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The other week, I was coaching a client who is relatively new to the role of sales manager. He was asking me for some help running effective sales meetings. He felt that the only reason they were there was to satisfy management.

As I told my client, they serve much more of a purpose. When done right, they give everyone an opportunity to: motivate themselves; communicate goals and objectives, hot issues and success stories; discuss, analyse and resolve issues facing the sales team; recognise team progress and achievements.

How do your salespeople feel about your sales meetings? Is it your agenda or have you thought about what your sales team wants to accomplish in your sales meeting? What is the pulse before, during and after your sales meetings? Are people excited about coming to the meeting and are they re-energised coming out?

There’s nothing worse than when the team thinks of the sales meeting as a “necessary evil” — nothing more than a review of the numbers and an ass kicking rather than an inspiration and a productive interaction. The good reps would rather be calling prospects, making appointments, closing sales; in other words, doing things that will make them money.

Sales meetings are a necessary part of developing a sales team. The trick to holding successful sales meetings is to approach them in a way that shows respect for your salespeople. Think of a good sales meeting as you would an important client meeting involving a great exchange of information and mutually agreed on next steps. Essentially you are facilitating a process, a discussion, as a professional communicator to move the agenda forward. Keep your meetings short, one hour or less and be consistent.

 If it starts well, it has a better chance of ending well so create a solid plan in advance with your team for the meeting — set clear expectations for what you want to accomplish and what you want them to have prepared, review the agenda and determine your outcomes in advance so you can guide the meeting to a desired conclusion.

Held regularly and conducted effectively, sales meetings can increase your potency as a manager. Both you and your salespeople will walk away feeling motivated, have a clearer picture of where the company is headed and feel strong in your resolve to be part of that vision and to develop as a business person in sales.

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