I believe making a sales meeting about a salesperson’s pipeline is a waste of time and can bring down your sales team. Even though it is Important to know a salesperson’s pipeline (I like to call them prospective leads), it should be done on a more one to one basis.
Because salespeople work for a company I would not call it wasting their time when a manager (Sales or CEO) needs to stay connected with their salespeople and to give and gather important information.
My experience with giving and attending sales meetings has been to offer the following. (But not in only one meeting)
1. Discuss if your sales team has all the sales tools they need. Company brochures, samples, paperwork, ect. You would be surprised what they don’t have or think they don’t have.
2. Discuss about the competition. It is important to know about your competitors.
3. Discuss if any salesperson know of any leads in another salesperson’s territory. I have found that salespeople indirectly bump into leads that can be used by some other salesperson.
4. Discuss if there are any questions in the products/services you are offering for sale.
5. Discuss about new products coming up or being offered.
6. Discuss to see if there are any issues between the sales department and other departments in the company. I would be surprised if there weren’t any.
7. Discuss what the current customers are saying about your product or service.This is important because you need to fix any negative feedback.
8. Discuss any sales successes that a team member can share with the other sales people, and discuss any obstacles. Many top sales people want to be known for being the best and enjoy telling (bragging) what they know.
Even though sales meetings need to be taken serious they also should have some things added to be enjoyable as well. Here are a few ideas to break up the routine that makes your sales staff not to want to attend.
1. Have a sales meeting at a restaurant. The company should pay for the lunch
2. Bring in vendors of some of the products or services you offer
3. Take a tour at a factory where your product is being built. (If the location is not too far and expensive.
4. Bring in sales training. This has to be for the type of sales you are doing. If you are in a B2B sales environment then how to sell to the direct consumer would not work. You may have to interview or see samples of several lecturers/trainers before you decide.
5. Give a gift card to the top selling salesperson for that month
6. Give a give card to the salespeople who turned a prospect to a customer for that month.
7. Make a library for sales books and CDs that the salespeople can check out. There are so many books on selling in the market you can buy thousands very cheap, or ask a salesperson if they would like to donate some books/CDs.
8. Ask a salesperson if they want to do a sales or prospect call in front of the sales team. This could be fun and interesting.
9. Play an impromptu game like “Sell This Pen”. You don’t hold a salesperson for not being good at it but rather laugh with them and pat them on the back for playing.
The idea is to make your sales meeting memorable. By memorable I mean by not being dreaded and not being just about a pipeline. When you have a good sales team you are obligated to make the working environment inspirational and educational. Your one on one meeting can be a more knock down “what have you done for this company lately” type meeting. Even then be careful not to lose a good salesperson.