Sales manager trust – everyday, all the time, everywhere

Sales managers and developing trust

Sales managers and developing trust

Sales managers must develop the trust of their sales team and help their team members to trust each other.  Trust takes time to create but can be lost in a wink of an eye.

While trust takes time, it doesn’t just evolve over time.  It takes explicit thought and action.   When trust exists, everything on the road to excellence is a little bit easier; without it some things are more difficult and others are out of reach.

Because of all this we are always looking for ideas that can help sales managers do a better job in developing trust.  Recently we came across a Harvard Business Review blog by Carolyn O’Hara.  Although it was directed at employees in general, we thought the learning points were particularly important for sales managers.

So, how can sales managers develop trust?

6 tips to help sales managers develop trust

  • Make a personal connection – If is difficult to develop trust without interacting with the other party.  This can be a challenge on some sales teams because they may be scattered over a wide geography – separate from the manager and from each other.  Here technology can help.  And, the sales manager must leverage ideas like peer coaching, new hire on-boarding programs, and team meetings.
  • Be transparent and truthful – Share as much as you can about the company – strategies, financial results, new initiatives, and performance metrics.  Share why things are happening, as well as, as what is happening – this is important for both good and bad news.
  • Encourage rather than command – Don’t just tell people what to do –motivate them. People work harder and smarter when they are empowered to succeed and empowering requires trust to be extended.
  • Take the blame, but give credit – One of the best ways to encourage high performance and to develop trust is to give credit for successes and own up to your mistakes.
  • Don’t play favorites – This is an easy and quick way to lose trust.  Here appearance matters.  In some cases the sales manager may not being playing favorites by intent but the optics of the situation may project a different image.  Again, this is why communication is so important.
  • Show competence – Trust will not be sustained by just doing all the above.  Sales managers must be competent at performing their own piece of the sales productivity puzzle to be trusted.   This means sales managers must continuously update their knowledge and skills

If you found this post helpful, you might want to join the conversation and subscribe to the Sales Training Connection.

©2014 Sales Momentum®

 

Technorati Tags: , , , ,

Posted in Sales Call Execution, Sales Leaders, Sales Management Coaching, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , ,

Leave a comment

Sales success – don’t forget these 6 soft skills

Develop soft sales skills, too

Develop soft sales skills, too

Asking questions. Selling value. Handling objections. Crafting sales strategy. Closing. Analyzing the competition. Check out any sales training program and you’re likely find some of these sales skills being taught. They are the fundamentals and they are critical to sales success. And just because they are fundamental does not mean they are simple to learn.  To perform them skillfully requires a lot of practice and feedback.

But to borrow a phrase, these skills are “necessary, but not sufficient.”  A study by Millennial Branding and American Express, for example, reported that 61 percent of managers surveyed felt that soft skills were more important in new hires than hard skills, or even technical skills. In fact, the same study showed that the top three characteristics managers looked for when promoting Millennials were the ability to prioritize work (87 percent), a positive attitude (86 percent) and teamwork skills (86 percent).

The study goes on to report six soft skills most often cited as critical to success.  Although the report was focusing on professionals in general, we thought the work held merit for those concerned about developing sales success.

