In this blog, we will uncover how to best practice an efficient and effective weekly sales review meeting.
Table of contents:
- Why have weekly B2B sales review meetings?
- What should be prepared before a weekly sales meeting?
- How to plan and lead a successful weekly sales meeting?
- Who should lead and attend weekly sales meetings?
- A standard flow of a weekly sales meeting.
- How to drive accountability after a weekly sales meeting?
- How to document the weekly sales meeting?
- Final tips to add value to a weekly sales meeting.
Why have weekly B2B sales review meetings?
By the sound of it, many salespeople seem to think that the purpose of a weekly review meeting is to keep a check on every sales rep’s performance and status of accounts. But this should not be the only agenda of conducting a review meeting. If you’re going to have a weekly sales meeting, then it should be productive. It should be worth everyone’s time to come together once a week for a couple of hours.
The objective of these meetings should be to evaluate the performance of your sales team as a whole and not as individual evaluations. Sales leaders should take these meetings as an opportunity to motivate, educate, solve problems, re-align teams. Also, provide critical updates, create a culture of collaboration, recognize and celebrate sales achievements. Weekly sales meetings should serve sales reps as a source of reflection and motivation - sales reps should find the meetings as an opportunity to access the effectiveness of their sales strategy and how they can boost numbers in the upcoming week.
The overarching goal of any weekly sales review meeting is to improve the performance of the sales team in advance of the approaching week.
What should be prepared before a weekly sales meeting?
B2B Sales Pipeline & Metrics:
The sales pipeline and metrics are the bedrock of a weekly sales review meeting. Begin by capturing the sales team’s actual KPIs/metrics. These numbers can be collected from a sales engagement software dashboard or from sales reporting if your organization utilizes a CRM. Standardize the time that you collect these numbers and communicate it with your sales team members so that they understand they’re expected to maintain the quality of data entered into your sales automation software synced with your CRM. This gives them time to update any recent deals to be reflected in the reporting. It also reinforces a culture of accountability (e.g., if you are not logging in disposition after a call in the sales engagement software and it doesn’t reflect in the CRM, the revenue opportunity doesn’t exist!).
Having a sales engagement software in place makes it easy to know the status of the prospects and opportunities and collect these numbers from individual reps. A sales engagement platform makes accountability and reporting seamless and which is helpful in analyzing performance indicators. You want to focus on leading indicators, metrics that lead to converting deals. Some of the recommended KPIs to review are listed below:
- Number of accounts contacted
- Number of sales activities executed
- Number of responses (positive vs. negative)
- Number of deals/opportunities generated
- Closed won & closed lost deals
- Revenue forecast (for pipeline review)
- Reasoning for losing the opportunity pricing, competitor, feature, etc.
How to plan and lead a successful weekly sales meeting?
1. Set and send an agenda:
Setting the agenda and making sure your team is aware of what’s going to be discussed in advance helps keep everyone on the same page and ensures your team turns up prepared. With one-off meetings, you’ll have to establish a specific agenda for each and every meeting. But with a weekly recurring sales meeting, you’ll often be covering the same ground, just with more recent information.
To ensure your meetings cover everything they need to, split the agenda in two:
A general agenda: The purpose of the meeting is always going to revolve around updates on current sales efforts and deals. The majority part of every meeting will run around taking updates on current sales deals. So, it’s better to plan a general agenda that could be followed in every meeting rather than sending the same instructions week after week. This way by the time every member of the team will be familiar with a certain set of things to prepare for every meeting.
Weekly specific content: Having a general agenda could be a regular routine for every meeting but there should be some additional agenda for every week to make the meetings more actionable and engaging. This agenda could revolve around some unforeseen developments or changes that need to be made either to current efforts, methodology, or sales goals, or it could be some new business opportunity.
Rather than changing the general agenda that’s included with the calendar invite, send it through to your team a couple of days in advance via email and ask for a response to ensure they’ve read it.
2. Ask your sales rep to prepare a summary of the deal:
To conduct the meeting at a steady rate and make sure you are not wasting precious time of your team members, you should not be disorganized. To save time set-up a shared document and invite your sales team to update their own slides prior to the meeting. The summary should include:
- What’s happened so far?
