A business is kept on track by a series of in-company meetings. Absent such meetings, there is a lack of clarity about what everyone is up to and consequently no way to help all who work there be accountable.
The sales department should meet weekly, as staying on track with sales efforts is vitally important to the success of the company.
Who should attend this meeting? The sales manager, the salespeople, the designer(s) and the estimator all need to be there, as they all have a stake in the success of the department and can contribute to making sales happen.
In a small company all these positions might be held by one person. That person should still have this meeting, perhaps with a trusted employee who will ask the sales manager, etc, the tough questions that help people stay on track.
What should be on the agenda? Here's a sample of what should take place:
- The sales manager reviews departmental goals and progress to date. Reporting points include sales leads generated, sales dollars sold, and gross profit percentage. Also important to address are the ratios of raw leads to sold projects, visits to sold projects, and proposals presented to projects sold.
- The salespeople report on their respective “cookbooks:” the schedule of lead generation activities that they have committed to do.
- The salespeople also report on their respective interactions with the sales leads they are managing. Items to report on include the status of each of the potential clients and each project.
- The designer reports on progress to date producing drawings and writing up specifications for projects.
- The estimator reports on those projects for which she is preparing estimates.
To make it easier to review all
this information, each attendee would bring a report of his or her current
sales-related activities. It would be best to have all the reports be done
using the same template.
The outcome of the meeting would include the manager making sure that any action which an attending person is committing to ends up with a deadline connected to it.
By having these meetings weekly, all involved in sales will be more likely to stay on track than if they were not reporting to anyone else.
How do I know? Back in the day I did all the work of all the positions mentioned. I was so busy I could barely stay on top of things.
When my wife, Nina, started becoming more involved in the company, we started having a meeting following the guidelines laid out above. My sales performance improved simply by having that meeting.
Feeling a little overwhelmed or undermotivated? A regular sales meeting is a powerful way to make you feel a bit more positive and that things are under control.
How to find out? Just start having the meetings!