Retire the Monthly Sales Meeting & Grow
For decades sales organizations have routinely gathered together to participate in the monthly field sales meeting. The subjects are broad and generally range from telling the sellers about “exciting” new products, price increases, potential customers (they should be calling upon) and other matters of sales administration, marketing or support.
While we would never disagree that it is important to share experiences amongst members of the sales force and communicate organizational information face-to-face, we do think using sales meetings to do so is a pretty nonproductive use of the sales force’s time.
Consider that—every time you bring eight sellers together for a day, it costs the company the opportunity to make (say) 25-40 sales calls. That monthly sales meeting may cost you the equivalent of one-half of a sales representative each year. Clearly sales meetings are pretty costly ways to share information. And, we have really not even considered meeting travel, if that is involved.
To get all or some of those sales calls back, start by taking a few simple steps this week—
- Limit all sales meetings to a single annual event and coordinate the meeting with developmental activities like training or trade shows (I can probably make a similar productivity argument about shows). If “excess” meetings are already scheduled, cancel them.
- Have a professional (e.g.: your IT folks) build and operate a secure informational website solely for the sales force (and this tool may already be available using CRM or other off-the-shelf software). On it be able to—
- Communicate new product or technical information;
- Post topical information regarding the market or competitors;
- Distribute prospect information;
- Host Q&A discussion sessions to share experiences and ask questions (avoid giant & circular email FWD dialogues); and
- Maintain a how-to section for the use of support staff—doing expense accounts, call reports………
- Calculate the amount of “new” added sales calls the sellers can make because of #1 above, and assign more new prospects to each seller to absorb these found sales calls.
We are always amazed at the cost of sales meetings and similar activities. Retire the monthly sales meeting and use those extra 5%+ sales calls to yield 5%+ sales growth.