6 soft sales skills critical to sales success

  • Communication – Communication moves beyond sending emails, texts, and Instagrams. Everyone inside companies must be able to effectively engage people face-to-face. Nowhere is this more critical than for salespeople who must engage a wide variety of customers across a varied set of situations.
  • Teamwork – B2B sales increasingly are moving away from salespeople as the lone wolf to sales teams – whether multiple salespeople, technical specialists, etc. This means salespeople must develop the skills required to both lead and to participate in sales teams.
  • Flexibility – Flexibility provides some unique challenges for salespeople. Beyond simply being flexible about schedules and responsibilities, salespeople increasingly are being called on to marshal internal resources and to be part of – or manage – sales teams.  In today’s environment salespeople are required to play different roles at different times during the sales process.
  • Positivity – This one is no surprise – people like to be around positive people. And, this is certainly true for salespeople. Salespeople need to learn how to leverage praise from people for what they do and avoid overreacting to criticism and bad news. But, salespeople have a special challenge – not only do they have to work with colleagues, they also have to work with prospects and customers where it’s easy to say “yes” – but yes is not always the right answer. Salespeople must learn how to effectively say “no” or disagree or present a different view to prospects and customers and have the customer view that interaction positively.
  • Time management – Whether new to sales or a veteran, time management is an obstacle all salespeople must tackle. Learning how to prioritize and manage time is important for all salespeople.  A good idea for any salesperson is to periodically assess the percentage of their time they are actually selling vs. doing something else.  If one can increase that number by 10%, which in most cases is very likely, a whole lot of good things happen.
  • Confidence – Confidence is an underpinning of every salesperson’s success. Salespeople must learn to display confidence – it’s at the heart of building their credibility and credibility is a key for success. When someone is new to a company or new to sales, building confidence and credibility can be tough to do. One answer is leveraging your company’s capabilities and success stories until you develop your own tales of success.

If one believes the soft skill story, then a real challenge emerges for sales managers.  It’s likely that most salespeople would not on their own, over time, develop these soft skills. As a matter of fact in some situations, time may actually degrade the skill.  For example, a salesperson could very easily lose confidence due to failures vs. learning from the failures as to what to do next time.

Once again this is why sales management coaching and modeling are so important for developing and sustaining a successful sales team.  Yet, how often do the soft skills make the short list for sales coaching?

If you found this post helpful, you might want to join the conversation and subscribe to the Sales Training Connection.

©2014 Sales Momentum®

Technorati Tags: , , ,

Posted in Sales Best Practices, Sales Call Execution, Sales Training, Team Selling, Uncategorized | Tagged , , ,

Leave a comment

Sales success – failure and success seem to be traveling companions

Sales Success-Sales Failure

Sales Success-Sales Failure

Ever attend FailCon? It’s a one-day conference where folks share their “biggest failures.”  It has been a success for four years running. But this year, FailCon was cancelled.  It was cancelled not because the topic is passé or because of lack of interest but rather because the topic has become so pervasive throughout the Silicon Valley that FailCon seemed unnecessary. Today, failure is a badge of honor among some Silicon Valley start-ups.

What can be learned from failure experiences can lay the foundation for future success. Or, in other words, failure and success seem to be traveling companions. While no one wants to fail over the long run, some believe if you haven’t tasted failure, you probably aren’t pushing the limits.

This success-failure tale is a story that also has a long history in Sales.  Sales reps that don’t test the limits, don’t try out new ideas to adapt to changes in the buying environment, that simply limit their aspirations to doing a better job doing what they are doing, are likely to leave “money on the table”.  They will over time survive but are unlikely to prosper.

Some sales reps avoid failure by only selling the “tried and true.” They stay in their comfort zone.  They don’t sell the innovative solution because it requires a lot of work to get smart about the particulars or it is risky because potential “hiccups” in implementation can’t immediately be solved because of lack of familiarity.  Other sales reps assume the cautious attitude simply because it’s safer from a financial perspective – “I’d rather have less of a commission on a sure thing vs. going for a big hit and losing it all.”

But if sales reps only sell within their comfort zone, there is always the question of what could have been for those sales that were ignored or lost.  There is also the nasty little problem that the tried and true only works when everything else around you stays constant – a situation which is not a very accurate depiction of today’ markets.

How do sales managers encourage their sales team to get out of their comfort zone – take a thoughtful risk? Part of the answer is how these sales managers manage failure. There is the dark approach that entails criticism and “let’s not try that again” speeches and then there is positioning failure as a way station on the journey towards success.

