One of the most common mistakes sales managers make is to have no direction for the sales meeting.
This is why Secret #3 in my 10 Secrets to a Successful Sales Meeting is to announce the agenda ahead of time — and hold people accountable.
Make people come prepared and hold them accountable.
(Be sure to check out Secret #1 and Secret #2)
Of all the things it takes to make a meeting effective, Secret #3 is really one of the easiest and yet far too many times it’s overlooked.
The reason I believe it’s overlooked is because it is so simple. Even worse than a meeting without an agenda is a meeting agenda that is unchanged from week-to-week.
Every moment a sales manager spends with their people is a teaching moment, and having an up-to-date agenda for every meeting is just that – a teaching moment.
When your salespeople see you conducting meetings with an agenda, it makes it much easier for you to hold them accountable to have an agenda for their sales calls.
Let’s get beyond the teaching value of an agenda and discuss the value it brings to a meeting. When the agenda is distributed to the attendees prior to the meeting, it allows them to come prepared and ready to discuss.
Salespeople should not be given a “free pass” if they’re not prepared when the agenda has been made available in advance. Holding them accountable is fundamental, as it will allow the meeting to be more productive.
When the agenda is being put together, be sure to include exactly what is going to be discussed and what salespeople will need to bring to the meeting. Don’t overburden them with what they need to prepare.
If they’re asked to prepare information that is never discussed in a meeting, the credibility of the meeting agenda and even you will be hurt. At the same time, if you routinely bring additional subjects up in the meeting that are not on the agenda, the sales team will begin to discount the value of the agenda.
Use the agenda for what it is – a tool to help keep things focused and for everyone in the organization to see the value of being organized. Good organization shows leadership.
Copyright 2012, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog.
An excellent post, and you’ve hit one of the major ‘why isn’t this an effective meeting’ points on the head.
A meeting without an agenda is like going shopping without a list – you can do it, but it won’t be effective, you won’t really remember what you wanted to get done, and no one else will be able to follow you.