Many folks in the corporate world dread the infamous sales and marketing meeting. However, these meetings are an essential part to any company's efforts to build its sales and marketing strategies, communicate effectively and share best practices. A poorly structured, unplanned meeting can be a complete waste of time for all parties involved. But if you know how to effectively run a sales and marketing meeting, you can impress your boss and your colleagues, and set your sales and marketing department up for future success.
Prepare for the meeting by sending out a meeting invite to your sales and marketing team at least a week in advance. Ask each participant if there are any special topics they would like to cover or present.
Send an agenda at least 24 hours before the meeting outlining what the meeting will include. Include a list of participants, meeting objectives, proposed timing and sales and marketing topics you are going to cover.
Develop and rehearse your presentation beforehand. If you are using PowerPoint or another presentation tool, arrive at the meeting at least 10 minutes early to set up the presentation.
Start the meeting with an ice breaker, which is an off-topic discussion that will relax your sales and marketing team and spur creativity during the meeting. Go around the room and ask an ice breaker question such as, "What did everybody do this weekend?" or "What is the coolest place you have ever been to?"
Start your presentation. Begin by stating the purpose of the meeting and what you hope to accomplish. Focus your presentation on relevant sales and marketing topics to your company. This means you can talk about your sales strategy, effectiveness of your current marketing tactics, ideas for boosting your sales efforts and processes for helping your sales and marketing team become more efficient. Include all participants in the conversation. Sales meetings often have strong personalities and lots of people that want their voice heard, so if you notice someone who hasn't had a chance to speak, engage them in the conversation by asking them what they think about a particular discussion point.
Close the meeting by discussing next steps or action items. These are tasks that people are responsible for after the meeting. For example, you could ask one member of your sales and marketing team to research your competitors' sales and marketing strategies; ask another member to outline your prospecting process for the next meeting; and ask another member to send your latest sales forecasting report to the team.
Send an email to all participants of the sales and marketing meeting and recap the meeting. Include any relevant notes, and re-state the next steps you discussed during the meeting.
Remember to relax, smile and make direct eye contact during your sales and marketing meetings. When you relax, it helps put everyone else in the room at ease, which can help jump-start creativity.
Practice active listening during your meetings, which is a technique for listening and responding that focuses the attention on the speaker. The listener focuses his attention on the speaker and then repeats in her own words what she thinks the speaker said.
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