Every idea that emerges from Silicon Valley is not so easily transferred across industries and every company may not be able to parlay the way station idea quite as well as Steve Jobs and Apple.  But given the transformational changes that are occurring in the buying environment, revisiting how to manage risk and bring imagination to selling seems worth a second look.

If you found this post helpful, you might want to join the conversation and subscribe to the Sales Training Connection.

©2014 Sales Momentum®

Technorati Tags: , , ,

Posted in Sales Best Practices, Sales Training | Tagged , , ,

1 Comment

Sales training and national sales meetings – an odd couple

Sales training and. national sales meetings

Sales training and. national sales meetings

Over the years we have attended a number of our clients’ national sales meetings.  Great events!  Lots of good things usually happen.  Salespeople exchange ideas and best practices, sales leaders make compelling presentations (Microsoft comes to mind) and yes, everyone has a really good time.  As a matter of fact, we have such a fond impression of these events we hope, even in face of present trends, that they are not eliminated or replaced by some virtual technology.

We have noticed, however, that some companies tend to strive for a bridge too far and conduct serious sales training at their national sales meeting.  We would suggest that in most cases this is not a good idea.  At national sales meetings, sales training usually doesn’t turn out very well and the attempt plays havoc with the other benefits that are derived from the event.

Now, it is clear why companies proceed down this path – it’s about money.  Adding it all up, the percentage of money that it takes to implement a company-wide sales training program that is attributed to travel and expense can be as high as 40%.  So the logic goes: If we have all the sales reps together why not save that T&E expense and do our sales training at the national meeting?

And why not? Because, as we said, the sales training usually does not work as well.  Why?

  • Sales rep attention.  At a national sales meeting a significant number of the sales reps would rather be someplace else, and doing anything else than sales training.  This is particularly true if previous meetings have been more like the ones we just described.  In other words,  sales reps had a different expectation about what would be happening.
  • Timing problems.  Most national sales meeting are jammed pack with activities some emerging at the last minute. So more often than not the amount of time devoted to the sales training is insufficient.  In the worst cases, several hours are lopped off the training at the last minute to make agenda time for a new priority. So the sales training ends up being a half-day on Friday afternoon with salespeople leaving early to catch their flights home.
  • Before and after sales training.  It is will know that what happens before and after the training is as important as the training itself.  If that simple idea is ignored, the training becomes just an event.  A typical consequence – without reinforcement 87% of the skill developed in the training is lost within 3 months.  Now, if the sales training is conducted at the national sales meeting, how much pre and post special care and attention will be given to the training given all the other priorities that are on the front burner before and after the national meeting? For those who have not had this experience, the answer can come perilously close to being counted in hours versus days.

So while it’s possible to save some money, at what cost?  What are some alternatives?  If you have a large sales team where bring them together is expensive from a T& E perspective, how can you conduct some effective sales training and minimize that travel expense item?.  Let’s look at a couple of ideas that hold promise.

  • Try on-line training.  In the last several years on-line training has improved dramatically; it is now an effective, efficient, and affordable way to implement a wide variety of sales training programs.

It is particularly effective for conducting any type of knowledge based learning such as: product, marketplace, and technical training.  Although the opportunities for practice and feedback are limited, on-line training is also effective for delivering sales skills training focused on developing initial awareness and understanding of the best practices for any consultative selling model.  When using an on-line approach for sales skills development, the practice and feedback needs to come about via sales management coaching.

  • Bring the training to them.   Rather than bring the sales reps to the training do it the other way around – bring the sales training to them. Try conducting the training over several sessions dedicated strictly to the training at the “district” level.  Move a small group of dedicated trainers to each district to maximize the consistency of the sales training.  Make sure you leverage the advantage of the location of the sales training to engage the local sales managers in the training for the sales reps.

Although this implementation strategy does not eliminate the T&E expenses it certainly minimizes them and most importantly it provides the focus the sales training deserves.

We would suggest that both sales training and national sales meetings are important.  But when done together, they are indeed an odd couple that does not get along so well.

