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May 2, 2018

How to Boost your Team’s IQ with Fewer Meetings

“Your staff meeting will take an hour of my life that I will never get back. If you agree to let me skip the meeting, I will agree to die an hour earlier to make up the difference.” – Dilbert

Nobody goes home at night wishing an office meeting had run longer. Is there a way to conduct better meetings? How can you engage your sales force and spread corporate knowledge more effectively?

It helps that the tools we use to communicate have changed. Today people text, Facebook and post on YouTube. By using mobile tools tailored for your workplace, you can deploy more information, with fewer meetings.

Here’s how to get started:

Ask your sales reps what information they need to do their jobs. Then give it to them. On demand.

Your company is full of subject matter experts who can become resources to your team. Does the company have a new asset? Create a three-minute video telling your team how it’s used. Do they need the latest marketplace update? Have your finance team record a five-minute weekly segment on what’s new.

Your reps will benefit from hearing from the brightest minds in your organization. And when there’s an urgent event, your communications pipeline will spread news about it more quickly.

One of our clients in the financial services industry got into the habit of sending custom market reports to their reps using video. When the Brexit vote came, the firm’s chief economist used that network to send out a talk track about what it meant. The company’s competitors took weeks to update their sales teams with similar information using long-winded email and in-person meetings.  

Engage reps with flipped classroom-style lessons

Normally when we train our teams, an expert delivers a long presentation and everyone is sent away to do homework. A flipped classroom reverses the order. You send your team the problem first, and let them review it at their own pace. By the time they get to the meeting, they’re ready for a lively debate.

Your national sales meeting is a great place to try this.

Say there’s a new product launch. The first day is normally spent on presentations by product specialists, subject matter experts and senior trainers. More substantive work—discussions, role plays and other exercises, begin the second day.

Why not get everybody up to speed before the meeting? Have trainers put those same presentations on videos, and have your team study them a few weeks ahead of time.

Then by the time you get to your national sales meeting or sales kickoff, everyone is up to speed. Day two is held on day one and then you jump right in to the good stuff.

You can get even more work done ahead of time, if you wish. Include in your pre-work an option for reps to record at the end of a presentation their own version of a track track or presentation.   By the time your sales meeting begins, reps are already role playing.

Reinforce lessons with a recap podcast

Getting information is the one obstacle. Forgetting it is another.

If your sales team doesn’t quickly use the information they’ve just gathered from the meeting, 80 percent of it will be lost. So, follow up your sales training with reinforcement.

This can be a short video or podcast aimed at knowledge maintenance. Or, a few quiz questions sent to your reps’ cell phones.

An office without meetings?

Perhaps the best way to make meetings more efficient is to eliminate them altogether. What about that Friday phone conference companies use to deliver weekly updates to employees? We’ve had a number of organizations tell us their staff was tuning out during that half hour.

They put the same meetings on video for reps to access on their own time. The weekly updates became some of the company’s most popular videos it showed in reps’ performance.

Sales learning and coaching platforms make it easy to spread critical information throughout an organization without boring everyone in hours long meetings or conference calls.  

For more on how sales learning and coaching platforms shorten meeting time and increase effectiveness, read the following resources : 

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