Have you ever held a meeting to update the sales force without a real agenda and ended up just taking care of some tired housekeeping issues? If you are going to take your team off the field, you have to make it worth their while. You wouldn’t want your sales team go to on sales calls without an agenda, so you don’t have a meeting without one. Here’s one way to build agendas that work.
You can dramatically improve the outcomes of your sales meetings, and you can make the meetings a better experience for your sales team, by assigning them homework.
Make Improvement an Individual Responsibility
Most people do their work and spend little time working on improving their ability and capacity to do that work. We’re all just so busy, and salespeople are no different. But our professional development is our own responsibility, even if we sometimes fail to remember this fact.
By choosing some area of sales and assigning homework around that area, you reinforce that member of your sales team is responsible for their own individual improvement. You force their engagement in overcoming challenges and growth.
Assign homework on prospecting techniques. Assign homework around negotiating. Assign homework on developing a more strategic level relationship with your clients. Reviewing the homework assignments ensures that your team is working on their own improvement because you’re setting a standard and making it so.
Make Shared Learning the Sales Force’s Responsibility
Assigning homework and allowing the salespeople to share their learning outcomes, you help improve the whole sales team.
Some salesperson will have a brilliant idea that other salespeople can put to use in their sales game. Some will have a challenge that they haven’t addressed, and they will benefit from hearing one of their peers share how they tackled that problem. Inevitably, you will identify some systemic challenges that the whole sales force is struggling to overcome.
By assigning homework and sharing ideas in your team huddles or sales meeting, you encourage the sales force to share their learning. You make the team’s growth their business.
Make Issue Recognition the Sales Force’s Issue
By bringing the most challenging issues to your sales meetings, you can identify issues, trends, and challenges that affect the whole sales organization. You’ve been in meetings and heard, “What are you running into?” Is a competitor making a change that is going to threaten you in your market? Is someone losing their hot hand? Are clients telling you they need something new and different?
By assigning homework to the sales force, you pull these issues out and you help to tackle them. Some of the issues will require your help; you will be the only one with authority to make changes.
Give them homework. Help them develop themselves. Help them develop each other. And help them by removing obstacles and challenges.
How do you keep your salespeople engaged in sales meetings and team huddles?
How do you ensure that the meetings improve the salespeople and not just allow you to share housekeeping?
How can you make sales meetings help salespeople improve themselves?
How do you structure sales meetings so that the salespeople can help each other?