Sales Managers - How to Manage Your Sales Meetings

Many Sales Managers need help running sales meetings. The importance of running a compelling sales meeting is clear, but often Sales Managers fall into running meetings that don't inspire, motivate or even engage their sales team.

Here are some of the typical complaints from sales teams about sales meetings:

    "There is too much to do!"
    "Why do we bother to have a sales meeting?"
    "We don't get anything out of it"
    "It is a massive waste of time"

These objections are often heard by Sales Managers from their sales team. Running sales team meetings is one of the basic pillars of good sales management.

Run effectively they can provide a channel for communication between the Sales Manager and sales people, and help build collaboration within the team.

So, if they are so critical, why are they dreaded among most sales people?

Many sales people complain their sales meetings are boring. There is no value being added; the Sales Manager might like the sound of their own voice and talk too much, leading to limited participation from the team and they happen in an irregular manner.

There are 7 keys to having a success sales meeting:
  • Cadence. The rhythm of weekly meetings is critical to their success. So have them at the same time, same day and same place every week. This expectation of having the sales meeting requires you (the sales manager) to be prepared. It also signals to the sales team to be accountable for their actions every week.
  • Create a standard agenda. Have three basic items each sales team member needs to report to the group each week:
  • Review and discuss highlights and lowlights of previous week's results (as well as MTD and YTD tracking and trends).
  • Share what was learnt through the successes stories from previous week.
  • What do I need to achieve this week? Everyone should have 1 main objective for the week.
  • Participation. Sales meetings can be boring because sales people don't interact. It's the boss droning on about how we need more sales, you guys don't sell enough etc, etc. Change the mentality by involving the sales team in an interactive exercise. Be open to feedback, suggestion and comments from the group. Capture ideas and create action plans of ideas that have merit. Be careful not to shut down discussion too early.
  • New skill development. Reinforcing sales skills is vitally important for any team regardless of how effective and productive the team is currently. For any sales team there is always room for improvement. It is part of the role of the sales manager to identify areas that require improvement. Role practice is one of the best ways to impart new sales skills and encourage team participation.
Here are 4 common mistakes many Sales Managers make with their sales meetings;
  • Drag them on too long. The longer the time period, the more difficult it is to maintain interest and attention from the attendees. Consider what you want to cover in the meeting, and how long that would take.
  • Allow too much 'whining'. Your sales team are all together in one place and some salespeople will also have their favourite whine topics, such as "the company doesn't do enough marketing" or "our prices are not competitive compared to... " You need to be prepared for it and aware of the signs so you can deal with it as soon as it happens.
  • Don't prepare. If the meeting is not properly planned beforehand the meeting can be a waste of time to all the participants. Before the meeting think about your outcomes what you want to cover and how to get your message across in the most effective way.
  • Don't challenge the team. Another common mistake Sales Managers make is not to challenge the team, particularly around their sales pipeline or prospecting lists. Too many salespeople don't take these important activities seriously enough.
The sales meetings should be about motivating the team and helping them deal with their current sales challenges.

Alistair McMahon is an accomplished sales leader and entrepreneur, with specialisation in helping sales team have great sales meetings - getting everyone clear on where they're going, what's important and creating powerful dashboards. You can find more ideas at

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Evaluating Your Marketing Plan

Writing a marketing plan isn't a one-time job. It is something that needs to be evaluated and updated on a regular basis. As your business grows and changes, your marketing plan will grow and change. The following is a list of areas that you should be examining in order to determine ways to improve your marketing strategies:

• Are you targeting your intended market audience? Look at your current customers and compare them to your intended market. If you are not reaching your intended market, you may need to find new strategies to reach them.

• Are you achieving your sales goals? Compare what you projected to your actual sales.

• Do you need to change your strategies? You may find that your strategies are no longer meeting your marketing goal. For instance, if the demographics of your buyers change, then your marketing strategies will need to change so you are reaching this new group.

• Are you remaining within your budget? Look at your return on investment and re-assess how you spent your marketing dollars. You can then get rid of strategies that had a low return on investment and allocate that money to strategies that are getting better results.

• Is everything current? If you have updated or changed your products or services, make sure your marketing plan reflects this.

• What is your amount of new leads? Look at the amount of leads you are receiving from each marketing strategy separately so you can compare which ones are working better.

• Determine your cost per lead. Does it make sense to be spending that amount to get a new customer? If not, you need to find ways to lower this amount.

• Determine the conversion rate. This is the amount of potential visitors who perform the desired action. It is measured by taking the number of sales and dividing it by the number of visitors. The larger the conversion rate, the more successful your campaign is.

Businesses have the tendency to write a marketing plan once, when they are first starting up and need to get funding, and then either forget about it completely or continue to use it even when it becomes outdated. But this will likely result in wasted marketing dollars and ineffective marketing strategies. By routinely evaluating your marketing plan, you will be able to see which efforts have been successful and which have failed. Then you can make the necessary changes so that all of your marketing dollars are being spent on the most successful strategies.

This article was written by Steve Litzow, CEO of Marketing Lantern. Marketing Lantern helps businesses create marketing plans that work. Visit Marketing Lantern now to learn more about writing successful marketing plans and for a free 30 day trial account.

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