Sales meetings are crucial to a sales team’s success — when done properly. But a poorly-run, disorganized meeting isn’t just inconvenient, it’s a waste of everyone’s time.

Over my career, I’ve learned how to run productive sales meetings that last 20 minutes — no longer. My system lets us cover all the bases without spending too much time on a single agenda item.Learn how to run more effective sales meetings using this playbook. 

On my team, the overarching question for these meetings is, "How can you progress each deal as quickly as possible and stay on track towards your goal?"

Our sales meetings have two main focus points:

1. Ask for deal statuses.

The salesperson and I run through every deal in our CRM that’s about to close in our CRM. They give me a status; for example, if we’re trying to sell to ACME corporation, I’ll ask the rep if they’ve reached out recently.

If they haven’t, I’ll ask a few simple questions about the deal. This typically instills some urgency around contacting the prospect.

Then we’ll cover deals in the earlier stages of the sales process.

2. Track progress on outreach.

Every rep’s goal is reaching out to 150 people per week over email or phone. During our meetings, I ask them how many emails and calls they’ve logged since our last meeting.

If necessary, look at the data to get an exact number. It’s likely your reps will either overestimate or underestimate how much work they're doing.

This is how we do it:

Our reps use this Google Sheets template to track their work. We’ve set up conditional formatting rules so that if a salesperson reaches a target (let’s say, 200), the cell turns green.

The colors change depending on how far off the target someone is. It’s a gradual progression from red to green.

Results have improved since our salespeople started following this process. We’ve also seen an increase in the number of meetings they booked by filling in these documents.

Before we implemented this, we gave our sales team a goal — for example, booking two to three meetings per week.

Our new structure helps reps see exactly what they have to do every day. This makes executing much simpler and easier.

More importantly, it helps us keep our meetings short. All the information we need can be found in the document, so our meetings are focused on the important things.

To see a full breakdown of this document and get it as a template, watch this video.

Are you ready to implement a solid sales meeting process for your team? The most important thing you need to run an effective sales meeting is an intentional agenda. Let’s discuss why having a strong agenda is so important.

Weekly Sales Meeting Agenda

Your agenda is the heartbeat of your meeting. Having a clear agenda for your team’s weekly sales meetings helps your reps understand exactly what information they can expect to walk away from the meeting with.

For most sales teams, weekly sales meetings are a place to discuss current sales deals, targets, and projects. These items should take up the bulk of your agenda. Here is a suggested flow for your sales meeting agenda:

  1. Reviewing numbers from last week.
  2. Planning for this week.
  3. Answering any questions sales reps have.
  4. Discussion items (assigning specific tasks, etc).

Once you have your agenda in place, it is time to send a calendar invitation to your team so they know when and where the meeting is taking place. Use the following tips to keep your meeting on-track when the time comes.

1. Set an objective.

Setting a purpose helps keep sales meetings short and to the point. You are asking your team members for their time, and you need to respect and acknowledge that by keeping the meeting relatively short.

So what’s the purpose of your sales meetings? It could be any of the following:

  • Getting everyone up to speed.
  • Reviewing project plans.
  • Setting and monitoring KPIs.
  • Resolving issues and tackling challenges.

Ideally, a sales meeting would have a single goal. But that’s hard to pull off. As long as you’re tackling less than three objectives, you can still have an effective meeting.

2. Share the agenda.

We have already discussed the importance of a good agenda when it comes to running effective sales meetings. However, sharing your agenda with your team before the meeting is key. When your attendees know what your meeting is about, they are more likely to attend and will be prepared to engage in meaningful discussion.

Provide an agenda in the calendar invite for a meeting. This gives your reps time to do their homework, so they’ll come with ideas and relevant questions. Your meetings should follow a consistent agenda with updated information every week for maximum efficiency.

3. Create meeting norms and establish expectations.

For maximum productivity, your team should have a set of agreed-upon meeting norms and expectations that everyone abides by.

Your meeting norms should outline the roles and responsibilities of everyone in attendance and should minimize the chaos that large teams can be especially susceptible to. Here are some meeting norms and expectations that may be helpful for your sales team:

  • Sales team meetings will start and end on-time.
  • All team members are expected to come prepared to discuss meeting agenda topics.
  • Team members are to stay on-track.
  • We will engage in one conversation at a time.

Based on your sales team’s dynamic and current meeting style, you can adjust these expectations as needed.

4. Facilitate the conversation to keep things on track.

We’ve all attended meetings where the agenda isn’t followed, and the main objective of the meeting isn’t addressed. Ideally, there should be a facilitator overseeing your meeting to keep everyone on task and discussing the agenda items at hand.

What if one of the team members raises a critical topic? If it’s related to the agenda, address it. But set a time limit for those discussions and quickly return to the current agenda.

You can also implement a “parking lot” where someone from the team writes down important topics for the team to follow up on at a later date.

5. Have reps provide relevant data before the meeting.

Does your agenda include information that needs to be prepared or presented by sales reps? If so, make sure you have a process in place for how you can gather this information beforehand. This can often include having a standard deck that you share with reps asking them to update their information the day before the meeting.

When you have the materials you need from reps ahead of time, you aren’t cutting into precious meeting time looking for files or data.

6. Share action items and next steps.

So you’ve successfully run an efficient sales meeting with your team. What happens when the meeting ends?

A sales meeting should always end with a plan for action. If it doesn’t, it’s not truly productive.

Your rep must walk away with an achievable goal in mind. Then, in the next meeting, you can discuss whether they achieved it.

Here are a few examples:

  • Get the client to proposal stage.
  • Land on a defined budget.
  • Identify and book a meeting with the decision maker.

Make sure you incorporate these items into your next meeting agenda for continuity.

Follow these tips, and your meetings will be short and productive.

Sales meeting playbook

Sales Meeting Playbook

Originally published Jan 14, 2020 12:00:00 PM, updated January 14 2020

Topics:

Sales Management