Sales meetings that drive performance

September 20, 2017 -  By

Salespeople dread taking time out of their schedules to attend meetings because most meetings don’t add enough value to their sales—or to your bottom line. Here’s a solution.

To hold a great sales meeting, start with the primary ingredient: great salespeople. They come in two flavors: strong and natural (see “Pyramid of Salesperson Success”).

Strong salespeople love the challenge of selling your services at the price you need to earn a healthy profit. They relish the competitive nature of sales. They do not get thrown off base by objections, flinches or challenges to their value. They have an abundance mindset.

The natural salesperson is a young or untrained salesperson that brings natural selling talent and would benefit from mentoring and training on your value proposition and your sales/estimating processes.

If your salespeople come in the third flavor—weak salespeople—then your sales meeting may not have enough of an impact. These so-called salespeople tend to sell at discounts or allow the price of a job to be beaten down. They get overwhelmed easily, and they are probably on the wrong seat on the bus.

Next, you need clear sales goals and metrics to review at each meeting. How is each person selling compared to his or her own monthly goals and compared to how he or she did last year?

This step is followed by a review and discussion of each salesperson’s pipeline (visits, calls and proposals). Depending on the type of selling they are doing, this should be tracked and reviewed. Even the best performing salespeople need to be held accountable to regular reporting of their progress. If nothing else, it’s inspiring for the natural salesperson.

Agenda items

You also should have space on your meeting agenda for these discussions:

1. Have each person check in at the beginning of the meeting with his top 5 percent and bottom 5 percent, i.e., their biggest wins and their most important issues they are dealing with. This will give you a quick sense of the mood of the room and create talking points that can be addressed in or outside the meeting.

2. Keep white space each week on your agenda, so you can take time as a group to tackle and explore one or two big issues. Here is a list of potential issues.

  • Representing the brand;
  • Teaching costs and how they are developed;
  • Cross selling among other departments;
  • Qualifying “green light” leads;
  • Role playing on difficult issues past or upcoming;
  • Identifying enhancement and upsell opportunities (and the process);
  • Relationship building and enhancing (making deposits in your clients’ ‘bank accounts’);
  • Using an upfront contract; and
  • Addressing sticking points in your sales process.

3. Remember to spend time celebrating the wins, paying out bonuses and announcing new incentives. Selling is all about going from confidence to confidence. As a sales leader, your job is to pump up the confidence of your sales team and keep the excitement flowing. While it’s true you can’t motivate a salesperson who is naturally unmotivated, you can create a fun, competitive and inspiring environment to help your good become great and your best get better.

Breakthrough idea: A great sales meeting cannot turn a weak salesperson into a strong one. To drive performance, focus on hiring salespeople who have proven potential, and then invest in mentoring and training them.

Take action: To be successful at abundance selling do three things:

  • Know your costs and be confident in them;
  • Have a smooth selling process with no gaps that will lose a client’s interest; and
  • Spend the majority of your time building relationships with qualified, “green light” prospects.
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About the Author:

Jeffrey Scott, MBA, author, specializes in growth and profit maximization in the Green Industry. His expertise is rooted in his personal success, growing his own company into a $10 million enterprise. Now, he facilitates the Leader’s Edge peer group for landscape business owners—members achieve a 27 percent profit increase in their first year. To learn more visit www.GetTheLeadersEdge.com.

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