The Essential Ingredient in Every Sales Meeting by Ron Marks

Ron Marks

In the past twenty-five years I have seen thousands of sales meetings conducted by managers throughout the world. I can tell within a few moments whether a sales manager is a professional or an amateur by how they begin a sales meeting. I would bet you can too. Of all the things you do as a sales manager, this is the most public thing you do in your business. Holding an excellent sales meeting is a great chance to motivate the team and disseminate information and it is also a chance to lose momentum in a hurry!

Sales managers who have decided to run a sales meeting because they have something important to convey have passed the first test for a successful meeting. They have a purpose! I realize this test seems obvious, but think back to all of the meetings you have been to that had no value or agenda whatsoever.

I know I have attended many meetings where I just rolled my eyes and shook my head, thinking, “What a waste!” The first step to leading a successful sales meeting is to have a clear reason for calling one. Common reasons for holding a sales meeting are:

  • To inform the sales team—Give information on what is happening at the company, like a new product being announced or a new advertising campaign being launched.
  • To plan with the sales team—Discuss future goals and objectives, assess trends in the marketplace, and discuss how the company can plan to meet challenges.
  • To educate the sales team—Training is a critical component of any successful sales organization. I find the best companies make training and education a part of every sales meeting.
  • To inspire the sales team—Like training, inspiration and motivation should be part of every sales meeting, but sometimes the whole purpose of the meeting is to get people revved up!
  • To reward the sales team—Sales meetings are great places to bring everyone together to give out praise and recognition. Remember to praise in public and criticize in private; Never use a sales meeting to criticize an individual salesperson. Use sales meetings only to praise an individual or team.
  • To build teamwork among the sales team and the company—Sales meetings can be excellent venues to build teamwork as well as to integrate parts of the company that don’t always work together. Work segments of the agenda into areas that the administrative team can participate in as well.  This is a great way to build an understanding of what each group does so that each can have more appreciation for the other. I highly recommend that you work participation time into your sales meetings if you have an accounting group, an installation team, a customer service team, or any other groups that work apart from sales. The payoff is a more understanding and cooperative organization.

The most important advice I can give you is to prepare thoroughly. This is no time to “wing it” Make sure you are ready and your team will know that you value them and their contribution to your team.

Ron Marks is the author of “Managing for Sales Results” and travels extensively around the world helping sales managers work for effectively with their sales teams. Ron can be reached at ron@managingforsalesresults.com.

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