Rise Up! Sales Meeting Reform

It’s Sep­tem­ber, so I’m guess­ing  you, like most of us,  had your annual or quar­terly National Sales Meet­ing at some point in the last few months .

You know the meet­ing com­pa­nies have early Jan­u­ary, mid Decem­ber or just ran­domly through the year.  My com­pany has fis­cal year end in June so for us we just had that time of year when all the cor­po­rate folks decide you aren’t busy enough hunt­ing, gath­er­ing, meet­ing, or cold calling.

Nooo  they need  to take up your time telling you how to do it bet­ter.  Just when you were going to find one after­noon to play hooky by the pool.

You’ve been there, this is the meet­ing where the guy who’s never left the cor­po­rate office comes out to give you a 67  slide PPT telling you about what your prospects want to hear from you. This, mind you,  are the same guy who’s never actu­ally made a cold call and prob­a­bly can’t name a prospect call point.

Or my favorite, some­one emailed you a 81 slide deck the week before and you and your team mem­bers took turns recit­ing the script to each other while you clicked through slides you’ve never seen and never intend to use … while the guy in the back row hic­cups through his hangover.

Or maybe you didn’t get invited to the meet­ing. Because you only sup­port sales, you don’t actu­ally sell. You have the sole job of doing every­thing they need in the demon­stra­tions, tech­ni­cal dis­cus­sions, product/ ser­vice deep dives, but you were, for what­ever rea­son in your com­pany, excluded from the meet­ing. (fyi – you are the lucky ones)


What this coun­try needs now is SALES MEETING REFORM.

I’m call­ing for an end to Bad National Sales Meet­ings. Right here and now.

Let’s do this.

We can do this together. We can change the National Sales Meet­ing. We can make it worth­while, We can make it appro­pri­ate. We can actu­ally hold a meet­ing that brings our team value. We can actu­ally do all that and have some fun.

So, if you’re a lucky one who hasn’t held your meet­ing yet, you still have a chance. And for those that have, there’s always next year.  Seri­ously, I know some of you are think­ing your meet­ing wasn’t that bad. Did you have more than 1 two hour PPT session?

Then it sucked.

The sober guys (and hell, even the hun­gover ones) would pre­fer to be trapped in their office cold call­ing while Megan Fox sun­bathed by their pool than sit through another one of your meetings.

My  recipe for a good sales meeting?

Let sales lead it. Now that’s a novel concept

Start by ask­ing them or their man­agers what they need. Is it prod­uct? Sales process? Above fun­nel? In fun­nel?  Remem­ber – the pur­pose of the meet­ing is the pur­pose of the meet­ing – to help your sales team sell more .

Then pri­or­i­tize it. And pick the top 3. The worst meet­ings I’ve been in is an attempt to to tell you every­thing you ever needed to know in 3 days. Every­one knows the law of dimin­ish­ing returns. With sales folk, the dimin­ish­ing returns start even ear­lier in the day.  After the first 5 PPT slides I believe the research shows.

ONLY bring in the cor­po­rate resources who can bring value spe­cific to those 3 top­ics. That’s it. Not every­one needs to hold court over the sales team.  That isn’t going to help them sell more stuff. It’s  self­ish, self aggran­diz­ing actu­ally.  End it.

Orga­nize the sched­ule with a rea­son­able under­stand­ing that peo­ple aren’t going to take it all in. And, if you have to let the cor­po­rate big­wigs talk at them, make it after lunch on the sec­ond day when everyone’s falling asleep any­how and have been drink­ing for 2 days. At least they prob­a­bly won’t remem­ber the pain that way.

Make it inter­ac­tive. This does NOT mean each per­son doing the PPT prezo. This means team work on return demo’ing they can apply the train­ing you’ve pro­vided. Or sales guys pre­sent­ing what worked (or didn’t work) for them in par­tic­u­lar deals or what­ever your top­ics are.

Hint: DO pick the reps that have the best pres­ence you have (Funny, artic­u­late, nicest butt, etc)  for this part.  At least you’ll have everyone’s atten­tion. Then you can inter­sperse the facts and train­ing while the rep has everyone’s attention.

DON’T pick the suck up, annoy­ing guy who every­one already hates to stand in front and arro­gantly detail his last win.

Plan some fun. Every­one needs it. It’s been a tough year. We have a tough job. Hon­estly, if it was easy, every­one would want it. Or there’d be a col­lege major called sales. There’s not. This also goes back to not bring­ing in all those cor­po­rate ass­holes. They don’t appre­ci­ate what you or your team does.  This is your chance to let folks blow off steam, have some fun, build some rela­tion­ships with peers who can help them, share war sto­ries and gen­er­ally feel some­what appreciated.

As the days of incen­tive trips to for­eign coun­tries and Alec Bald­win hand­ing out Cadil­lacs have gone by the way­side, your national sales meet­ing is the only chance to recre­ate that win for your team.  Do it up right.

Together, we can lead Sales Meet­ing Reform.  Together, we can make a change that sales peo­ple believe in.

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2 Responses to “ Rise Up! Sales Meeting Reform ”

  1. RescueMeII says:

    Nicely put. Who’s Megan Fox?

  2. Swami says:

    If she was hang­ing out by your pool you’d know exactly who she was. And it’d be tough to work the phones.

    Here’s a cou­ple of pics



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