If you found this post helpful, you might want to join the conversation and subscribe to the Sales Training Connection.

©2014 Sales Momentum®

Technorati Tags: , ,

Posted in Sales Training, Sales Training Best Practices | Tagged , ,

Leave a comment

Criticism – how do women react?

 

Women in Sales

Women in Sales

Kiran Snyder conducted a study for Fortune.com, reporting these differences between workplace performance reviews given to men and women:

  • Amount of negative feedback.  Managers (whether male or female) gave female employees more negative feedback than they gave to male employees.
  • Type of negative feedback.   More striking is the finding that 76% of the negative feedback given to women includes some kind of personality criticism, like: “abrasive,” “judgmental” or “strident.”  What’s that same percentage for men?  Only 2% of men’s critical reviews included negative personality comments.

These findings illustrate that women – in all fields, including Sales – are going to receive more criticism about their work and about themselves personally than their male counterparts.  As the author points out, this means “women must develop a way of experiencing criticism that allows them to persevere in the face of it.” Yet, how many women know how different the game really is?  And, second, how many women develop some functional coping mechanism?

As to the second question, the first key is to recognize that everyone feels stung by criticism – but how it’s handled is key.  In a New York Times article Tara Mohr suggests: “the fundamental shift for women happens when they internalize the fact that all substantive work brings both praise and criticism … there will be supporters and critics.”

Mohr suggests several ideas women might use to tackle this issue – we think female salespeople will find them interesting:

  • A woman should identify another woman whose response to criticism she admires.  In challenging situations, she can imagine how the admired woman might respond, and thereby see some new possible responses for herself.
  • Women can also benefit from interpreting some feedback as incorporating information about the point of view or perspective of the person giving the feedback. In other words, a negative reaction from five investors doesn’t necessarily tell a woman anything about the inherent quality of her business idea or her aptitude for entrepreneurship; in many cases it just tells her something about what those investors are looking for.
  • On the other hand, if those same five investors love her pitch – that doesn’t tell her that she is a terrific entrepreneur.  It tells her about what they are looking for in an investment maps her presentation. In other words, feedback is useful because it provides insight about the people we want to reach, influence and engage. With that reframing, women can filter which feedback they need to incorporate to achieve their aims and manage the emotional highs and lows.
  • When a woman is being held back by fear of a particular criticism or paralyzed by a harsh criticism received in the past, she can also turn inward and ask herself, “Does that criticism mirror what I believe about myself?  Are there others who have expressed an alternative view?  Is that criticism more about yesterday than today?

And one other point – what could sales managers do or stop doing something that would address this issue?  We suggest that more emphasis to this issue should be incorporated into sales management coaching programs – after all, isn’t it all about feedback?

If you found this post helpful, you might want to join the conversation and subscribe to the Sales Training Connection.

©2014 Sales Momentum®

Technorati Tags: , , , ,

Posted in Sales Management Coaching | Tagged , , , ,

Leave a comment

Selling value – great is the new black – An STC Classic

A Classic - '63 Corvette

A Classic – ’63 Corvette

Salespeople must, in a compelling way, make the connection between their solution and the outcomes that are important to the customer.  They cannot leave making the connections to the customer because sometimes the customer will and sometimes they will not make the connections.

Major account sales occur in a dynamic business environment with multiple players, long buying process, and complex solutions.  In this market everybody gets it.  You can’t win by just pitching products; you have to sell value. The good news is most major account reps are pretty good at it.  The bad news is most major account reps are pretty good at it – so you have to be great to differentiate yourself from the competition.

To differentiate yourself from competitors, you need to know second-level product knowledge and acquire an in-depth awareness and understanding of the customer’s challenges and issues.

Let’s look at both, starting with product knowledge.