- What are the next steps?
- What needs to happen to close the deal?
- What’s the anticipated timeline?
This will cut down on the time-intensive action of setting up each individual’s needs during the meeting, allowing you to focus on the numbers, problems, and solutions.
3. Identify obstacles and create action items to move forward:
Every meeting will transit with a lot of numbers and metrics talk - and how we can improve them. The sales manager will start with how the KPIs have changed over the week. Every sales rep will have their own performance numbers. Maybe some reps had a hard week and some are crushing numbers. The ultimate goal is to identify obstacles - and there will be some obstacles. Here are some of the obstacles you’ll be looking for:
- Are there any gaps in communication?
- Is there any missing information?
- What’s currently preventing this deal from moving towards the close?
Toward the end of the review, you should have a clear idea of what needs to happen next in order to move the deal further along in the pipeline. Before you close a meeting everyone should have a clear idea of how things are moving forward. Set up some action points for the next week. Action items could be broken down into two categories based on the course of the meeting:
General action points: What do you want the team to achieve as a group? What are the actions they can take together to help them improve their numbers and make their own lives a little easier?
These are the general action points, however, that’s not going to make the meeting a productive, successful meeting. To do that, you need to focus more of your time on the second area.
Individual action points: Working as a team is one thing, but your reps are going to need some individual, specific advice on how to close or progress deals. To help them achieve their goals, they have to walk away with an actionable goal. This will also form the benchmark for what you can talk about at the next meeting.
4. Finish off with highlights and expectations:
Before the close of every meeting, appreciate the team’s contribution and achievements, and encourage them to work on their strengths. This is also when you bring out your expectations from each individual and define the KPIs. Showcase why you have certain expectations based on their strengths. This brings clarity to the ideas shared, and may even give you a clearer view of the path ahead. You can also ask your rep to talk about how the engagement can be improved upon. This will help in building a culture of trust between you and your team, and impact the overall performance of your team.
Who should lead and attend weekly sales meetings?
It’s recommended to include sales team members and to bring in members of correlating teams including customer support, marketing, operations, and/or product development to foster inter-departmental collaboration.
Sales team attendance should be mandatory for sales meetings, with few exceptions. If dealing with a mid to small team, try not to have meetings when they will be a waste of time (e.g., if multiple people are on vacation sometimes postponement is advisable). While attendance can be required, engagement is earned. In our recommendations for meeting best practices, we will highlight ways to foster interaction and engagement during your meeting.
How long a weekly sales meeting should last?
Weekly sales meetings range from 20-75 minutes, but 30 minutes is recommended.
A standard flow of a weekly sales meeting:
1.Open with an overview (3-5 minutes): When it comes time to sit down with your team and discuss how things are going, you’ll want to kick things off with an overview of the department’s development. This is a great way to get everyone on the same page and to let them know how the team is doing as a whole.
In terms of the overview content, keep it brief and high level. Only address the major KPIs and changes from the previous week. Look at the action points from the previous week and address how they’ve been tackled and whether extra action needs to be taken.
2. Follow up on the last pipeline review: Before you start with this week’s agenda, you need to wrap up the previous pipeline reviews if any are left any. Follow up on the action items that were created and hold your reps accountable.
3. Sales Rep Update (3 minutes per sales rep): Sales reps are expected to prepare a summary and present the progress:
- The deals they are currently working on (wins, challenges, losses). Each sales rep should be able to express during their allotted time whatever they feel they need (e.g., if they want to express a win or ask for help, the meeting should permit time for that request).
- Ongoing/new strategies for building a new business (e.g., what is working/what is not).
4. Customer Success Rep Update (3 minutes per customer success rep): Customer Success reps are expected to prepare:
- Upsell opportunities, drop, general health checks of clients.
- Ongoing/new strategies for customer engagement (e.g., what is working/what is not).
