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May 11, 2016

Is It Time To Put An End To The Weekly Sales Meeting?


Are your weekly sales meetings getting a bit stale? If so, you’re not alone. It turns out most people don’t find regularly scheduled meetings all that helpful. According to a study by Verizon, 91% of participants admitted to daydreaming during meetings, and a full 39% have fallen asleep from time to time. A Bain & Company study also says that “meetings are often scheduled just because,” and dysfunctional meeting behavior is on the rise. At one company, about 1 in 5 meeting participants sent an average of three or more emails for every 30 minutes of meeting time.” In the U.S. alone, $37 billion is lost to unproductive meetings each year. (HubSpot)

And that’s not all. There’s also the cost of distracting sales reps from their actual work. In order for them to be around for the weekly sales meeting, all of your reps need to clear their schedules—which means they lose time that could be spent actively selling. Statistically, employees lose an average of 31 hours to inefficient meetings each month—that’s nearly 20% of their time, assuming a 40-hour work week. (HubSpot)

Yet—while a full half of meetings are considered to be a waste of time, “when they’re done right, meetings can make everyone’s jobs easier,” and just a quick talk can save both time and money. (HubSpot) So how can you “do meetings right?” Can you accomplish your weekly sales meeting objectives without holding the usual weekly snoozefest? Unfortunately, you probably can’t eliminate meetings entirely, but you can certainly shorten them, reduce their frequency, and get a lot more out of them. Consider these tips to both save time and maximize efficiency:

  1. Avoid meeting whenever possible
    Eliminate those “just because” meetings, and you’ll find yourselves meeting much less. Don’t hold that Monday 10 o’clock merely out of habit. Make sure you’ve got important topics to cover that need to be discussed in person.
  2. Leverage video to share updates
    If managers have new information for the sales team, think about delivering it through video. Video is quickly becoming known as the easiest way for people to absorb new content and “one of the most impactful ways to speak to an audience.” (Psychology Today) Because of this, the use of video is growing exponentially in almost every aspect of modern life, sales included. In fact, sales executives are becoming increasingly open to video as a “highly reliable and trusted source for gathering and filtering business information.” (Forbes Insight) Also according to Forbes, video is evolving from “a novelty into a mainstream method” for sales executives to receive and share information. But the most interesting development is that many executives don’t just share existing videos—they actually create their own and share them. When video is used this way, it encourages collaboration throughout an organization—amongst executives, sales reps, and everyone in between. Anyone can create videos sharing best practices, insights from the field, ideas for handling sales objections, product and services updates—anything at all. Certainly anything discussed in a typical weekly sales meeting, minus the tangents and distractions.
  3. If you must meet, keep it short
    Keep meetings small and short. Constraining meetings to less than one hour helps the attendees focus better and lessens chitchat.
  4. Stay on schedule
    Follow a well-defined, pre-distributed agenda so everyone arrives prepared and stays on point.
  5. Assign appropriate actions
    Use the last 5 minutes to recap, ensuring everyone is on board and understands their action items. (HubSpot)
  6. Eliminate distractions by making meetings device free
    This won’t be popular, but it will make a difference.

To sum up, if you want to keep your team awake during information transfer, consider putting the weekly meeting to bed and leveraging technology, especially video, whenever possible—supplementing with “meetings done right” as needed. After all, one of the many advantages of video is that it can be viewed anytime, anywhere. And as with meetings done right, videos will be most effective if kept clear, brief, and engaging. You might not eliminate meetings altogether, but with some planning, you can definitely shorten them, make them less frequent, and get a lot more out of the time you do spend together in the conference room.




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