  • Second-level product knowledge refers to the application product knowledge relative to the customer’s business challenges. How do your products individually or collectively solve the problems likely to be encountered by your customer base?  How do they impact productivity, risk, expense and revenue?  Can you relate a customer story or describe the research that demonstrates your product does what you say it does?  And can you fine-tune these narratives based on whether you are talking with a Marketing Manager or Engineer or Chief Information Officer?
  • What about customer knowledge? Today, customers expect salespeople to know more their company and industry than ever before. They expect the sales rep to provide new ideas, imagination, and insights to: manufacture products more quickly, improve product quality, shorten order times, or improve the customer service experience.

Global competition and advanced manufacturing technologies have made it increasingly more difficult to sustain a competitive advantage by product alone.  To win, you need to sell value and the bar for what it takes to sell value has been raised.

This means salespeople must come to the first sales call with a general understanding of the type of issues and challenges their customer is facing, along with an understanding of the customer’s industry.  Then the salesperson can  focus on gaining an in-depth understanding of the business impact of the problems vs. an initial “discover your needs” discussion.

Last, most companies in the major account market space have a wide range of capabilities. Unfortunately, customers often are not aware of the breadth of what you offering. Their knowledge of your capabilities are limited to the products or services they are currently using.

In the end, the total value you can bring and how you are different than the competition can only be seen when customers make the link between the total capability of your company and their mission, priorities, and challenges.

If you found this post helpful, you might want to join the conversation and subscribe to the Sales Training Connection.

©2014 Sales Momentum®


 

Technorati Tags: , , , ,

Posted in Sales Best Practices, Sales Strategy, Sales Training, Selling Value | Tagged , , , ,

3 Comments

Sales directors – competencies for the job hunt

Sales Directors

Sales Directors

Over the years we have written numerous articles about the front-line sales management position. We have consistently labeled the front-line sales manager as the pivotal job for developing and sustaining a superior sales force.

While exploring the front-line sales manager position we have spent less time writing about Sales Directors – the individuals to whom the front-line sales managers report.  We thought it might be time to correct that omission since the Sales Director position is a strategically important one and is also one that many sales managers view as the next step in their career development.

Given all that, we thought a discussion of the Sales Director position from a career development perspective would be an interesting one.  Let’s assume you are a front-line sales manager who wants to become a Sales Director.  What does it take?  What are companies looking for when hiring a Sales Director in 2014?

We just had a conversation with the folks from Software Advice a company that evaluates sales enablement tools.  They had recently completed an interesting research study on the skills companies want Sales Directors to have in today’s market.  The research report was an analysis of 200 Sales Director job listings across 50 states pulled from top online sales boards such as: Glassdoor and LinkedIn.

Here are some of the key research findings plus a few thoughts of our own as to how a sales manager could up their chances in the job search.

Here are a few of the key findings:

  • Industry Experience. 72% of the companies wanted specific industry sales experience – for example healthcare companies wanted applicants to have experience in the healthcare industry.  Not a surprising finding, but the 72% number was striking.
  • Management Experience. 55% wanted candidates with sales management experience.  Again not a surprising requirement – if any thing we were a little surprised the number was not higher.  It does say what you do as a sales manager matters and just having great sales experience is probably not going to be enough – you need to have demonstrated leadership and have a record of managing a team.
  • CRM Experience.  29% requested experience with CRM software.

Jay Ivey a market associate for Software Advice summarized an important point – “Candidates who develop their career within a single vertical (e.g., technology, healthcare) will have a significant advantage when it comes to obtaining a more senior-level position.”

Clearly what constitutes successful selling is changing – so it follows that the requirements for a Sales Director position are also changing.  Here are 7 key skills we have observed front-line sales managers seeking Sales Director jobs should develop:

  • Business Acumen.  Being able to bring a business and economic perspective to everyday activities.
  • Adaptive Thinking.  Coming up with creative and innovative solutions that are not rule-based.
  • Computational Thinking.  Being able to translate vast amounts of data into useful information.
  • Political Savvy.  Understanding the political environment and culture within which you are working.
  • Transdisciplinary Competency.  Knowing how to integrate knowledge and concepts across disciplines and areas of expertise.
  • Collaboration.  Knowing and being able to leverage institutional resources and working with others.
  • Critical Thinking.  Being able to identify and challenge the assumptions underlying actions and inactions.

