If your team is independent, you’re a great sales manager! The sales representatives can work on their own and most times you ask them “what they got cookin’” the answer is “Yeah, it looks good, they should buy it, because…”? Sounds great, doesn’t it?!
Then, the reality hits you hard when you find out that it’s just something they’ve been assuming, rather than something the client told them. The deal is lost. Regular sales meetings are the basics of sales leadership and are excellent prevention to similar cases. So, if you’re just about setting them up or think they’re a waste of time, keep reading.
Just setting expectations won’t work. Regular sales “1on1” or even team “All-hands” meetings between the sales manager and his sales team are a two-way activity. The team needs constant input and help, and the sales manager needs to stay updated about their work. Both sides should, therefore, invest in a regular sales update meeting.
The point of sales review meetings is not just to get an update on what is happening. If you're a leader or a manager, consider these points.
Control - any deviation from their sales target
Overview - know precisely what is in the pipeline and how the individual opportunities are (not) moving forward and why
Discussion - discuss opportunities and increase their conversion rate because you provide a lot of feedback, constructively discuss and solve blockers and problems and set the right direction, plan action steps
Personal Growth of your Team - it will accelerate because you identify space for improvements and training, maintain sales coaching culture and implement a sales routine
We believe these are worth investing your time regularly.
We believe these are worth investing your time regularly. Whether you’re revisiting or setting up from scratch, follow our tips to know you’re getting the most of this time investment:
Define structure - Based on your business type, decide whether it’s better to have “1on1” or “all-hands” updates. A small segment should probably allow for having individual meetings with each sales team member, while if there’s a team working on an enterprise deal, it’s better to meet in a group.
You highly suggest you do a combo - a group meeting with everyone, including the marketing team, etc., and individual meetings with the sales representatives, where you change to coach and give feedback.
Set the frequency - You can schedule your sales reviews weekly or bi-weekly. We don’t recommend longer periods between individual meetings; important things may get lost.
Frequency is mostly influenced by the length of your sales cycle and the seniority of your sales representative. Shorter, smaller deals deserve weekly updates, while enterprises taking a year to close are sufficient to be discussed bi-weekly.
Evaluate and iterate - Sales reviews meetings should not be solely about reporting. There must be a mutual value. Sales managers get control over what’s happening, and the sales representative gets ideas and tips for improvement. It’s a dedicated time for you to sync up, discuss objections and barriers in deals.
You’ll get the chance to motivate every sales representative again and again. Discussions move people forward, not checklists.
Have the Agenda and stick to it - Both sides will be better prepared. It saves time
Never skip sales reviews - And do not be late for the meetings. Show the sales representatives that you value their time.
Do not criticize or give negative feedback to anyone in front of others. (if having and "all-hands" meeting) Conversely, if you're praising, make sure the whole team hears.
Start with activities closest to the revenue to those furthest from it. You continuously compare plans to reality.
Pipeline Movement - When we discuss the pipeline, we check whether we’re on track with the quarterly target. We look at every single opportunity. Again, start with those closest to closing on the sales process. A well-structured sales process breaks up into milestones. You meet all milestones (solution fit, key stakeholders identified, offer confirmed, etc.); the opportunity moves forward. We observe whether all the milestones really happened on every opportunity stage, so it’s rightfully there. If they didn’t happen, we solve how to make them happen. If they did, we set steps to get it to the next stage.
We’re very critical; we look at opportunities without rose-colored glasses, meaning that we proactively look for reasons opportunities should not be in the pipeline, their potential blockers, reasons the customer could say “no”, etc.
What happened last week/month - By setting a target, we’re also able to set numbers of activities for the sales representative. Let’s say, the yearly target is 1M USD in new revenue. 1M breaks down into onboarding 3 new clients every month, preceded by creating 6 opportunities, and conducting 20 demo calls. If the numbers are there, great. If not, we talk about the reasons and possible solutions.
By checking what was happening, we see whether we’re successfully fulfilling the monthly plan. If not, we let the sales representatives create a list of activities that’ll get them there.
Additional sales activities & topics - Sometimes, there are extra topics, such as upcoming webinars or events, so we discuss resources and planning.
Wrap up - We’re leaving the meeting with clearly defined plans for the upcoming week/month. The sales representative knows what they need to do. We know whether we’re on our way to reach the target.
The sales representatives should never leave the reviews upset but rather motivated. They know their mistakes and learned how to avoid them.
Sales managers are always busy. But they shouldn’t underestimate the importance of meeting with their team regularly and staying updated.
Sales reviews don’t need to be extra long; about 30 minutes will do (provided that you set the agenda clear and everyone comes prepared).
Remember, sometimes, sales representatives tend to wait to meet you to discuss important matters with you. That’s why we need to repeat not to skip your sales reviews. Show them you care, it is your responsibility.
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