Sales meetings - Every sales team have them, but not all sales teams love them. In fact, since CSO Insights reports that sales reps spend just 33% of their time selling, it's very feasible to guess that most sales teams hate their sales meetings. Unfortunately, these meetings are very important for team alignment, sales process feedback, coaching, and management's ability to forecast accurately. If you think your sales meetings are not as productive as you should be, here are 3 signs to check for to be sure that it's time to invest resources in improving your sales meetings.
1. They are taking forever to complete
Remember that CSO stat? Sales reps spend 33% of their time actively selling even though that's their core responsibility. Sales meetings should aim to be as time efficient as possible. As a sales manager, much of the homework on what needs to be discussed at the sales meeting should be done beforehand so that the actual meeting is all about developing the best strategies possible to move deals through the pipeline. Sales managers should have the agenda prepped days before the meeting so that the reps can be prepared. Knowing where you are in terms of hitting your forecast, knowing what deals are close to closing, knowing what deals are stalling, or where deals are getting stuck in your pipeline are all things that should be taken care of with sales tools before the meeting in order to cut down the time spent away from selling activities.
2. You aren't getting to talk strategy
Sales meetings should be collaborative between the sales manager and their team. In the sales meeting, you have a perfect opportunity to get first-hand feedback on how your sales process is working. As a sales manager, it's important to remember that your sales process is a living and evolving entity that may need to be adjusted from time-to-time. Getting feedback from your sales team during your sales meetings could shed light on a stage where you might be bringing in a key decision maker too early or too late, or maybe you need to add a milestone at an early stage to get a better qualification. Whatever changes that may need to happen, should be discussed during the sales meeting. Investing in a pipeline management solution for your team and help identify these problems with empirical data.
3. Reps frequently don't know the focus of the meeting
Sometimes the easy part is making an agenda, the tough part can be sticking to it. If you constantly get into a meeting and have issues come out of left field and hijack it, then you may not be focusing on the most pressing issues in your agenda. This issue may be your leadership style, but let's assume it's not for right now. Instead, invest in tools and processes that promote and streamline feedback from your sales reps in real-time. This can be tough since ToutApp reports that 71% of sales reps already believe they spend too much time entering data, but if you find a technology that allows them to send updates on deals and provide quick assessments of their selling experiences without leaving what they are currently doing (updating in the CRM, checking email, walking out of a meeting, etc.) then you will drastically increase the likelihood that they will share their issues as soon as they happen.
Sales meetings that are inefficient are costing you more than you think and should be addressed quickly. Investing in tools that enable real-time feedback, allow you to have an accurate and focused agenda, and much short meeting times are key to giving sales reps more time to actually sell. Taking the plunge into vetting our sales technology for your team is one that can seem arduous but once you know what the key issues that your sales team faces (CRM input, accurate forecasting, pipeline management, sales process automation, and assessment, etc.) you can easily find the best tools for you. If you recognize these signs during your sales meeting, take action.