If you found this post helpful, you might want to join the conversation and subscribe to the Sales Training Connection.

©2014 Sales Momentum, LLC

Technorati Tags: , ,

Posted in Sales Leaders, Uncategorized | Tagged , ,

Leave a comment

Improving sales coaching – what do you do when you’ve done everything?

Sales Manager and Sales Coaching

Sales Manager and Sales Coaching

Yesterday we got a call from a company about helping their sales managers do a better job of sales coaching.  Since over the years we have published a lot about sales coaching and designed some very successful sales coaching programs for clients, we thought we might be able to help.

As we listened, that thought soon faded.  Here’s why.

They’ve had already done “everything right” when it comes to training their sales managers to do a better sales coaching.   First, they trained their sales reps in classic selling techniques so the managers did not have to start at ground zero.

Then they trained their sales managers in coaching techniques.  We first thought perhaps they had not done such a good job at training their sales managers to coach –  but it wasn’t so.  They had designed a customized sales coaching simulation that was exactly what we would have proposed as the highest impact training design.  After that they even engaged a premier consulting firm to identify future competencies they needed to work on as a follow-up to the training.

After all that, we asked what were the problems they wanted to solve with additional training.  What were the sales managers doing or not doing that needed to be fixed?  Here the answer was interesting and a good lesson for all of us concerned about sales coaching.  The basic problem was our old friend the “selling and telling” trap.  Let’s just break that down and look at each piece.

  • Selling.  Rather then spending their time coaching most of the sales managers fell back on what they were really good at and really preferred doing – selling.  They sometimes just took over the accounts.  Sometimes they were less aggressive and on “coaching calls” they just jumped in and took over the call if the rep was not doing “the right thing.”
  • Telling.  When it did come to sales coaching the approach used could be summarized as follows:  “I’m the expert – I’ll diagnose what’s wrong and suggest what you should learn.  Your job is to practice what I recommend.”  The company was, we think rightly, concerned that such an approach was not the best path forward.  The preferred approach they summarized as follows: “You are the one responsible for the learning.  I’m responsible for helping you become more aware of your performance and expand your learning choices.”

Following thus sales call we spent some time thinking about the lessons learned and what we might pass along in our next call.

Regarding lessons learned, the major walkaway is that skill development and hence training is only one piece of the puzzle for improving sales coaching.  If one were to specifically focus on the “selling and telling” trap, two additional considerations are:

  • Sales coaching expectation needs to be front and center when selecting sales managers.  We’ve observed many companies just pick the best sales rep – defined as the person who sales the most – to sales manager.  This is probably the first step towards creating the trap.
  • To address this trap, as well as, the one about there is never enough time to coach, the sales leadership has to get involved.

So what would we recommend for companies who are facing this same situation?  Although right answer is company-specific, here are four ideas to consider:

  • Additional Sales Coaching Training.  If you have conducted some well-designed sales coaching training yet you still have issues around sales coaching – like the company we recently spoke with – then conducting additional training on sales coaching is probably not a good investment.
  • Coach-the Coach.  If you are a company with a smaller sales team with say fewer  then 15 sales managers or a larger company where only a subset of sales managers need help, then adopting a coach-the-coach model could be one of the answers.  The best approach would be to solicit the help from an expert in sales coaching not coaching in general.
  • Modeling.  Another approach is for the sales managers to whom the front-line managers report to become role models as to how to coach.  This is particularly effective for addressing the “telling” problem.  This of course assumes the Sales Directors are good coaches and if not then that is a situation where a coach-the-coach approach is definitely worth the investment.
  • Blueprinting. Usually there is a subset of front-line sales managers that are getting it right.  Recognize and award their performance.  Then blueprint how they do what they do and codify it into a set of best practices and leverage the findings to help others.

