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Sales Training Meetings Can Be Engaging

1 May, 2012 By: David Ramos imageSource

trainingmeetingMaking sales meetings fun and engaging is difficult for even the most tenured and experienced sales leaders.  Usually the task of coming up with weekly topics is too daunting and the sales meeting spirals into a “tell me what you are selling this week” grill session. Not fun. Also, in an ever connected world another challenge is how do you keep your sales team’s attention to communicate important information without them checking their iPhone’s? Most sales people I know don’t like to sit in sales meetings (or any meeting for that matter). So, how do you leverage tenured sales people’s experience and teach newer sales people the important information and skills they will need to be successful?

Instead of holding regular sales meetings, consider holding sales training meetings instead. Here are some example topics: 

  • Using selling skills in non-selling situations–like customer service scenarios
  • Time management and territory planning
  • Prospecting techniques
  • Business acumen – learning how companies operate strategically, operationally and financially
  • Project management
  • New product and services information
  • Presentation skills

Ownership can be a strong motivator. When sales people feel ownership, they care a whole lot more about the process. And when they care, they produce better results. Letting your veteran team members teach others what they know is a great way to give them a sense of ownership in the process and in the organization.

Here is an idea for a series of meetings you can do over a period of a month.  This example combines, products/services, presentation skills and business acumen. 

  1. Every customer you service in your respective territory bases their business model on five drivers:
  2. Cash flow
  3. Profitability (margin)
  4. Assets (how to get the most out of them and how to manage them effectively)
  5. Growth (revenue)
  6. Productivity (how to get the most out of their people through process and technology)

By Example:

Separate your sales team into groups or teams of two or more members.  Now, each Monday (or whatever day you are holding your meetings) take one facet of each phase of document workflow that your company has in your portfolio of products and services and have the teams dedicate the week to learning how it impacts the five drivers of business.  This will require time researching, and getting together as a team to discuss findings (project management). On the following Monday, have each team present their findings on what they have learned about products/ services in each phase and how they impact the five business drivers. Break down your portfolio into four workflow categories, specific to our industry.  There will be some overlap by solution type, but don’t over complicate, this is a learning exercise.

A Breakdown

  1. Input/Capture Solutions
    1. Scanned images
    2. E-forms
    3. E-mail
    4. Hard copy
  2. Management/Layout Solutions
    1. Document design
    2. Variable data
    3. Content Management
    4. Workflow approval
    5. Regulatory compliance
  3. Output/Distribution
    1. Printer fleet management
    2. Printing/copying
    3. Color output
    4. Email vs. mail
  4. Storage/Archival
    1. Warehousing
    2. File conversion
    3. Security/Disaster recovery
    4. Obsolescence/Destruction

Make sure that the teams can tie each phase and solution back to the five business drivers and answer the following questions:

  1. Does the solution suite help them improve cash flow?
  2. Does the solution suite help them improve profitability?
  3. Does the solution suite allow them to manage their assets more effectively?
  4. Does the solution suite help them grow revenue?
  5. Does the solution suite make their people more productive?

The answer will be “YES” to each of these in some shape or form, the key for your team learning each phase will be answering the “HOW” on each business driver and using data to support their argument or business case.  The best way to sell anything is through real-world scenarios. Challenge your team to provide examples in their weekly presentations.  These examples don’t all have to be success stories; they can be learning lessons of solutions gone badly.  These are also a great learning tool.  

When your sales people leave each sales training meeting they will see they’ve got a bigger toolbox of ideas and strategies they can use in the real world. They’re leaving the sales training meeting with something they can actually use.  It also fosters more communication & sharing of great ideas.

About the Author: David Ramos

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