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Transform the Sales Meeting

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Most of our clients use us because they want to get more rigorous practice happening in their sales teams. They want to break the bad habits that sellers and their Sales Managers get into that limit results and more rapidly improve their ability to sell the way top performers do.

Often, when we get into the planning meetings with Sales Leaders that want to drive change, they tell us the key for them is to get their frontline Sales Managers to do more of the kind of sales coaching that has a bigger impact on results. They often find that their efforts at sales enablement, training and technology investments aren’t impacting what their salespeople are saying on actual sales calls and they notice them making a lot of rookie mistakes like talking too much, not asking good questions and not asking for the order when the time is right.. Salespeople get into these patterns of behavior in the way they sell and although the hope is that the Sales Manager will be more of a teacher and coach, this often does not happen.

As such, one of the most common questions we get when we start a project is, “what’s the quickest, most effective way to get our Sales Managers doing the kind of coaching and follow-up training that will positively impact sales and build stronger sales teams?” To be fair, it does depend on the organization and other factors, but 90% of the time the best place to start is with improving the way Sales Managers run their repeating sales meetings. Why is this?

  • For most companies, the team sales meeting is an existing structure that is already happening and if this meeting is improved dramatically, it doesn’t require the planning of additional meetings and more lost selling time.
  • Most salespeople think the bulk of what happens in sales meetings is not only a waste of time, but demotivating. We have surveyed thousands of salespeople on this issue and over 95% of all salespeople think sales meetings are, by and large, a waste of time and unproductive
  • Sales meetings are the perfect place for the average Sales Manager to work on developing better sales coaching skills, especially as it relates to the kind of skills building associated with how elite sports coaches train and rehearse their athletes for competition.
  • The sales meeting is often the best place to bust through practice anxiety and the general awkwardness of of practicing when it isn’t an established routine.
  • Because the team is together, the coaching drills and exercises can lead to recognition and celebration.
  • The sales meeting is a great way to get other team members involved in giving demonstrations, opening or closing with inspiration and even running practice drills.

It’s a great idea … but …

There’s a lot to cover in sales meetings and allotting 50% of the time to training and practice is a big commitment. Getting back to basics, what really is the purpose of the weekly, bi-monthly or monthly sales meeting? To share information? To refresh on procedures, policy and compliance? Or is it to train and motivate the team to improve their performance?

In my entire life, I have never heard a single salesperson tell me that some new policy or compliance issue that was discussed in the sales meeting, often at great lengths had any positive impact on sales. What I have heard, thousands of times, is that top performers trace their success to changes they made in their selling approach as they learned to ask better questions, listen and tailor their message to have more impact. More practice in sales meetings will help more salespeople connect these dots and start to sell more consistently the way top performers do.

The ideal way to think about sales meetings is to spend the first half of the meeting practicing (not discussing) sales skills. Practicing the way sports teams do it with drills, repetition and quick feedback leading to more repetition. So, if a sales meeting is an hour, spend the first 30-minutes doing practice on the value proposition, competitive advantage, connecting good questions to quick summaries and insights and responding to objections. We’ve go dozens of great drills for sales managers if you’re not sure how to do this.

Then, use the second half of the meeting, after the practice, for all the other stuff you need to cover like forecasting, pipeline analysis, commitments, product updates, HR, etc. If 50% of your meeting time is spent practicing, your sales team will accelerate their improvement rapidly, especially if you know how to coach the way sports coaches do it.

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This YouTube playlist contains the more popular webinars published by SalesGym on research into sales teams, leadership topics and the more disruptive selling skills needed in today’s world.

Check out these videos that demonstrate the remarkable improvement salespeople make in just 60-minutes of SalesGym’s unique practice coaching approach modeled after how elite sports coaches work with their athletes. 

This unique no-cost trial membership is offered to sales trainers, leaders and coaches that have responsibility to develop the skills and abilities of salespeople and teams. Check out how you can get certified to deliver one of SalesGym’s highest impact training drills at no cost! 

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