If you found this post helpful, you might want to join the conversation and subscribe to the Sales Training Connection.

©2014 Sales Momentum, LLC

Technorati Tags: , , , ,

Posted in Sales Management Coaching, Sales Training, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , ,

1 Comment

Sales managers – tips to fix the time sieve

Sales managers and the time sieve

Sales managers and the time sieve

Sales managers universally tell us that time is their most valuable asset – and they also tell us they are continuously “running out of time.”

So let’s look at some of ingredients that make up the modern-day sales manager time sieve:

  • Those things you’re doing that you know you should not be doing but you have to – okay fair enough.
  • Those activities that need to be done but you could probably get some other people to do if you were skillful about it.
  • Those items that you need to do but you could probably do them more efficiently if you invested some time thinking about that.
  • Those things that you can just ignore if you do it gracefully.

It is the age-old time management puzzle that sales managers have all the pieces for but never seem to put together.

Two places sales managers spend a lot of time and are examples of the “you can probably do it more efficiently category” are communicating with your sales teams and conducting meetings.  Let’s take a look at some first steps for addressing these two – starting with communicating with your team.

  • Discuss with your sales team the preferred way to communicate – While there isn’t a universal answer, a few simple guidelines can help.  For example, texts and emails may be preferred way to get answers to specific questions quickly. Phone calls and voice mails are better solutions to information requiring discussions.  On the other hand, texts and emails do not lend themselves to sales coaching – but phone calls (particularly for strategy coaching) and face-to-face sessions do.

With that said, sales managers must also be sensitive to how their sales team prefers to communicate.  Preferences will vary and you will even find generational differences – with younger salespeople used to getting information quickly and often texts. This means a one-size-fits-all approach might not work if your sales team spans generations and experiences.

  • Do an informal communication audit – Put in place some simple metrics for measuring the effectiveness of your communication and periodically solicit feedback from your team on how things are going on the communication front.

Now to sales meetings.  Much has been written about improving meetings – including sales meetings. Here are four ideas: 

  • All sales meetings should have an agenda – Whether face-to-face, over the phone or video, meetings ramble when there’s no agenda. So, before a meeting starts ensure there is an agenda – whether it’s a meeting you schedule or a salesperson schedules with you.
  • Only invite relevant people to sales meetings – While sales meetings are usually only attended by the sales team, others may ask to attend – typically people from other departments.  While being a good corporate citizen is important, figuring out which invitations you accept and whether you choose to invite someone needs to be carefully assessed so time isn’t spent on extraneous topics that can be shared in other ways – like via email – or perhaps handled by you for your sales team – or sometimes even ignored.
  • Everyone at the meeting should be prepared to participate – Sales meetings aren’t one-way events. Everyone participating should be expected to contribute and should prepare in advance. This includes sales managers soliciting ideas and topics to include in the meeting from their sales team in advance.  It also means sales reps need to prepare, too.
  • Meeting management – Don’t let anyone hog the conversation. You can make sure everyone gets heard by ensuring that there is airtime for everyone and even asking salespeople who are quiet if there’s something missing or if anything should be added?

Here is a starter list. Please add additional tips you’d like to share.

If you found this post helpful, you might want to join the conversation and subscribe to the Sales Training Connection.

©2014 Sales Momentum, LLC

Technorati Tags: , , , ,

Posted in Sales Leaders, Sales Management Coaching, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , ,

Leave a comment

Our most popular sales blog posts …

Curious as to which sales blog posts have been most popular? So were we! We’ve compiled them for you into the Fall 2014 edition of the Best of the Sales Training Connection. Take a look …

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Posted in Sales Best Practices, Sales Training, Sales Training Best Practices, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment