Sales meeting ideas are like a trip to the dentist. Necessary, but not always welcome. They can feel like a chore and sap energy from even the most motivated team members. So, why not shake things up and get your team’s creative juices flowing?
What Are Sales Meetings and Why Are They Important?
Sales meetings are the scheduled company gatherings where sales team members meet to discuss their work, brainstorm ideas, and plan strategies.
During the meeting, the sales team can review the sales performance of each member, discuss key objectives and goals for future projects, and – most importantly – brainstorm ideas for success.
Here are some of the things they do during the meetings:
- Go over important sales information
- Sales training
- Build relationships with other team members
- Brainstorm ideas on how to increase sales
- Fix sales roadblocks
- Develop sales strategy and implementation
- Discussion future events
Why Are Sales Meetings Important?
There’s always so much going on with the sales department. Everyone needs to be on the same page, updated with what’s happening, and motivated to sell, from sales directors and managers to sales reps.
That said, here are a few ways regular sales meetings may benefit your organization:
- Boosting staff morale
- Strengthening relationships between teams, departments, and top management
- Encouraging collaboration
- Providing shared direction and focus
- Shortening sales and product knowledge gaps
- Helping to resolve any conflicts
- Giving recognition and appreciation
- Creating more accountability with measurable goals
- Not to mention strategic planning and setting objectives
How do You Prepare for a Sales Meeting? A 5-Step Checklist to Follow
You don’t just walk into a sales meeting unprepared. A lot of thought and planning must go into ensuring it’s productive. Here’s a 5-step checklist to get you started.
Step #1: Set Clear Objectives
72% of sales representatives say setting clear objectives is the most important aspect of preparing for a successful sales meeting. When you have clear and concrete objectives, it’s easier to measure results, increase accountability and drive better performance.
Your meeting objectives are a list of all the things you want your staff to gain by the end of the meeting. What do you wish to accomplish? What do you hope your staff will walk away with?
Without clear objectives, your meeting will likely be seen as a waste of time or an energy drain.
So, how do you determine the objectives of your meeting?
You can begin by asking yourself the following questions:
- What key takeaways do you want the sales team to gain from this meeting?
- What’s the main topic of the meeting?
- What main idea will I be sharing?
- Why am I meeting with the sales team in the first place?
- What problem(s) am I hoping to solve?
- How will the team be informed and/or inspired by this meeting?
Once you have a clear idea of the objectives of the meeting, you can start brainstorming creative meeting ideas. Make sure all the speakers are on the same page.
For instance, you could incorporate games and activities to encourage collaboration and foster creativity. You could also introduce technology or interactive elements to make the meeting more engaging.
The idea is to make the meeting valuable and informative while providing an atmosphere that encourages creativity. Additionally, you should ensure that each team member has the opportunity to participate and contribute.
Step #2: Create a Meeting Agenda
67% of respondents mentioned meeting agendas as the most important element for successful meetings.
The thing is, every meeting needs a clear agenda. By agenda, we don’t just mean a list of topics to go over—we mean something that sets the tone for the meeting, gives your team members an idea of what to expect, and ensures everyone is on the same page.
The person running the meeting should think through the agenda in advance and make it available to everyone before the meeting.
Your meeting’s agenda should in some way contribute to your grand objective or goal. Without that, you’re just spinning your wheels and wasting valuable time.
You also want to send agenda notes to all the meeting attendees beforehand. Let them know what will be discussed so they can prepare and develop meeting ideas and questions.
Here’re a few examples of agenda questions to add to your meeting:
- Will there be a roll call before the meeting begins?
- What kind of topics will be discussed at the meeting?
- How long will the meeting last?
- Are there any breakouts or activities planned?
- Is anyone presenting something at the meeting?
- Who will be leading the different parts of the meeting?
- Who is responsible for keeping track of the action items and assignments?
Step #3: Provide Meeting Documents and Other Resources
There’s a good chance that your meeting will be based on a document or presentation. It’s always helpful to give your team access to the resources before the meeting so they can prepare and come prepared with questions. That can be anything from a list of objectives to a PDF with past sales performance data.
You want to ensure you have all the documents prepared and in the correct quantity (enough for each person) before the meeting starts.
You can share the documents via email or a shared drive for a digital meeting. Consider having resources printed and ready to go if it’s an in-person meeting.
Powerpoints are important too. Remember, not everyone has the capacity to retain all the information discussed. A quick and easy-to-digest presentation can help reinforce the information shared during meetings and give everyone a refresher whenever they need it.
Step #4: Set Time and the Time Block for the Meeting
You’ve probably heard complaints about a meeting delaying or exceeding its allotted time block. It could be that one of the attendees derailed the original topic and took up most of the time, or they came to the meeting late.
Everything must run like clockwork.
To prevent this, set a time for the meeting to begin and end and make sure there is a moderator that can keep everyone on task and on time. Provide a breakdown of the meeting agenda, with specific times allocated for each topic covered.
