How many times do you think reps have sat in a sales meeting thinking it should have been an email? I’m guessing more than once.
In fact, research found that, in many cases, managers overestimate their ability to run effective team meetings. The study showed that:
- 79% of leaders rated the meetings they initiated as extremely or very productive
- Only 56% said the same about meetings initiated by others
In other words, leaders consistently rate their own meetings more favorably when they’re the ones running the show.
As a sales leader, it’s critical that, when you do meet with your team, you’re using that time effectively for all those involved. Otherwise, you’re just taking precious selling time away.
To ensure you’re making the most productive use of your team meetings, let’s walk through what a successful sales meeting agenda looks like.
In this article we’ll walk through:
- How to start a sales meeting
- 8 items to add to your sales meeting agenda
- Tips for writing sales meeting minutes
- Sales meeting agenda template (download)
How to start a sales meeting
There’s no one right answer to this question, but there certainly are many ways to start off your recurring team sync on the right foot.
This might sound like a cheesy idea, but trust me, it works! Every meeting, add a new ice breaker question to your agenda leading up to the meeting. This will give everyone a chance to think over their answer and come ready to open up to the team.
At the start of the meeting, spend a couple of minutes going around the room and have each person share their answer. Not only will this ease people into the meeting, but it will also help build better relationships and camaraderie within the team.
Some great icebreaker questions you can ask include:
- What did you get up to this weekend?
- What’s your favorite hobby outside of work?
- You’re stranded on a desert island. What’s the one thing you bring to keep you occupied?
- What’s the best place you’ve traveled to?
- What’s one thing you’re looking forward to this week?
Start off the meeting on a positive note by sharing a little recognition across the team. Not only will it get people talking, but it’ll actively engage your team over time.
In fact, in Bonusly’s 2019 Employee Engagement and Modern Workplace Report, 84% of highly engaged employees were recognized the last time they went above and beyond, compared to only 25% of highly disengaged employees.
Sharing recognition from all directions is also a great way to motivate your sales team because they’ll not only feel appreciated by you, their manager, they’ll also feel it from their peers too.
One more way to start your sales meeting is to begin with successes and wins, but we’ll walk through that in the next section.
8 items to add to your sales meeting agenda
1. Successes and wins
Always start with a positive in meetings. It’s a rule we live by here at Soapbox, and it truly makes every meeting far more productive. Have your sales team share a recent triumph to kick off the discussion. Think along the lines of closing a big deal, big insights, percentage towards target or similar.
2. Pipeline updates
Go around your table and get a pulse check on where each sales team member’s pipe sits. This will give you an opportunity to identify individually and collectively as a team where you need to jump in and support. It will also give you the information you need to prioritize your – and your team’s – activities for the week (i.e. where physically you need to be for meetings, what prospects need following up and where to prioritize your time).
3. Obstacles and roadblocks
Starting with pipeline updates is a natural segue into where there might be roadblocks or hurdles. Is your team being held up by you or other departments? What in the coming week might get in the way of hitting your targets? Think beyond just internal business hurdles to other obstacles, like people out of the office that week, travel plans or holidays.
4. Prospect/lead feedback
Your sales team are the front line when it comes to receiving feedback on the business. Make hearing this feedback a priority in every sales team meeting agenda. Ask what feedback your team is hearing on the company, their pitches, the business and more. Make sure you document this!"Your sales teams have first-hand access to how your brand, business and product are received by the marketplace. As a leader, it's your job to figure out the best way to harvest and share that information." Click To Tweet
5. Metrics update
Whether or not it’s your responsibility, make sure sales metrics are covered in every meeting and that they’re tied directly to the team’s core goals. Forget vanity metrics that don’t actually reflect performance objectives. How is your team is tracking towards weekly, monthly or quarterly monthly targets? Avoid calling out individual performance here (save addressing that for your one-on-one meetings) but give the team an idea of where numbers are at, and where they need to be.
As a manager and leader, you’ll have insight into parts of the business that your team might not. Housekeeping is the opportunity for you to distribute this information. Transparency is key! Keep your team abreast of things like business strategy, product updates, marketing campaigns or anything else that comes up.
7. Competitor updates
For sales teams, keeping an eye on the pulse of the competition is a huge opportunity to grow, learn and carve your place in a market. Have your team come to each meeting with something they’ve learned or spotted competitors doing. If you have the time, do a deep dive into one of your competitors every team meeting, taking a look at their business strategy, USPs and pricing.
8. Pitch round table
Reserve 10 minutes of your meeting for either one person to present their 10-minute sales pitch, or for the entire team to each share their 60-second pitch.
Then, go around the room and collect feedback and ideas. Are there inconsistencies in pitches? Could some of the closing pitch phrases be more actionable? Here’s your opportunity to refine, lead and refine again.
Every sales meeting agenda will be different depending on size, structure and industry, but we’ve found that sales meetings that address the questions above result in uber-productive meetings. And who doesn’t want that?
Tips for writing sales meeting minutes
Documenting your meeting might feel like a daunting task as you’re doing it, but it will save you time and headaches in the future. If you’re not sure what you should be included in your meeting minutes, let’s walk through a few things you absolutely need to write down during and after every meeting:
- Next steps: Who committed to doing what and by when?
- A summary of each agenda item: What was discussed, what decisions were made, and why?
- Meeting participants: Who was present and involved in the discussion?
Once everything has been documented, be sure to make the meeting notes accessible for everyone in the meeting that day and a year later. That way, if anyone ever needs to go back and revisit why certain decisions were made, all they have to do is read through the meeting minutes (instead of setting up a meeting to re-discuss the same problem).