Meeting Your Challenges Head-On
Career Path : Sales
One of the most common ways a business helps keep communication flowing freely through all departments is by having regular meetings. Sometimes, however, holding a meeting can be seen as more of time-waster than a productive activity. This could be for any number of reasons: people are unprepared for the subject of a meeting, people waste too much time preparing for a meeting, lack of organization results in nothing being accomplished, too much organization for a meeting hinders spontaneous debate, and the list goes on. Finding the right balance for a meeting is essential to get the most out of these regular gatherings.
The sales departments of companies are no exception to the regular scheduling of meetings. But like any specific department, certain things must be tailored for salespeople if one wants them to benefit in their own way. There are times when salespeople compete with each other rather than collaborate, so they may be more reluctant to share ideas and encourage each other. Salespeople also commonly work on an individual commission basis, so any time taken away from their personal work can interfere with their monetary success, which might make them less eager to cooperate. Finally, since many salespeople are naturally used to being presenters and lecturers about their products or services, they may find having to sit and listen tedious and unproductive. Nevertheless, good sales management needs to hold regular meetings with their teams, and here are a few key concepts to remember to optimize these meetings:
Support and Challenge
A great sales meeting should give the salesperson a fair balance of two things: support, and challenge. Encourage the salespeople in the jobs they are doing and the techniques they are using. Although many salespeople work for themselves, managerial recognition for hard work only improves confidence and moral. But don’t stop there. Follow up any support with new challenges, so that the salespeople continue to work harder and strive for more, both for themselves, and ultimately for the company.
Being consistent in meetings is a helpful device to give salespeople a sense of familiarity and stability in what can otherwise be a very unpredictable job. Let your team know that they can expect a certain ease and comfort level with the protocol in a meeting. Using a standardized meeting agenda is convenient for salespeople who might not have the time to prepare for unexpected issues. A small amount of new content is good to keep them on their toes, but works best if this comes within a consistent atmosphere.
Recognize and Reward
Similar to the dual concept of support and challenge are the combination of reward and recognition. Whereas the former treatment deals with how the sales people are working, the latter deals with the results of their work. Leading by example isn’t only about being a great manager, but by distinguishing great sales reps to inspire the others. This should be an essential part of sales meetings as well as general sales training.
Sales departments are made up of individually motivated workers, but within the fold of the business, they are still a team. In order to work better as a team, managers need to meet with them regularly in mutually-supportive and motivating ways.
For information on sales courses, go to the website of Fusion Learning Inc.