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You’re not the only one!

According to an article in the Harvard Business Review, only 15 of the 23 hours a week that executives spend in meetings are productive.

You’re not the only sales manager who wants productive sales team meetings and hopes that people who go to them are interested and find them useful.

The most effective sales managers are keenly aware of the importance of time, which is why they practice strict time management. They are continually aware of where they stand in relation to goals and how much time is remaining in the current week, month, or quarter. They place a premium on offering excellent service to their customers.

Sales managers should take two things from this:

  • Your goal should be to maximize the time you spend with each customer.
  • It’s crucial that you stay abreast of developments and coordinate with the company’s other customer-facing departments (which are all parts of the business). This can cause a great deal of time to be spent in internal meetings rather than directly serving customers.

Meetings need to be planned with a purpose, considering the time of day, the people who will be attending, and the agenda, so that you can strike a balance between time selling and time alignment internally. When meetings are well-organized, they help keep everyone in the loop and reduce disruptions in the workplace.

In this article, we’ll talk about the must-have meetings for every sales team that can’t be skipped, such as:

One-on-ones with frontline sales employees

Every frontline worker needs regular one-on-ones with their supervisors.

Why?

They are a vital resource for fostering relationships, facilitating teamwork, and bolstering professional and educational advancement. In reality, all employees at a company with a year-over-year growth rate of 3x have 1:1s, as documented in our analysis on the state of high-performing sales teams. However, just 38% of employees in stagnating businesses actually have 1:1s. The numbers speak for themselves.

There are 3 types of one-on-ones for frontline employees: 

A. BDR/SDR one-on-one

B. Monthly SDR skip-level one-on-one

C. One-on-one forecast meeting

A. BDR/SDR one-on-one

Coaching and training will be the main topics of this meeting. There is usually a steep learning curve for the frontline employees because they are just starting out in sales. On top of that , they get plenty of criticism from clients, some of which can be quite harsh. Therefore, this should be a very positive meeting where the reps feel supported.

Learn more about their process, not just the numbers, during this period. There will be time for in-depth discussions on professional and personal growth.

Try adding these topics/questions to your meeting agenda: 

Weekly

  • How was your week?
  • Dashboard review
  • Call review
  • What’s one thing you’re going to try next week?

Monthly

  • Do you have any questions about our strategy/product/company?
  • What is one thing you want to get better at? How can I help you?
  • What is the next role that you’re aiming for?

B. Monthly SDR skip level one-on-one

Since these meetings happen once a month, you can take a step back and have your SDR think about their progress and where they could use some assistance. After that, map out your route to success. Among the activities that could fall under this category include establishing professional objectives and organizing coaching sessions to assist you to achieve them.

Try adding these topics/questions, recommended by Mark Roberge, former CRO of HubSpot, to your meeting agenda: 

  • Qualitative reflection: How do you feel you performed this month?
  • Quantitative reflection: Review your sales dashboard
  • Based on your reflections, which topic do you wish to focus on this month?
  • How specifically do you want me to assist you with this one area?
  • Schedule monthly coaching sessions.
  •  

C. One-on-one forecast meeting

By separating growth issues from work topics, you can ensure that your one-on-ones do not get dominated by activity and tasks. Having a dedicated meeting for your forecast helps you to examine the specifics of each transaction and improve the accuracy of your estimate.

Naufil Rashid, former Director of Sales at Clio, recommends covering the following in your 1:1 forecast meeting: 

  • What deals are anticipated?
  • What unanticipated deals have the potential to close during this sales cycle?
  • Which deals have a high likelihood of closing throughout the subsequent sales cycle? Is there a way to incorporate them into this sales cycle?

 

Leadership one-on-ones 

This series of one-on-ones should follow those with frontline employees. They provide managers with an opportunity to meet with their superiors to discuss pertinent information/updates, obtain support, and make decisions. Here are three examples of one-on-one meeting formats:

A. BDR manager/director weekly

B. Sales manager/director weekly

C. VP/Sales leader 1:1

A. BDR manager/director weekly

After meeting with their BDRs, managers should meet with their director (or superior) to discuss trends and team modifications.

First and foremost, directors, check on your managers. Despite the vital function they serve, they are sometimes disregarded due to the difficulty of their work. Then, discuss the team collectively: What are the prevalent problems? Where are the areas of weakness and strength? What must we do to propel the entire team forward?