For example, if the meeting is to run for 1 hour 30 minutes:
- Introduction and Welcome – 10 minutes
- Team News Updates – 15 minutes
- Sales Discussion & Analysis – 20 minutes
- Sales Role Play Exercise – 20 minutes
- Open Floor Discussion – 15 minutes
- Wrap-Up & Action Items – 10 minutes
You also want to go further and break down the topics for a deeper level of discussion. For example, where the sales role-play exercise is concerned, you can set it up so that the team is split into small groups, and each group is given a specific scenario. They can then present their solutions to the broader group at the end of the session.
Step #5: Send Meeting Materials Ahead of Time (Days Ahead)
Don’t wait until the last minute to share any materials with your team. Give them a few days in advance so they can prepare for the meeting and be ready to jump right in.
That includes the meeting’s agenda, new sales playbook, contest announcements, and any other materials necessary for the meeting.
So, what do we consider a reasonable timeframe?
I’d say two to three days ahead of the meeting. That way, everyone can have their ideas ready and present their best solutions.
And don’t forget to include a little humour in those materials. A friendly joke or two can help break the ice and get everyone in the right mindset for a productive meeting.
You also want to resend the materials a day or two before the meeting in case someone missed them.
Even more important, make sure the subject line clearly describes the purpose of the meeting.
For example, “Resources for the xx/xx/xx Sales Meeting: Brainstorming Ideas to Boost Motivation and Performance.”
During the Sales Meeting: What to do
For the First Meeting
Start the meeting on a light note, with a little humour and a few icebreakers. Ask everyone to share one or two interesting facts about themselves so that everyone can get to know each other better.
Discuss Your Fast, Current, and Future Deals
Your sales reps work all day to find and close deals, so why not start the meeting by discussing their successes?
They’re the most prominent part of the discussion, so ask your reps to highlight the wins they’ve made in the past week, month, or quarter.
They can discuss their closed deals, those in the pipeline, and the big deals to come.
Remember always to give positive and constructive feedback about their progress.
Play a Team Building Exercise
Team-building exercises are a great way to get the creative juices flowing.
It could be anything from an icebreaker game to a problem-solving challenge.
You can also ask your team to bring in their own ideas and see if they can develop a unique solution.
Here’s an idea: why not split your team into small groups and have each group develop a creative sales strategy for the next quarter?
Whoever comes up with the best plan gets a reward.
Talk About Sales Roadblocks
Roadblocks are inevitable, but that doesn’t mean your team can’t get creative about how to solve them.
Remember, sales roadblocks are recurring, so your team needs to devise a lasting solution.
You can start by asking team members to walk you through some of the problems they’re struggling with, then get the whole team involved in coming up with solutions.
The best part about this exercise is that it encourages creativity and helps boost morale by showing everyone their ideas and input are valued.
The roadblocks may involve objection handling, lead-generation strategies, lead distribution, sales closing, or any other sales-related problem.
Once you’ve identified the problem, it’s time to get creative and develop unique solutions.
You can try things like “The Brainstorm Challenge,” where everyone on the team has to devise one creative idea for solving the problem.
Each team member will have a chance to share their ideas, and then you can vote on which one you want to try.
Share Industry, Company, or Product News or Current Events
Some industries like medicine, marketing, technology, and finance are fast-paced, and something new is always happening.
On top of that, whenever your company makes product upgrades, releases new updates, or changes its policies, your sales team needs to be in the know.
Set up a meeting to discuss these developments, what they mean for your business, and how you can adjust your sales strategies to make the most of them.
In addition, you can assign a person to present any current news relevant to your field and lead a discussion around it.
So, why is this important?
It helps keep your sales team up-to-date, sharp on trends and changes in the industry, and motivated to stay informed.
You also want your team to thoroughly learn and understand new features should a potential customer/client prods them about it.
Company news should also be discussed because you want everyone on your team to be on the same page.
Encouraging dialogue creates a space for everyone to be informed and vocal about what’s happening in the business.
For industry news, here are a few things you want to discuss:
- Interesting industry statistics and news Industry trends
- Competitor information
- Newly released products in the industry
- Sales insights from bigger companies
- What customers are discussing on forums and social media
Discuss Your Organization’s Sales Performance as a Whole
You can prepare a report that includes sales target achievement, sales team performance, customer behaviour changes, customer acquisition and retention rates, sales trends, and purchasing patterns.
The idea is to paint a detailed picture f your company’s performance since your last and identify areas of improvement.
If you have multiple locations, you want to compare and contrast their performances and encourage healthy competition.
When sharing sales performance across different timeframes, you want to give feedback as a compliment sandwich.
By compliment-sandwiching your feedback, you provide a positive outlook and give encouraging words to your team, motivating them to go the extra mile to hit their sales targets.
For example, you can say: ‘We saw a 5% increase in sales since last quarter, and we’d like to see an additional 5%-10% this quarter. You guys are working hard, and we believe you can do it.’
