How To Run Effective Sales Meetings in 7 Steps (With Tips)
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Meetings provide a space for discussing performance and analyzing company progress. Company sales departments conduct regular meetings to gain an understanding of current work processes and discover areas for improvement. Understanding how to run an effective sales meeting can help you optimize your company resources. In this article, we discuss why sales meetings are important, how to run them and tips for better sales meetings.
Why are sales meetings important?
Sales meetings are important for gaining a shared understanding of sales work processes and performance. A sales meeting can discuss finance updates, market research, trend forecasts, competition performance and company priorities. Through these discussions, sales department teams can identify the processes that generate the most revenue so they can focus their resources on those efforts. In a sales meeting, teams can design and plan the implementation of personnel training and product development strategies to optimize overall company performance.
How to run effective sales meetings
Consider these steps for running effective sales meetings at your company:
1. Set a meeting objective
Try to decide on the goals of your sales meeting and assess whether you should discuss planned topics in a formal or informal setting and with the entire department or specific team members. Identifying your objective and how to best achieve it can help you schedule your meeting when the appropriate members are available. If your goal is brief, you may have a quick discussion or check-in, while larger objectives might benefit more from a formal meeting environment.
2. Create a meeting agenda
With your meeting objective in mind, consider creating your meeting agenda to outline discussion topics, leaders, reports and time allotments. This agenda outlines your goals and priorities while allowing time for idea-generating and question-answering conversations. Having an agenda can improve communication, ensure everyone understands their expectations and keep the meeting on the topic.
3. Check your meeting materials
You can use documents or technology to enhance your meeting and share important updates. Consider testing your technology before the meeting to make sure your presentation devices work and your digital files are accessible and readable. Try to check your physical documents, like risk evaluations, return on investment reports or proposed sales projects, to ensure their accuracy before the meeting.
Conducting checks on your meeting materials can reduce troubleshooting or delays during your meeting. Reviewing your presentation slides and document pages also can refresh your memory on relevant information to help you plan and practice what you want to discuss. Consider checking these materials with another professional to make sure you can minimize potential issues.
4. Distribute the meeting agenda
You can share the meeting agenda and other meeting materials with attendees a day or two early through digital or physical copies. Allowing meeting members access to these documents gives them time to prepare for the meeting with additional ideas, questions, reports and updates. When attendees know what to expect, the meeting can run more smoothly as they prepare for the topics to discuss and have a better understanding of the meeting materials.
5. Start your meeting on time
Starting your meeting on time helps ensure you can follow the time allotments outlined in the agenda. If the meeting goes as scheduled, you can conclude on time to make sure attendees can get back to their regular work schedule. This can help prevent interruptions in production and ensure people aren't late for any meetings or tasks they might have after yours.
6. Acknowledge accomplishments and areas to grow
Consider reserving time during your sales meeting to celebrate team and individual accomplishments to update others on sales performance. You can show client reviews in your meeting or refer to specific comments and praise to motivate your sales department. With these reviews, you can track sales progress and identify aspects that attract and retain clients.
Try to use this opportunity to discuss strengths and weaknesses to highlight areas for improvement. Some reviews may feature constructive criticism you can mention to show your department what their clients expect. Including these recommendations for improvement within accomplishments helps set performance expectations while keeping the sales team motivated.
7. Schedule follow-ups
At the end of your meeting, you can schedule follow-up meetings for general sales objectives or specific projects the team proposed during the meeting. Try to allow time at the end of the meeting for a recap of key information and next steps for your department to receive final agreements and closing statements. If you're unable to discuss all topics or accomplish the meeting goal fully, you can announce the next meeting topics to address them then.
Tips for better sales meetings
The following are some tips to help you conduct better sales meetings:
Create a standard meeting format
Having a standard meeting format allows you to keep a regular meeting schedule so attendees know what to expect and how to prepare, which can allow discussions to operate smoothly and more effectively. Regular schedules also can ensure team members can schedule their other work processes around the normal meetings to better manage their time.
Having selected sales topic leaders and presenters for each meeting allows teams to create concise reports and updates for meeting discussions to remain on topic and within their allotted time. A consistent order of topics can help people prepare and know when to discuss their assigned topics or contribute ideas and questions. Along with a standard meeting format, you can set a standard for reports and updates during presentations.
Keep meeting members engaged
It's important to keep meeting members engaged so they can retain important information better. Try to keep them involved by asking questions or seeking their input on a topic. You also can introduce speakers from outside the sales department, such as professionals from other companies or clients, to add a new perspective to discussions.
Implement training time
Having brief training or workshop activities during your sales meetings can engage members while allowing them to develop their skills. You can implement workshops for idea generation methods to create a brainstorming session and plan sales campaigns. A training slideshow or presentation also can introduce new developments, systems and procedures for sales initiatives.
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