sales People Don't Advertise: 10 Ways To Outsmart Your Competition With Guerilla Marketing

1 comment:

0s0-Pa said...

Great points covered here that I'll be sure to include in future sales meetings. Thanks for sharing them!