Here’s what I recommend adding to your agenda on a weekly and monthly basis:

Weekly

  • How do you feel?
  • Are there any obstacles for you or your team? What’s bothering you?
  • Team status reports: Who’s prospering? Who is falling behind?

Monthly/quarterly

  • Who on the team is ready for the next step?
  • What’s one thing you’re working on to advance your career?

 

B. Sales manager/director weekly

Now is the time for information to move upward, with managers sharing the insights they’ve gained from frontline sales representatives with their directors. In a manner similar to the BDR manager one-on-one, sales managers should be prepared to discuss trends, predictions, and team updates.

This is also the moment to discuss the team’s overall performance and examine common obstacles, possibilities, and what must be done to reach the goal.

Here’s what I recommend adding to your agenda:

Weekly

  • Icebreaker: What did you learn during the past week?
  • How are you approaching objectives?
  • Are there any deals that could fail? What assistance do you require?

Monthly/quarterly

  • Team updates: Who’s doing well? Who’s struggling?
  • What is the one you’re working on to advance your career?

 

C. VP<>Sales Leader 1:1

This meeting is an opportunity for the sales leader to maintain communication with the pipeline-driving teams within the business. Focus is placed on team trends and coaching strategies.

Why do you need to schedule a monthly meeting? Sales executives are aware that “pipe saves lives.”

Mark Roberge, former CRO of Hubspot, recommends adding the following questions to the agenda:

  • Diagnosis: What topic will this SDR be instructed on this month?
  • Coaching plan: How will you help them achieve their objectives?
  • Measuring the impact: How will you determine if your efforts were successful?

 

Sales team meetings

Team meetings are the steady heartbeat of your organization, and they should assist everyone in maintaining alignment and accountability. Here are 5 calendar templates for team meeting formats.

A. Sales team weekly meeting

B. Sales team forecast meeting

C. Deal review meeting

D. Bi-weekly sales leadership sync

E. Weekly fireside meeting

A. Sales team weekly meeting

Use your weekly team meeting to celebrate victories, provide updates, and ensure that everyone is aligned on what is required. Keep your updates concise and your time targeted. You must get everyone fired up and prepared to execute.

This is also an excellent moment to encourage other teams to discuss updates with sales in order to avoid ad hoc meetings that detract from sales.

For this meeting, think of high energy and high participation. How? Try adding the following topics:

  • Icebreaker
  • Successes and wins
  • Pipeline updates
  • Obstacles and roadblocks
  • Prospect/lead feedback

B. Sales team forecast meeting

After managers have met with their sales representatives one-on-one, they should compile this information to create an accurate overview of the prediction.

In this discussion, sales managers and their director (second-line leader) should focus on the deals that will make a difference, discuss risk, and work on ways to mitigate it. Once you have a firm grasp of the current prediction, ensure that you are ahead of the next reporting period.

As you approach the end of your sales cycle (month or quarter), the emphasis of this meeting will shift.

Here are the topics our friend Naufil Rasheed recommends adding to your team forecast meeting agenda:

  • High-value deal review
  • Diagnose gaps in the forecast
  • Develop a plan of action to fill the gaps
  • What’s working and what’s not
  • Review the pipeline for the next period

C. Deal review

The reason deal reviews are important is two-fold. Firstly, they keep executives engaged in what’s happening on the frontline. Secondly, they provide an opportunity for reps to ask for anything they need and give them exposure to higher levels of the organization. 

They can happen at any stage of a sales cycle, but should be focused on larger, high-impact deals. 

These are sections to consider adding to your agenda to make your deal review productive and actionable: 

  • Why change?
  • Why now?
  • Why not? 
  • Feedback and plan

D. Sales leadership meeting

This meeting is heavily data-driven and goal-oriented. You want to begin with the forecast, gain visibility into projects directly related to achieving those goals, and leave room to change any ineffective aspects of your sales process.

This meeting should be supported by sales/revenue operations. Josh Guttman, CRO of Altrio, recommends covering these 3 topics: 

  • Forecast review
  • Revenue leader accountability updates
  • Ever evolving ROE (rules of engagement)

E. Weekly fireside meeting

58% of salespeople concur that witnessing the influence of their work on the larger picture is a leading factor influencing productivity. Transparency is crucial to maintaining the motivation and engagement of your sales force.

