Over the years, the USR team has been involved in scores of national sales meetings. We’ve learned there is a simple formula for how to run a great national sales meeting, and it starts with a great plan.
If you are in sales for a large or mid-market organization, you’ve probably participated in, led, or organized a national or regional sales meeting at some point in your tenure. Members of the USR team have participated in hundreds of national sales meetings or regional ones as participants, sales leaders, and facilitators, and we have had a wide range of experiences from truly great to downright awful. Following are some common experiences that we and other salespeople have in national sales meetings:
- You arrive at your national sales meeting, full of expectations for a lot of networking with your peers and some motivational talks, only to be locked in hotel conference rooms and flogged with PowerPoint slides for two days. You leave exhausted, unmotivated, and you don’t know your peers any better than when you arrived.
- Your sales meeting is full of motivational, aspirational talk, but it lacks any connection to the mission you and your peers are paid to complete. While there is a lot of talk about the organization’s future vision, there is very little discussion of how you will get there, what your role will be, or what new resources will be made available to you. You leave somewhat motivated, but you haven’t a clue what you are supposed to do differently as a result of your participation in the national sales meeting.
- You arrive at the event, and from the time you arrive at the hotel or meeting site, it is not clear where you are supposed to be, who you are supposed to spend time with, what you are supposed to do, and the meeting logistics have clearly not been well planned. You participate in the meeting to the best of your ability, but you leave the national sales meeting feeling disrespected and that your time has been wasted. Who arranged this disaster?
- Well before the meeting, you receive clear communications about the meeting logistics and what is expected of you before, during, and after the meeting. You arrive at the meeting crystal clear about why you are here, and you leave the meeting with a clear call to action that makes total sense to you. You feel like an important part of the organization’s plan to achieve something great this year, and you are totally energized to do your part.
You may likely have experienced some or all of these types of meetings, and there are countless other examples that we could offer to illustrate just how great or downright awful a national sales meeting can be. Ultimately, the point of this post is that an organization has a choice every time it schedules a national sales meeting or a regional event. That choice boils down to, “How thoughtful will we be about this event?”
Over the years, we’ve helped dozens of clients plan and execute great national sales meetings. When helping our clients plan national sales meetings, we challenge their thinking with important questions like…
- What is the really important business outcome you have to achieve this coming year?
- What is your strategy for achieving that outcome, and how are you planning to explain that strategy to your salespeople?
- What new information do you plan to share with your audience? What do they really need to know, and how do you want them to experience that message?
- What conclusions do you want sales people to draw? What new or different actions do you want them to take?
- What kinds of speakers or facilitators will you need to ensure your people draw the right conclusions and commit to the right actions?
Are you planning a national sales meeting in the coming months? Are you concerned at all about the possibility of giving your salespeople a less-than-excellent experience at your upcoming national sales meeting? Would it help to have a conversation with someone who knows how to plan and execute a great national sales meeting?
If so, then please either contact us by visiting our “Contact Us” page, or email firstname.lastname@example.org for a consultation. We will prepare a plan for you that you can carry out on your own or with our help. Together, we can put an end to bad national sales meetings!