Security Systems News

JAN 2018

Security Systems News is a monthly business newspaper that reaches 25,100 security installers, product distributors, central stations, engineers & architects, and security consultants. Our editorial coverage focuses on breaking news in all major se

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SEC ur IT y S y STEMS n EWS january 2018 www.securitysystemsnews.com Commer C ial & systems integrators 15 ACHIEVE THE HEIGHTS OF SUCCESS It's an exciting time to partner with Hikvision. The world's leading video surveillance manufacturer, we work hard alongside our team members and our partners so that we all win together. #PartnerWin hikvision.com Best practices for productive sales meetings By Chris Peterson ORLANDO, Fla.—Sales team meet- ings are brutal. Envision this: 8 to ten competitive people sitting around a conference room table, bored out of their minds. As each person gives a monotone report about their month- ly sales forecast, the rest of the team is staring into space thinking about the email they need to send, or the seven propos- als they need to complete. A f t e r a b o u t t w o h o u r s , the meeting adjourns, and the half-dozen or so sales peo- ple dart out of the office like Usain Bolt. Sound familiar? Well, it should. That's a fair description of most sales team meetings that I've observed. They've gotten so bad that many sales managers have decided to stop holding meetings. That's not the answer, either. Sales team meetings are important, but they need to be run properly. Below is a list of six best practices to running a produc- tive sales team meeting. 1. Don't hold a pipeline review. I list this idea first because it's the most common mistake I see in sales team meetings. Although there are some benefits to having the team contribute ideas for other projects, it rarely happens. While one sales person is reporting on their month's opportunities, the rest of the team is usually checking email or daydream- ing. Cover the opportunities during your one-on-one meetings, and save your team a ton of time. 2. Conduct one opportunity breakdown per meeting. In follow- up to the best practice above, select one opportunity to examine at each meeting, and brainstorm on ideas to bring to closure. I love the idea of giving the team the opportunity to submit their opportunities for review—first come, first served. If you do this practice right, you'll find your sales people racing to sub- mit their opportunities for review, knowing they'll collect great ideas to winning their project. 3. Be consistent. Hold the meet- ings at the same time and day, and only cancel when absolutely neces- sary. I've seen many situations in which the regularly scheduled sales meeting is held less than half the time it's scheduled—wasting a ton of time for the sales team. Although the content should be fresh and different, the agenda needs to be consistent. 4. Hold your meetings bi-weekly or monthly. I've run across dozens of sales managers that don't have enough substance to report in their meetings, so they either cancel the meeting, or hold a useless complaint session. If you're holding one-on- one meetings (and you should be), then there's probably not enough happening to fill an agenda every week. Don't be afraid to schedule your meetings on a bi-weekly or monthly frequency. Your attendees will be more enthusiastic, and your meetings will be more meaningful. 5. Don't overlap topics with your one-on-one meetings. As mentioned above, you should be holding one-on-one meetings with each sales person. It's easy to dupli- cate the talking points in both meetings, and you'll be tempted to do so. Don't. Create a different agenda template for each meeting, and make sure to keep the tone and discussion of the two meetings completely separate. 6. Keep it under one hour. Everyone knows this rule, but I bet that 80 percent of sales meet- ings run longer than an hour. In fact, there isn't really a defined ending point to most meetings. Commit to your team that all meet- ings will end within an hour, and watch the morale skyrocket. Heck, tell them that it's your New Year's resolution. SSN Chris Peterson is president of the Vector Firm, a leader in helping security companies improve their sales and digital marketing performance. Chris Peterson

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