In today's episode, Ambition Director of Sales Ops Dan Nice concludes his interview with Mike Weinberg, an expert sales consultant and Top Sales Influencer, as designated by Forbes, OpenView Labs and InsideView, among others.
Mike is the author of two acclaimed books. New Sales. Simplified. helps sales professionals understand and optimize the landscape of new business development. Sales Management. Simplified. is a must-read for modern sales leaders looking to optimize their team culture, processes and people. Mike's website newsalescoach.com is another great resource worth checking out.
Ep. 14: Maximizing Sales Team Meetings
1. What Makes a Great Sales Team Meeting. 0 - 1:50.
Synopsis: The litmus test for evaluating the effectiveness of a sales team meeting is to discern whether the sales manager and sales reps leave a sales team meeting with more energy than when they walked in.
In Dan and Mike's experience, that's pretty rare. Oftentimes, the sales meeting isn't a sales meeting.
It's an operations meeting or a bitch session or a free-for-all, and it's not training reps, it's not motivating reps, it's not increasing accountability and visibility. It's just a ritual.
2. Worst Practices of Sales Team Meetings. 1:50 - 3:49.
Synopsis: The proper rhythm for holding meetings differs by organization.
One of the biggest causes of pathetic sales meetings is that the sales manager is already overburdened, so the sales meeting isn't a priority, and then they end up doing all of the work, creating all of the content and running the whole meeting, effectively.
Mike recommends involving other people in the meeting since it disperses the burden and increases accountability. And sometimes, it's better off just not to have a meeting, if it's not necessary.
In Dan's experience, ineffective sales meetings often turn into a big pipeline review.
Which is a waste since a) most people will inflate their actual pipeline to save face in front of the team and b) managers don't have the ability to deep dive into what the opportunities actually are.
3. A Template for Sales Team Meetings. 3:49 - 9:53.
Synopsis: One of the keys to having a good meeting is having a menu of, say, 12 potential agenda topics. If you have a meeting each week, then you pick 4 of those 12 items so you create some variety in your meeting.
Sales meetings also tend to go better when sales people are given some content or topics to share, bring and present.
Example: You can pick someone who is excellent at demos and have them come do a demo and explain their philosophy behind it.
Another proven tactic: Bring in an outside guest. Bring the CFO into the sales meeting and let him or her do a presentation on something they're working on that relates back to the sales team.
There's lots of different types of agenda topics that can engage everyone's mind. Dan sees the role of the manager as maintaining control and focus over the meeting and ensuring it stays on topic.
Best practice: If you bring in a guest speaker, flesh out the topic to cover ahead of time.
Every once in a while, someone might flop, but it's better to mix things up -- even if it's asking reps to pick 3 of their favorite, most useful sales blog posts to bring to the next meeting and discuss.
At the same time, you still need to put up the sales report, celebrate wins and review performance to maintain accountability and focus on results.
4. Final Thoughts. 9:53 - 12:20.
Synopsis: Mike's closing piece of advice: Keep it simple.
A lot of sales issues are nowhere near as complicated as the people in the business are making them.
Do we have the people in the right roles? Does our compensation plan drive the behaviors and results we want? Do our sales people spend more time selling or doing other things? Do we have legitimate accountability?
You'd be amazed by the lift you could get on your sales team just by focusing on the basics.
There's a difference between "short-term sales hacks" and the fundamental sales foundation, which is the most important driver of your sales team's success.
The Sales Influencer Series Library
To check out further episodes and see why CloserIQ has ranked the Sales Influencer Series as one of the very best sales podcasts of 2016, just click on the links below.
Episode 1. John Barrows
Episode 2. Lori Richardson
Episode 3. Max Altschuler
Episode 4. Matt Heinz
Episode 5. Mark Leslie
Episode 6. Kyle Porter
Episode 7. Jon Bradford
Episode 8. Eks Anderson
Episode 9. Matt Hottle
Episode 10. Heather Morgan
Episode 11. Ilan Ferdman
Episode 12. Ryan Jenkins
Episode 13. Tamara Schenk
Episode 14. Mike Weinberg
Episode 15. Scott Britton
Episode 16. Mark Kosoglow
Episode 17. Dionne Mischler
Episode 18. Ken Barton
Episode 19. Kevin Karner
Episode 20. Jill Rowley
Episode 21. Brandon Redlinger
Episode 22. Will Wickey
Episode 23. Drew Woodcock
Episode 24. Dail Wilson
Episode 25. Nathan Sexton
Episode 26. Tucker Max
Episode 27. Bruce Tulgan
Episode 28. Dallas Hogensen
Episode 29. Morgan J. Ingram