This meeting, conducted at the conclusion of the week, is an opportunity for everyone to learn more about what’s happening at the organization’s upper levels. Examples of information presented may include a recent presentation at a board meeting, investor updates, or how a change in the company’s strategy would affect the team. Each session should conclude with an open Q&A.

Nathan Sparks, CRO at Kandji, runs this meeting every Friday with his revenue organization. This is the standing agenda they follow: 

  • Review team mission and values
  • Share critical information from the week
  • Team specific announcements
  • Q&A

Cross-functional sales meetings

18% of sales managers concur that organization-wide collaboration is their top problem. It is also necessary for their employment. Aligning with other teams, particularly marketing and customer success, will strengthen the overall organization. Here are three cross-functional sales team meetings.

A. Revenue and marketing alignment meeting

B. Sales and support team sync

C. Key account check-in meeting

A. Revenue and marketing alignment meeting

Revenue and marketing must be coordinated for success. This discussion should include executives from sales, marketing operations, and customer service, and should be centered on the figures and activities required to achieve goals collectively.

Each week, the meeting’s focus will shift based on where you are in your reporting period and how close you are to your goals.

Nathan Sparks, chief revenue officer of Kandji, described the topics discussed in his revenue/marketing alignment meeting:

Standing agenda:

Metrics that matter

Obstacles to target

Cross-functional issues and decisions needed

Weekly theme:

Week 1: Retrospective

Week 2: Rotating based on identified priorities

Week 3: Pacing to target

Week 4: Forecast commit

B. Sales and support team sync

Customer experience, retention, and growth are interdependent. Utilize this time to determine what’s occurring with the customer base (both good and negative), the potential influence on revenue, and the necessary improvements.

The closer the distance between what you sell and what you offer, the quicker you can expand. Each group possesses valuable knowledge that should be shared.

Here are some things to discuss together: 

  • Begin with an icebreaker.
  • How are we tracking against our objectives?
  • Customer feedback: What excites and frustrates customers the most?
  • Ongoing recommendations to enhance sales and support transfer
  • Sales update: Important accounts Priority should be given to support.
  • Update: Accounts requiring attention from sales

C. Key account check-in

The execution of a key account strategy requires a cross-functional effort. With so many stakeholders and touchpoints, it is essential to align internally in order to give the best client experience and maximize the account’s potential.

The primary account manager and representatives from solution consulting services, customer success, and marketing should be present.

Here’s what the team should cover to make the most out of the time together:

  • Have any significant accounts vanished in the past two weeks?
  • Which accounts cause you the greatest concern, and why?
  • Which important accounts have growth potential within the coming month?
  • How do you manage your accounts’ time and workload?
  • In what areas do you require assistance and/or resources?

Sales growth and development meetings 

Supporting the growth and development of your sales team is of the utmost significance. Investing time and effort in the development of your team members is equivalent to investing in the company’s development. Here are two meeting templates designed to promote the growth of your team.

A. Sales coaching meeting

B. Performance review meeting

A. Sales Coaching

Coaching is so essential that it warrants a separate meeting. Whether you’re coaching as part of your weekly one-on-ones or in a separate session, you should design an actionable plan to help each team member grow.

Additionally, coaching is not a one-way street; it is necessary that representatives reflect on their own talents and actively participate in the creation of their plan.

Cory Bray, Co-Founder of CoachCRM and ClozeLoop, describes the coaching structure he advocates using the term COACH.

  • Challenge: What’s the challenge you’ll be addressing in the session?
  • Outline: Outline a game plan for the session
  • Action plan: What do you think will help you improve? What steps will you take to do so?
  • Consequences: What’s going to happen if you don’t take those steps?
  • Hold accountable: What are you responsible for doing and by when?

B. Quarterly performance review meeting

It’s easy for sales teams to get caught up in the figures, but it’s crucial to regularly step back and consider individuals’ overall accomplishments and peer feedback.

Quarterly performance reviews are also an opportunity to determine whether or not your IC is on the desired path. You may not have the ideal position for them immediately, but having a dialogue and developing a plan to get there will help you retain your top employees.

Show up to the performance review meeting prepared with:

  • Self assessment and peer feedback review
  • Performance against objectives
  • Wins, strengths and opportunities to grow
  • Areas for improvement 
  • Concerns, questions and clarifications