Try to Make it as Fun as Possible
Great sales teams have a strong sense of camaraderie.
To create a stronger team bond, consider creating creative meeting ideas that your sales team can enjoy.
For example, you could turn some of your regular meetings into an ice cream break. Or you could take the team out to play mini-golf or laser tag.
These activities are beneficial for two reasons. First, it gives the team a break from their normal routine tasks and allows them to de-stress. Second, it creates a shared experience that strengthens the bond between the team members.
Creating fun activities together can build trust and encourage collaboration among your sales team. The more motivated and connected your team is, the better they’ll be at tackling tasks and closing deals.
The idea is to create an immersive experience rather than sitting in a boardroom. So, take your team outside for a picnic, plan a scavenger hunt, or even arrange dinner and drinks at an exotic location.
The possibilities are endless, and the best way to find out what works for your team is to experiment. You can also add a competitive element to the mix. How about a race or a cooking competition?
How to Run a Successful Sales Meeting?
Find out what drives your team and use that to create an agenda. The topics should have something in common, so focus on brainstorming ideas, problem-solving, and goal-setting.
That said, here are some tips to make your sales meeting run like a well-oiled machine:
#1. Start On Time
Starting late sends the wrong message to your team. It’s a sign of disrespect and shows that you don’t value the attendees’ time. Plus, the next time you call for a meeting, people will just assume it’ll be late again.
You want to start by asking your meeting leaders to show up on time. In fact, you want to encourage them to show up 10 minutes earlier. It sets the tone for everyone else and gives them time to prepare for any presentations.
You can use this time to welcome everyone and have them mingle a little before the meeting starts. You can even introduce the team members as they join. The idea is to create an atmosphere of unity and camaraderie.
#2. Apply Your Objectives and Agenda
The meeting objectives should be mentioned in your pre-meeting materials so everyone knows what to expect when they arrive. The agenda should be distributed in advance to ensure the meeting stays on track and doesn’t meander off into unproductive discussions or debates.
At the start of the meeting, review the objectives and agenda items to set expectations for what’s to come. You also want to mention when the meeting will end so everyone can plan accordingly.
For example, if you mention that the meeting will end at 10:30 am, participants will try to observe the time limits for each agenda item.
Applying your agenda ensures everything moves quickly and every activity is timed correctly.
Similarly, applying your objectives keeps the meeting focused on outcomes rather than ideologies and opinions.
You want to ensure the attendees leave with something valuable or new (like a unique lesson, new strategies, or a different perspective).
#3. Break the Ice
Even if all the attendees know each other, starting the meeting with a fun icebreaker is always good.
First, you want to break the air of seriousness and make everyone feel comfortable.
You want everyone to loosen up, feel relaxed and be open to share their ideas and suggestions.
For instance, you could start by having everyone share a funny story about something that happened over the weekend or give an anecdote of their worst sales pitch.
Here are a few random ideas for breaking the ice:
- Have everyone introduce themselves by telling an interesting fact about themselves
- Give each attendee a piece of candy and have them share why they picked that particular one
- Ask team members to name a funny or unique nickname for the meeting
- Ask for volunteers to tell a joke or riddle
- Assign roles – like the referee, the timer, or the leader – to shake things up and get everyone involved
- Have team members share their favorite sales techniques. Ask volunteers to explain how they made a successful pitch or closed a tough deal.
- Give out trivia questions about the company and its products to get everyone thinking outside the box
- Pass around a funny hat or accessory and have each person tell a story related to it
- Have each team member share a success story from the past week or month
- Play an improv game to get everyone thinking on their feet
#4. Shake It Up
Nothing kills enthusiasm faster than doing the same thing over and over again. You can keep your team engaged by shaking it up with some creative meeting ideas.
For example, why not have a “round-robin” brainstorming session or a team-building game? Encourage everyone to bring their own ideas and have an open dialogue. Not only will this create an energetic atmosphere, but it will also give your team a chance to get creative and think outside the box.
You can even create a suggestion box, where your team can submit ideas for fun and engaging meeting activities.
It’s always a good idea to mix it up and keep everyone excited about the next meeting. The possibilities are endless, whether it’s a team-building game, a round-robin brainstorming session, or something else entirely.
#5. Offers Sales Value
Every sales meeting should always end with a reminder of why the team is there in the first place. There should be a valuable lesson or takeaway that each team member can walk away with.
- Ask a question to the group about how they could use their newfound knowledge in upcoming sales meetings
- Challenge the team to think of a creative idea that could be used to increase sales in their area
- Invite someone from another department to offer their insight on how the team can increase efficiency
- Hold a brainstorming session with the whole team where they can share ideas and come up with solutions
- Ask for feedback on how the team can improve their processes
It’s also proven that people learn things better when they write them down. That’s why it’s important to encourage the team to take notes in every meeting so they can have something to refer to later.