The other day I gave you the 10 Secrets for a Successful Sales Meeting. Now I’m going to dig into each secret deeper.

Secret #1 — Spend time on one specific issue.

People who are successful get that way because they’re focused. They attack issues with a laser-like focus and are committed to seeing the situation through to the end.  This same thing should apply to how we deal with major sales programs or any major issue the sales force is facing.

Too many times the agenda of a sales meeting winds up getting filled with far too many items. What winds up happening is it becomes a huge checklist you’re merely racing through to complete in the time you have.  When you wind up doing this, you accomplish nothing.

The salespeople leave even more confused than before.

The  best way to carry out the single specific task is by having one salesperson at each meeting offer up one issue or opportunity they’re facing — and then have the rest of the team brainstorm solutions.

You’ll be amazed at how effective this process is once people begin to see results. The best way to do this is by allocating 15 minutes to the entire process.  The salesperson presenting the opportunity is given one minute to share the situation.  Do not waver from that, as time is valuable!

Then give the rest of the team 12 minutes to openly discuss the issue.  Again, limit it to 12 minutes.  Final two minutes is given to the salesperson who presented the situation to then recap what they heard and how they will use it.

This 15-minute approach to problem solving is incredibly effective.

I’ve shared this approach with sales managers and have used it myself on many occasions with teams.  Once a sales team gets used to this 15 minute problem solving drill, you will have no problem finding salespeople who want to offer up an opportunity for discussion.

If you can’t for one reason or another use the idea I’ve described above, then you can use the more traditional approach of time allocation by setting aside enough time for the issue you deem the most important.

Allow time for the sales team to discuss their concerns, and most important of all, make sure to bring the discussion and the topic to a defined close. It is vital that people understand the expectations and are held accountable for any follow-up actions.

I’ve found if salespeople leave a sales meeting with only one clear objective they understand well, the success they have will far exceed the salesperson who leaves a meeting with a laundry list of items they don’t understand.

Use the outcomes and expectations of this specific topic as a key point to follow-up on the next time you meet.

Results will always increase when salespeople know they’re being held accountable.  The key difference is they will more readily embrace what they’re going to be held accountable for when they feel they have been able to contribute to the process.

Both of these approaches are effective, and many sales managers embrace both in each sales meeting.

Copyright 2012, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog.




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