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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