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Make Monday-Morning Meetings Count

When we at Acumen undertake consulting engagements, we always sit in on clients' Monday-morning sales meetings.

That's because we know from experience that a weekly kick-off meeting is among the best ways to build a high-performance sales organization. A well-run Monday meeting puts everyone on the right track for the week ahead and helps the sales manager establish the discipline, control and accountability that every team needs.

Plan Ahead
Sales meetings may occur on the phone, if you have a remote sales team or in face-to-face sessions. But no matter what format they're in, these critical weekly meetings will be more successful if everyone involved knows what to expect.

First, all salespeople should be prepared to share their actions and results from the past week and their plans for the coming one, including what appointments they've made. Next, you should work from an agenda, using the same format every week. This step helps everyone know what's being covered and, of course, helps keep meetings on track and on time. Finally, meetings should begin no later than 8:30 a.m. and last no more than an hour.

A Seven-Section Schedule
Following is a standardized sales-meeting agenda, divided into seven main sections:

  • Section 1: Ask each salesperson to rate the previous week's performance on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being "great." This step increases accountability and gets everyone talking early in the meeting. Next, assign someone to take notes documenting any sales discussions and action items. Instruct your scribe to e-mail those notes to the whole team within 24 hours of the meeting. (Hint: As sales leader, you should review and approve the notes before they're circulated.)

  • Section 2: Move to the sales pipeline and forecast discussions. Engage salespeople in strategy discussions that focus on their individual monthly sales commitments and forecasts. In addition, ask them to recommend potential tactical sales actions that other salespeople might take. This portion of the agenda will probably take the most time, and it's important to keep everyone's attention during the sales-strategy discussion. (Hint: As you review each individual salesperson's forecast, ask other team members to share additional sales ideas. This will keep everyone engaged and encourage all members to help each other in selling.)

  • Section 3: Review your month-to-date and year-to-date goals against actual performance. Typically, these may be sales versus quotas; these numbers may reflect sales goals by product/services or goals by salesperson. In addition, the sales manager should review all scorecards or other metrics that you're tracking.

  • Section 4: Discuss all marketing events planned for the next 60 days. This step gives the whole team a heads-up about what's coming and an idea about what everyone needs to do to ensure event success. You marketing team should attend at least one sales meeting a month.

  • Section 5: Review all sales-training meetings and topics planned for the next 90 days. Summarize not just the dates and times, but what sales skills will be discussed and what product, industry and organizational knowledge will be covered. You may wish to have individual salespeople handle some aspects of training sessions.

  • Section 6: Consider this the catch-all part of the meeting. Summarize any administrative or technical issues, sales-contest information and other company topics that you may need to address.

  • Section 7: Close the meeting on an "up" note. You might ask each salesperson for one "PMT" -- a Positive Mental Thought that can be personal or professional in nature. This step builds camaraderie and sets the right tone for the coming week.

Building a high-performance sales team takes work, energy and organization. Starting the week with a high-quality sales meeting helps everyone begin the week focused, organized and ready to execute as effectively as possible.

Posted by Ken Thoreson on July 02, 2012 at 11:59 AM