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5 Problems With Sales Meetings (& How to Fix Them)
Shana Bloom | 05.07.2019
Most sales reps and account executives can point to issues with the way their company runs sales meetings. In fact, only
53% of employees think meetings are productive
, and complaints about these meetings are
often the same
: meeting mismanagement, a lack of employee engagement, and failing to talk about real business issues make up some of the big ones.
It’s clear that across the board, sales organizations could do a better job of implementing effective meeting practices - but where does one start?
Take a look at five of the most common objections with sales meetings, and how to overcome them:
1. They’re always led by the same person.
This can be frustrating for a number of reasons. If your account reps and executives have heard their sales manager talk about getting the numbers up once, they’ve probably heard it a hundred times. Not to mention that you might have employees who don’t connect with that individual on a personal or professional level. Even the most well-liked employee in an office is not always going to resonate with every single person.
Solution: Take turns hosting.
Regularly switching up the meeting host is a quick and effective way to add life to your sales meetings. Even if the message is essentially the same, it’s beneficial for your employees to hear and learn from different leaders and decision-makers (as long as they’re
trusted and respected by the team
). Better yet, let your high-performing individual contributors run meetings from time to time. This can offer new leadership and growth opportunities, while providing fresh insight and perspective to other employees.
Since most companies’ sales organizations include remote workers and/or offices in multiple cities, the video solution you select for your meetings is incredibly important. Take care in choosing a video platform that lets your employees engage with the presenter as if they’re in the same room, that has live and on-demand video capabilities for anyone who may have missed the meeting, and that supports remote presenters.
2. The meeting content is boring and unengaging.
There’s no way around it: studying spreadsheets, graphs, and charts may be a necessary evil of the sales meeting. But for most employees, black and white text on a printed handout is about as boring as reading a textbook in a mandatory training course. Especially if the messaging is the same thing they hear every week (“Let’s get those numbers up!”), it’s likely that your meeting content is falling on deaf ears.
Solution: Include interactive content.
81% of marketers will tell you that customers
love quizzes and interactive content
, since actually engaging with the content is more likely to capture one’s attention and enhance brand retention. Utilizing these same strategies in your sales meeting can help you promote your objectives in a unique and interesting way.
Keep it simple by using a meetings platform that incorporates quizzes, polls, and worksheets, and makes it easy to break teams into groups. Sales reps and account executives are typically competitive and collaborative, so this kind of interactivity should assist in driving important content home.
3. They take up too much time.
It’s easy to assume that daily or weekly sales meetings are a necessity, but that’s not always the case. Did you know that 23% of employees in the US spend
more than 5 hours a week in meetings
? That’s half a workday just sitting and listening to information that may not even pertain to them in the first place. Plus, some managers might feel obligated to use any extra time they have to spare, which can lead to long, drawn out, and restless meetings that no longer offer value.
Every employee in the meeting is under pressure to hit quotas, make calls, and meet deadlines. When sales meetings run long or carve out too much time from the work week, the entire organization suffers. Employees have to scramble to catch up, prospects are put on hold, and nobody is set up for success.
Solution: Keep your meetings short and to the point.
Only hold meetings when you have to, not because you think you should. And whenever possible, keep your sales meetings to around 15-18 minutes. That’s
the length of your average TED Talk
which, as TED curator Chris Anderson explains, is “long enough to be serious and short enough to hold people’s attention”.
Leveraging a video platform for your meetings also solves a couple of key issues. You don’t need to worry about corralling everyone into one location - say goodbye to the boardroom shuffle! And since video meetings are incredibly simple to conduct (and can include the whole team as often as you need), there should be less pressure to use up every last second.
There’s also the added benefit of creating an experience that your sales team won’t dread. The more they come to expect a direct, valuable exchange of information, the more engaged they’ll be.
4. The meeting is too one-sided.
Ever wish you could listen in to your sales reps’ thoughts during a meeting? Now you don't have to. According to
data from Atlassian
, 91% of meeting goers spend some time daydreaming, 73% do other work, and 39% admit to having slept at some point.
If employees can’t take anything away from a sales meeting, outside of being ‘talked at’ about sales goals and corporate expectations, it’s easy to understand why their minds are elsewhere.
Solution: Encourage real collaboration.
In the book What People Want, 500 employees are asked
what they’re looking for from leadership
. While honesty, fairness, trust, and respect are high on the list, another top response is pretty interesting: 77% of employees say that they want to collaborate more with their managers and leadership teams.
Don’t just ask your employees to endure a sales meeting. If they want to brainstorm, problem solve, and offer their perspectives, this should be encouraged. By giving them ways to contribute to team initiatives, you’re bound to increase the energy of your sales meetings with refreshed buy-in from attendees.
Since many (if not all) of these meetings are held via video, this is another reason to be deliberate when picking your video platform. The ability to see and hear one another is a necessity, but it’s also important to make room for comments, questions, reactions, and more from your participants. Make sure you choose a solution that offers an interactive and collaborative workspace in addition to the video element.
[Read: How to Get Your Webcast Audience Talking]
5. The meeting wasn’t actionable.
Have you ever walked out of a sales meeting wondering if the point of last hour was the meeting itself? If that’s the case, then the host probably didn’t prepare very well. Without an agenda of some kind, the conversation can (quite unproductively) veer off course. That lack of preparedness can get expensive quickly, especially when you consider that
the average employee attends about 62 meetings per month
. Even executives spend 40-50% of their working hours in meetings, and most statistics point out that at least 33% of those meetings are poorly run.
Without adequate preparation and targeted, relevant content, sales meetings can quickly turn into a waste of time and money - and there’s truly no point in gathering the team if they return to their desks without any new action items.
Solution: Create and send out a meeting agenda.
This isn’t exactly revelatory, but sometimes it’s worth stating the obvious: setting an agenda (and sharing it with your team in advance) can play a big role in whether or not your sales meeting is impactful. This will keep you moving toward your fixed objective, result in more thoughtful conversations, and show your team members that you value their time. In other words, those extra minutes you put in upfront sets everyone up for greater success. Plus, sending it out in advance gives your sales team an idea of what to expect and helps them prepare, especially if they’re expected to give updates to the rest of the team.
Creating an agenda in advance might also show you that there’s less content to get through than you realized, and that perhaps
sending an email is a better solution
. (Who doesn’t love efficiency, right?) Remember: the goal of a meeting isn’t to have a meeting.
Improve your sales meetings with Brandlive
While empowering your sales force through collaboration and interactive content might sound easy, it can be pretty difficult without the right tools. Brandlive’s video-first sales enablement platform makes it easy to conduct truly effective meetings for your employees, with all of the necessary interactive and collaborative features built in:
Live video capture and on-demand archiving
Moderated chat feed
lets your employees chime in with questions, comments, and reactions that can be responded to on-air in real time
Quizzes, surveys, and polls
encourage participation from your team members
Slideshows and tabs
for posting content, agendas, important URLS, and more
to compile all of your prior meetings for long tail viewing
lets you feature your best experts, from anywhere
let you broadcast the meeting from anywhere, and allow your team members to tune in from the road
allows you to create professional-quality livestreams without any prior production experience
helps to analyze the engagement of meeting participants
Ready to transform the impact of your sales meetings?
Contact Brandlive today!