How to Adapt Your Sales Meeting to Engage Your Team
By: ITA Group
When you think of sales meetings, what comes to mind?
If you do a Google image search, you’ll get a general idea of what people imagine sales meetings to be: suits, ties, pie charts and PowerPoint presentations.
While that’s the way people have perceived sales meetings in the past, the way sales meetings look now is a little different. Well—a lot different.
And that’s a change for the better.
Take a glimpse at the shift sales meetings have started to take—and get prepared for the change—by infusing these best practices into your next meeting.
Engaging Presentations Power Your Sales Meeting
Your attendees—especially millennials and Generation Z—are accustomed to quick, digestible pieces of information. When it comes to training and educating your people, a long-winded speech from the CEO might not be the best bet, but an interactive experience with two-way dialogue certainly is.
Keynotes and general sessions can be a great place to share actionable, real-life information and tactics with your people—but only if they’re kept at the edge of their seats. To do that, consider changing the event's format.
One idea is to transform your keynotes or general sessions with broadcast techniques like ESPN’s “SportsCenter.” Put your agenda in a dynamic, side-screen ticker to allow your attendees to know what’s coming up next while keeping their focus where you want it. The content should have all the spark and vigor of a broadcast as well—audience attention spans are short, so offer rapid-fire commentary instead of drawn-out speeches wherever possible.
The means by which the message is communicated is integral and indispensable to the communication itself. The same concept now applies to venues (the medium) and events (the message) with the venue itself playing an increasingly crucial role in the communication and achievement of the event objective.
One sales meeting best practice to be aware: the meeting will start to move out of the stale conference room. Instead, expect cottages, barns, pool decks, restaurants and common areas to be used more often.
Technology to Allure & Automate
If bringing your event up to speed with the latest technologies feels overwhelming, focus on small, iterative changes to make the most improvement. Find one element of your event’s technology and refresh it every year.
Since your attendees likely juggle multiple devices already, the “second screen” approach can be a strategic additional platform to engage attendees in the messaging. Provide presentation content (like a gallery of images or key facts that enhance the keynote) ahead of time for attendees to “follow along.” Make sure you’re measuring engagement and excitement with audience polling and “pulse” checks.
Going forward, sales meetings will put emphasis on training through gamification.
Your salespeople are naturally competitive. By turning training into a collaborative and competitive experience, they’ll hear your message loud and clear, remember it for years to come and work hard to edge out their competition.
Biometrics will be a big part of the sales meeting technology, too. The days of the post-event survey are waning. Emotion recognition technology will revolutionize event feedback. Soon, our fitness trackers will transmit our heart rate and vitals right to event organizers, indicating how we really liked the event.
Not only will these systems help alleviate common sales meeting problems, but they will demonstrate willingness to push the envelope a little. And that will impress your team in a huge way.
Related: Learn how to create a strategy that drives successful meetings with unified purpose, investment and results.
Social Media for Sales Meeting Success
Social media isn’t a flash in the pan for marketers. And it’s certainly not just for teens.
LinkedIn, Twitter and other social media platforms aren’t just fun, they’re an important tool for sales networking and message amplification. That said, sales meetings often deal with confidential information. So how can event organizers weave social media into closed-door meetings?
First, create specific guidelines for what is and isn’t appropriate to share. Key findings about your company culture might be OK, but specific sales tactics or client information may not.
By outlining these guidelines in as much detail as possible, going so far as to bar social media from certain sessions, you’ll reduce the risk of sensitive information leaking out.
Better yet, generate content ready-made for your people to share. Events prosper, live and reproduce on social media so the more interesting and wonderful the venue, the more shareable it is on social media. And that brings profile, awareness as well as stimulation, excitement and energy to the meeting. By creating a trove of tweets, posts and videos that are ready to be distributed, you’re making it easy for your sales team to share the message you want to present in a way the world wants to engage with.
Give Back Opportunities
One way many major companies are accomplishing their goal—connecting teams and objectives in a way that moves the needle—is working with local organizations in need of volunteers. Community involvement and volunteering can redefine “teamwork” and set a positive, inspiring undertone to your event.
These opportunities are a great way to weave in your meeting’s mission as well as facilitate bonding with your team members, reduce employee stress and give them the chance to get to know one another outside of the office. They also allow your team the opportunity to experience the culture and destination.
Don’t forget key stakeholder buy-in. When your team sees your CEO sweating to build a playground, they’ll want to as well.
Making your next sales meeting more strategic can seriously impact your organization’s bottom line. Find out how to craft an event strategy that will take your sales meeting to new heights.