What does it take to plan and organize an effective sales meeting? How can you educate – and motivate – your team and help set achievable goals for the upcoming year? For starters, it’s important to identify a theme. What direction is your company moving in, in terms of its products, and how best can you define this direction? A good theme will organize your message, which in turn will rally senior management and give attendees something concrete about which they can feel excited (and eventually communicate).
Secondly, try to avoid turning your meeting into an insulated, and thus isolated, event. Make sure you are communicating often enough with attendees prior to the meeting, so that they can arrive informed, prepared and confident. Solicit attendees for ideas on what they would like to see included. This will make participants feel engaged in the event before it has even begun. It is also imperative to gather post-meeting feedback, via a survey or questionnaire. This will help you gauge the effectiveness of the meeting and plan for future meetings.
A final tip can be summed up with one word: levity. There are a number of ways to incorporate some fun and relaxation into your meeting while still maintaining productivity. Provide good food! Something as simple as including an interesting meal or specialty hors d’oeuvres can really get people talking. You might be surprised how far such a simple gesture will go in generating goodwill and appreciation amongst attendees.
You might also consider offering some free time between sessions or events so that attendees have a chance to catch their breath, check emails and get to know one another. Not only can this foster better ideas and questions in the follow-up, but it makes business sense as well. You don’t want attendees completely neglecting their work correspondences and relationships while they are away.
By establishing a theme for your sales meeting and avoiding the typically heavy-handed, singular approach to organizing it, you’ll produce an event that creates company-wide buzz and sets your team up for future success.