The B2B sales meeting is a regular part of the week within most bigger companies. Sales teams sit in a room and they go through the meeting's agenda.
Many sales teams spend a couple of hours each week—and maybe more—in these types of meetings. Sometimes the meetings review the status of accounts. Other times they go over other key business matters.
But more and more companies are questioning whether spending a couple of hours every week in sales meetings is really productive. It's time sales team members could be out selling.
If you're going to have a weekly sales meeting, then it should be productive. Below are some tips that can help you do that.
The concept of the B2B meetings is a fair one. It’s worth your time to bring everyone together at least once a week. But you need to make your meetings useful. Otherwise, you're just wasting time. Answering the following questions before holding a meeting can help you make them more useful.
- Are your meetings actionable?
Let’s say you’re having a meeting relating to how to turn your B2B content marketing campaign around. You can discuss the problem for an hour but none of that matters if you haven’t managed to turn those meetings into action.
For example, many B2B meetings find everyone agreeing on how to solve a problem but that's it. Acknowledging a problem isn’t solving the problem. You need to take action to do that.
To make meetings more productive, it’s vital that everyone has a brief for what they’re going to do after the meeting is over.
- Are the right decision makers there?
B2B meetings must have the right decision-makers in them to be effective. The problem is every decision maker wants to bring in this person or that person. Before you know it the room is crammed full with twenty people.
You need to be ruthless when deciding who gets to join the meetings. You can’t have the entire office discussing the pain points that boost B2B sales. This is going to lead to a lot of talk and not a lot of action.
While every company should be democratic to keep morale high, you should have some form of strict hierarchy within the meeting. Every B2B seller should report to someone else.
And only those leaders capable of making decisions should be present at the actual meeting. You want to keep things as streamlined as you possibly can.
- Are your discussions based on facts?
Your meetings should be based on results from your previous meetings. That way you can discuss what actually happen and why. Then you can take action based on that information.
But many B2B campaigns crash and burn because the meetings supporting them. They waste time discussing general points and not the facts. Without those, you’re just throwing random ideas up in the air.
For example, just having managers stand up in the middle of the room and talk about boosting your B2B results isn’t good enough. Managers need to talk about things that really affect sales, like how 50% of leads are not qualified before they go to the sales team.
- Do you set a time limit on meetings?
B2B companies often let meetings slip out of control. Their sales teams sit down in the morning and before you know it, it’s the middle of the afternoon and they’re not even half way through the written agenda.
Meetings need a time limit. They shouldn’t be allowed to run for as long as your B2B company wants. The trick is to make the most of the time you have.
The key to doing that is to put some pressure on the participants. Saying you only have one hour to get through the written agenda encourages people to get right to the point. You’ll stop digressing into other subjects and you’ll be focused on getting things done.
Is everyone having a say?
Every meeting brings together different personalities. Often, a small number of forceful figures dominate the meetings and their view points are the only ones that are considered.
To make meetings more effective, make sure everyone gets the same amount of time to give their opinions and state their cases. Don’t allow the quiet ones to drift away into a daydream.
They might have the best ideas of all. Just because someone is loud doesn’t mean they have the solution. And when trying to solve a sales problem, you need to consider all viable solutions.
- Did anything significant happen in the meeting?
The start of every meeting should begin by going over the progress made since the last meeting. It’s important to implement checking on the final solutions that came from the previous gathering.
Accountability is critical to effectiveness. So spend ten minutes asking people what your B2B firm has done since the last meeting.You could learn a lot by doing that.
Asking the questions listed above can help you hold more productive sales meetings. And while sales meetings are often necessary, you don't want them to waste time.
By focusing more on action and less on talk during the meetings, you can take your B2B firm to the next level and make it a market leader and not an also-ran in the industry.
How do you think B2B sales meetings improve performance?