The Sales Meeting as Diagnostic Tool

030321-N-4142G-020Similar to Combat Mission Briefings on a Navy aircraft carrier, Sales Meetings can indicate a lot about the leader’s strategy, planning and tactics.

Have recent reporting periods brought about challenges for B2B sales at your company?

Stumped at the root causes of flat or missed numbers?

Has the energy and buzz from your annual sales kickoff meeting fizzled?

While a sanitized and accurate sales pipeline can indicate where most problems exist, attending and observing a routine monthly sales meeting will often reveal even more detail to the issues impacting sales team performance.

Listed below is a portion of the sales and marketing picture I can observe and assess during a routinely scheduled sales meeting.  It’s always an effective element to diagnosing and beginning the healing process for a company ailing from lackluster sales.

Strategy and Alignment

  • Is there evidence that aligned corporate, sales, marketing and product strategies are in place, and that the sales team understands them?
  • Is everyone speaking to a common goal or objective, or is the team all over the place?  Does it feel like a “Strategy of Personal Agendas” is ruling the day, or is everyone on the same page?
  • Are future plans (product development, marketing, etc.) spoken to or mentioned?

Pipeline Management 101

  • Are individual sales funnels up-to-date and accurate based on understood stage definitions and criteria?
  • Is a Buyer-Conscious Sales Process understood or referenced during Opportunity/Prospect discussions?
  • Are lead generation and other pipeline-influencing team members in attendance and reporting on metrics and progress?
  • Is the CRM system up-to-date and referenced as the guidepost for funnel management?
  • Is a confident/accurate sales forecast referenced and understood by all?  (no snickering or eye rolls?)

Leadership

  • Are standards understood, acknowledged, and met?  (activity metrics, funnel movement, collaboration with marketing, annual goal tracking, etc.)
  • Is it evident that routine individual coaching and support are being conducted in between sales meetings?  Are numerous “surprises” popping up in the sales meeting?
  • Does the composition and makeup of the sales and marketing team make sense?  (talent management, organizational structure, cultural fit)
  • Is a spirit of continuous improvement and learning present, or is fear, CYA and spin ruling the day?
  • Is there a healthy, constructive and fun spirit of competition in the room?
  • Are rambling descriptions of problems or off-agenda items quickly set aside for follow-up discussions later, or do meetings digress into sidebar and unrelated topics?

A routinely scheduled sales meeting reveals a lot about the maturity and mastery of the sales leader, his/her sales pipeline management skills, and the overall strategic leadership of the organization.

Jack Liles is a Partner at TechCXO, providing on-demand Chief Sales Officer duties to client companies in need of go-to-market plan development, improved sales performance, leadership and structure. Jack is a veteran Naval Officer and recovering F-14 Tomcat flyer. Following his service Jack earned leadership roles at the ad agency Leo Burnett, Coca-Cola, UPS, along with numerous successful (and unsuccessful) start-ups. Connect with him at jack.liles@techcxo.com.

 

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