National Sales Meetings in 2018: What it Takes
It’s a familiar atmosphere for many senior corporate sales executives – a conference table littered with notes and coffee cups, and the discussion of this quarter’s year’s national sales meeting. When planned right, sales meetings are events that the entire team will look forward to. They are an often welcome break from everyday work and a jolt of motivation for the sales team. But what does it take in 2018 to pull off a memorable national sales meeting?
The Problem with Most Sales Meetings
Time. It’s the single most important factor in any annual sales meeting. We all know the stressed look on a presenter’s face when they find out their speech has to be cut for time. It’s equally frustrating for the event planners who are running around the venue with so much to do and so little time to do it. For salespeople, they may feel like they have too little time to network.
The Sales Meeting Agenda: How to Plan
Some elements of planning a national sales meeting are obvious. Don’t leave these out of your planning sessions:
- The city
- The date/length of time
- The venue
- The budget
After you have these details down, it’s time to plan your national sales meeting agenda.
Planning Your Sales Meeting Agenda
- Set your agenda well in advance of your meeting date.
- What are you set out to accomplish?
- What message do you need your team to take home with them?
- How can you best express your message in an entertaining way?
- Start by making a list of what you need to inform your team about.
- Your team needs to know what’s new and what’s changing. Educate them on how they can use these changes to improve their sales and what the company will be doing to aid their future success. Motivate them with goals and by going over the past year’s successes.
- Lastly, make sure to leave time to get feedback from your sales team.
What do the People Want? Sales Meetings Topics of Discussion
If you plan your sales meeting agenda around what your sales team wants – you can be sure that the event will be a hit. After planning countless sales meetings across the country, we are able to identify the elements that sales teams from various industries want out of their company’s sales meeting.
- To have a good time. The learning and celebration will be lost on your audience if it isn’t designed with some fun in mind. So make sure you have a great lineup and don’t take yourselves too seriously. Hire some entertainment. Produce some great videos. Play high energy music. Make up games that have to do with your company brand and culture. All this will go a very long way in the minds of your team.
- To learn. To continuously grow and harness new skills is the aim of every dedicated sales person- really, of any person dedicated to their field. Foster the growth of your sales team by having presentations that detail the latest and greatest sales techniques. When everyone is learning, everyone is winning. So don’t push techniques your sales team honed and perfected a long time ago. They want to learn new lingo, techniques, and psychological information about their customers and about how people make decisions.
- To be motivated. Sales is tough. It’s easy for salespeople to get bogged down and depressed when things aren’t going their way. But with renewed motivation, they can have the energy and self-confidence to deliver great results. Plan on having your speakers tackle subjects that will inspire. Understand your team’s goals, both professional and personal. Speak to them on a personal level and give them the tools they need to succeed. Giving great presentations at these meetings is what really seals the deal for attendees.
If you plan your sales meeting agenda around these elements, your audience will not leave disappointed.
Choosing a Sales Meeting Theme
Choosing a theme for your sales meeting can seem daunting. Nobody wants a stale, unimaginative theme. Start by identifying the major goal of the event. Is it to be informative and educational? Is it to motivate? To celebrate? To present new plans? Build your theme around this central question.
Always keep in mind your company culture and brand – it unifies your team. Search for inspiration from current events, entertainment, art, and culture, or from within your team. Creating a survey and having your sales team vote on which theme they want is a good way to start the hype early! Consulting with an event production agency is also a good idea and can take some work off of your plate. Whatever you do, stay true to your brand’s identity.
Set Design: Creating an Environment for your Sales Meeting
You have your agenda and theme set. Now you must bring these elements to life through your venue, set design, audio-visuals, and entertainment. This is where your corporate event production company comes in. They can take your ideas and turn them into reality. Having an event production company that facilitates everything under one roof – entertainment and talent acquisition, logistics, event management, audio-visuals, lighting, in some cases, even speech writing and custom graphics and staging – will take a huge weight off of your shoulders. Having these items managed by a professional agency will give you time to breathe and actually enjoy the meeting.
Going the Extra Mile: Post Sales Meeting Activities
Your event was a hit! But why leave it at that? Let’s go over some post-sales meeting activities so you can utilize your event’s success even further.
The first thing you should do is send out a recap of the meeting. This will reinforce everything that was covered and ensure better retention of the information that was presented. Post content from the meeting in your CRM – it will be a valuable resource for your salespeople.
Following up with your team after the meeting is essential. Why not send out a survey to better understand what your team enjoyed most, what they wish never happened, and what they’d like to see at next year’s sales meeting? This will give you valuable statistics to consider when planning your next sales meeting.