5. Team Director Update (3 minutes): Team director is expected to prepare:
- Team wins
- Area(s) for improvement
Group Discussion (15 minutes):
- Opportunity to dive into individual challenges in more depth
- Voice concerns
- Discuss the overall strategy and progress
A great way to boost your sales team’s engagement is to solicit feedback. Don’t be afraid to ask them what they may want to discuss or learn in your sales meetings. You can share a survey prior to and post meetings to capture feedback and/or allow them to add slides or notes to the meeting agenda that is sent out in advance. Always take notes and create action items for each person. This way, in the following meeting during group discussion, you can talk about whether those items have been achieved or not and why. Keep these meetings really concise. Things like goal setting, role-playing, hacks don’t need to be discussed every week: those activities are almost for a sales kickoff rather than a weekly meeting.
Optional topics on weekly sales meeting agenda:
- Marketing. Marketing leader to share results of current initiatives and upcoming campaigns as well as collect feedback from the sales team in regards to what they’re hearing on the frontline from prospects.
- Product Development. Product development leader to share any upcoming product roll-outs, new features, rediscover benefits, and solicit input & insights from the sales team.
- Customer Support. Customer support leader to share any team updates or trends while collaborating with the sales team to review qualified leads, lifetime client value, and any necessary revisions to the discovery process to ensure converting the right high-profit buyers.
- Operations. Operational leader to share the company’s strategic plan, discuss changes in leadership, overarching initiatives, the health of the organization, re-emphasize mission/values and the impact sales contribute to the company’s viability.
How to drive accountability after a weekly sales meeting?
After the meeting, sales leadership may need to communicate critical takeaways, new insights, or changes that will be rolled out based on the feedback from the meeting. As recommended prior to a meeting, leadership should provide documentation action items prepared to hand out during the meeting: this creates accountability (e.g., it enables everyone to know what is expected of them and of everyone else). For a small team, you can gauge how productive a meeting is very easy. For larger teams, we recommend using Google Forms.
The key is to stay efficient and not overdo it. We're all busy, no one needs to hear about every detail of someone else's pipeline. Keep it overview and if there is a need to dive deeper into an issue, take it offline with the people who are directly involved. As for industry/company updates, send this information in a memo or through your preferred communication channel you distribute information: the likelihood is that no one's listening anyway.
How to document the weekly sales meeting?
If you’re holding a sales meeting via the virtual platform (e.g., Zoom), you can easily record the meeting for future reference or absent team members. The sales support/leadership team might need to document any insight/team-input that could potentially alter the sales strategy/approach. Digital tools such as Soapbox, Slack, or Google Drive serve as ideal platforms to record meeting insights and agreed-upon next steps.
Final tips to add value to a weekly sales meeting:
The above guidelines will help you to execute a productive and meaningful meeting but it is necessary to look back and evaluate whether everyone is getting some value out of a meeting. Here are some additional tips you can follow to evaluate and add value to a meeting:
- Make the meetings actionable: Let’s say you’re having a meeting relating to how to turn your B2B content marketing campaign around. You can discuss the problem for an hour but none of that matters if you haven’t managed to turn those meetings into action.
For example, many B2B meetings find everyone agreeing on how to solve a problem but that’s it. Acknowledging a problem isn’t solving the problem. You need to take action to do that.
- Motivate and energize your team: Meetings are often met with sighs and objections. It might get intense and heated in tough situations. During such ups and downs, always find a moment to motivate and energize the team. The team members should feel stressed about the meeting rather it’s something they all look forward to.
- Roleplaying pitches and sharing stories: Standing in front of the entire team can be intimidating for reps. It’s also an opportunity for them to improve. Activities like roleplaying pitches and sharing stories can be included as an opportunity to educate reps.
This not only makes your sales meetings more exciting but also allows sales reps to tighten their pitch and improve how they communicate to prospects. Have each rep take it in turns to role-play their pitch week-by-week. Assign who will play the prospect and make sure both parties know in advance.
- Embrace urgency: If you’re reviewing a deal and something urgently requires action, such as sending an email or making a call, don’t wait until the meeting is overacted immediately.
The sales rep can leave the room, do what needs to be done, and then return and continue to participate in the pipeline review.