Question: I am running out of ideas for sales meetings. Do you have any tips for developing skills?
Conducting concise skill-building activities at sales meetings (online or face to face) is a terrific way to enhance abilities and share best practices. Consider assigning responsibility to a different salesperson for each meeting. Concentrated segments are key! Focusing on one skill set at a time gives salespeople the opportunity to reflect on and integrate skills into the upcoming week. Then, make sure that you review and coach their experiences at the next meeting.
Distribute two index cards to each sales person. Ask them to write a recent objection on the card. Collect the cards and redistribute them. Now, ask the salespersons to write responses to the objections on the back of the cards that they received. Collect the cards again and redistribute. The drill begins with a salesperson stating the objection on one of their cards and calling on a person to answer.
To conduct this in an online meeting, ask each salesperson to submit an objection and potential answer. Post the objections one at a time and ask for responses or call on individuals. Online formats are terrific for playing games. Put the objections that salespeople submit in a jeopardy or other familiar online game format.
I’ll Add to That! – This exercise encourages salespeople to share knowledge and best practices while helping develop sales and account strategy. Ask each person to prepare an account analysis or customer profile. If you use a CRM, perhaps you have this information stored. Ask each person to outline a current sales objective, the key players, history and any other pertinent information about the current status of the account. Then, pass the account around the room by asking each salesperson for one idea, suggestion or question to add value for the customer and move the sale forward. Keep going until all ideas are exhausted.
To conduct this in an online meeting, display the profile forms so all can see and use the same process. Tip – Make sure that you truncate the form so it is visible to all or send the completed forms to participants in advance to study and make recommendations.
Technology or Competition Study
Assign a competitor to each salesperson. Ask each to research the competition and prepare a comparison of your advantages and disadvantages to the group. Be sure to provide specific guidelines about what they should report. Ask the group to draw conclusions about how they measure up. The same exercise can be used for technology education. Ask each salesperson to research a new technology and report or demonstrate how they have used the technology to advance sales objectives. You could focus on a specific technology such as LinkedIn, or even cell phones. Or, assign a specific technology to each person.
To conduct this in an online meeting - Pass controls to each person and ask them to demonstrate what they have learned.
Market Penetration – Ask each salesperson anonymously submit what they would do to increase sales and market penetration if they were given unlimited resources. Compile the master list, distribute and discuss. Prioritize and vote on recommendations as a group. Then, act on the recommendations!
To conduct this in an online meeting – Consider using polling features to vote on responses.
Invite an Expert
This could be someone from another department, or someone from outside of your company. It is highly motivating for salespeople to hear what others are doing to be successful. Be certain that you give clear guidelines to your guest. Consider inviting a top performing salesperson from a sister company or unrelated industry to share successes.
To conduct this in an online meeting – Invite a guest to be present via video conferencing. Or, find one of your favorite experts on YouTube and play an excerpt.
Invite a Customer
Make sure you give the customer a clear understanding of why they have been selected to attend. Ask the customer to explain their business needs, what they like about your services and what they like about the competitive solutions they may opt for. Allow the salespeople to interact and ask questions much as if they were on a sales call. They will learn from the customer and from observing each other.
For more suggestions or for specific sales meeting agendas, contact us !