The dreaded meeting – few people enjoy taking time away from work just to sit in a room and listen to people drone on for an hour. However, these parts of any company are crucial to its success, so there needs to be a better way to pull it all together.
Few departments hate meetings as much as sales. Instead of hanging around, they would rather be out there chasing leads and closing deals. Therefore, their time can't be wasted. Meetings have to build teamwork, act as motivation and provide value to those in attendance.
In order to do just that, small business owners may want to focus on these six business and financial tips to create the best possible sales meeting.
1. Don't try to do too much
A sales meeting should be a simple proposition, Kevin Higgins, CEO of training organization Fusion Learning, wrote in an article for Entrepreneur magazine. Do all of these topics really need to be talked about right now? If the answer is yes, keep going. If not, a small business owner should consider restructuring the meeting and making sure that everyone who is there needs to be. Better yet, the meeting has to be short and sweet. From the moment it begins, only vital topics should be discussed and everything should be a top priority. Otherwise, people will get bored and regret showing up in the first place.
2. Always be a motivator
Motivation is crucial for every part of the business, including sales. Higgins explained that this element has to be a part of every team meeting. That could mean upper management makes sure to thank the employees for all of their hard work, or expands a financial plan to include a little added monetary bonus. Either way, sales has to feel supported, and few places are better to do that than at a meeting.
3. Create a consistent agenda
According to Higgins, a standard agenda will help keep everyone on track during a sales meeting. As an added perk, preparation time will be reduced and the topics will be organized in a clear, concise fashion. Using the same agenda for each subsequent meeting will help keep things moving forward, and also allow participants to know what to expect.
4. Always have a goal
The problem with many sales meetings is a lack of a clear objective. Salespeople want to find ways to perform better and make more money, not waste time listening to someone ramble on. According to Inc. magazine, managers have to address that fact right away. The goal of every meeting should be specific, and made apparent from the moment it begins. It is important to remain on topic throughout the entire time, though.
5. Don't let the costs get out of control
Not all sales meetings take place in the office. Inc. magazine explained that some companies require them to take place at fancy resorts, golf clubs or convention centers. This added pressure on a financial plan may not be needed, however, and the costs can get expensive. This is especially true if the salespeople have to foot the bill themselves, and pay their way to the next meeting location. Upper management has fun, while the other guys are left upset and cash-strapped.
6. Don't be afraid to get a head start
There is no harm in starting early, the news source noted. This could include sending material to those who will be in attendance ahead of time, so they can read up and be prepared for the meeting itself. This will make the learning curve smaller, certainly if there is training involved, and it will keep the length of the actual meeting shorter. All in all, a little head start never hurt anyone.