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Archive for the ‘agenda ideas’ Category

Sales Managers, Know the Cost of an Open Territory

Friday, January 9th, 2015

Open territories can devastate a year for a sales manager, but sometimes there is not a sense of urgency to fill these positions.  A territory left unattended is open to the competition or just a decline in sales due to lack of attention.  One of the best and most eye-opening exercises I did as a Sales Manager was to analyze the rate of sales decline in open territories in my region.  It was shocking how much sales declined within 30 days.  We were in a highly transactional business, but still with contracts.  Without the attention from the salesperson, the customer didn’t keep the discipline of using us as their contracted partner.  They just went with the easiest choice that day.  This was not great for their company since they were overpaying for a service when they had a contracted lower rate with us and it certainly wasn’t good for us.

I was fortunate enough to have a VP who recognized the problem with open territories and made it the first item on the agenda each week. We, as Sales Managers, were extremely accountable to get these positions filled within 30 days.

Hiring is hard work.  You have to find good candidates, then carve out the time to coordinate schedules and interview and then figure out salaries, offers, start dates, training schedules and ramp up activities.  Sales Managers often procrastinate this overwhelming process.

Here are some ideas for Sales Managers in regards to open territories:

1. First of all, do the same exercise I did.  Analyze (or, even better, ask one of your analysts to do it!) the impact on sales in open territories over 30-60-90 days.  It may not be that bad in your company or it may be worse than you think.  At least you’ll be aware of the time frame you’ll need to operate within.

2.  Make interviewing and recruiting part of your regular schedule.  I used to make sure I had a meeting with prospective candidates once per month.  I was very open if I had nothing for them at the time. I simply wanted to network.  No one ever turned down a meeting and when I did have an opening, I had candidates ready to hire or ready to refer great people.

3.  Anticipate open territories.  If you have an underperforming rep or you get the sense someone may move on (leave or promotion), don’t wait until they are gone to start identifying candidates.  Begin the search, analyze who could cover top customers, who could keep sales processes moving forward, etc.

4.  If you do find yourself with an open territory, make it top priority to fill.  Ask for referrals, get your HR team involved, give yourself a deadline to fill and focus on that deadline.

5.  Develop a relationship with a trusted recruiter that you know and can call as needed.  The more you work together, the more they will be able to identify candidates that will be successful in your organization.  Outsourcing this activity can help you keep hiring a priority without it taking all your valuable time.

6.  Have a Gap Plan for open territories. Rally your team to take on responsibilities in the open territory and reward them for it.  Someone should be taking care of top clients, someone should continue pursuing open opportunities, someone should follow up with a customer who recently had a customer service issue, etc.  Sales Managers should reach out to customers sharing their plan for replacement and their continued commitment to providing service.

Quickly filling open territories was a key to my success as a Sales Manager and something I am so grateful I was taught the discipline to do. Hope this helps you, too.



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Upcoming Sales Team Meeting Topics

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

Whew!  It has been a busy, busy Fall selling season so far.  I’ve started a new business,, and am learning so much.  Not to mention, selling my new products is giving me a never-ending supply of sales team meeting topic ideas along with those I already gather from talking with sales and management professionals daily.  So, hopefully, you’re with us because, even though we’ve been in business since 2008,  we are just getting started!

Upcoming sales team meeting topics include Spark Performance, Three Ways to Thank Customers and Don’t Lose Momentum During Time Off.  All three timely and relevant for the upcoming selling season.  Subscribe and get a new topic like these every Friday and gain immediate access to all 150+ sales team meeting topics in the topic library.  We look forward to working with you.


Next Sales Team Meeting Topics – July 25 and August 1

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

The Back to School commercials have started, people are on their final vacations of the summer and kids are getting their last few mornings to sleep in. Once that bell rings, it’s back to work for all of us, it seems.  I love summer breaks and even the slower pace of business for a few weeks, but I’m always ready to get back in action.

Two upcoming meeting agendas will help you and your team do just that.  It is time to stop wasting time and focus, focus, focus. The next two topics will help you with that.

July 25th – the sales team meeting topic is about focusing on what you want to accomplish at the end of your customer meetings and using that goal as a way to direct the valuable meeting time.  The outcome will be more productive customer meetings which means shorter sales cycles and…faster commissions and happy customers.

August 1 – This sales team meeting topic challenges your team to stop trying to be everything to everybody.  The agenda will lead them through discussions and exercises designed to clearly define who they are and who they help – complete with scripts for upcoming meetings.  You have to know who you are to know who you will “click” with.  By the end of this meeting, they will know.

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Next Sales Team Meeting – Take Control of the Waiting Game

Friday, May 30th, 2014

You’ve probably been there – you are moving through a selling/buying process with a client and, unexpectedly, you don’t hear back from them as expected.  You are now wondering when, if and how you should follow up.  Meeting to Win subscribers will tackle this common issue during their next sales team meetings (Topic Delivery scheduled for June 6th at 6am).

We’ll share three ideas (2 proactive and 1 reactive) for taking control of this waiting game to keep deals moving toward a go/no-go decision.

Join our community of subscribers and get thought-provoking, field-applicable sales team meeting topics every week, too.

Next Sales Team Meeting Topic – 10 Questions for Existing Clients

Friday, March 7th, 2014

A few weeks ago, subscribers received the sales team meeting topic, 10 Questions for Prospective Clients.  Its pretty obvious that we need to ask prospective clients questions so we know how to earn their business by solving their problems or helping them achieve something.  Once we’ve won their business, it is not time to stop asking questions.  In business AND relationships, things are constantly changing.  When you get together with a friend, you don’t assume everything is the same as the last time you spoke and it shouldn’t be that way with customers either. 

This sales team meeting topic, 10 Questions for Existing Clients, will introduce some questions to help your team uncover new opportunities, determine the changing business needs and make sure you are still providing the right solution for their business.  Someone is selling to your customers, it might as well be you!

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Next Sales Team Meeting Idea – 3 Proactive Daily

Friday, February 21st, 2014

I worked with a very successful salesperson who always had great business in the pipeline, made President’s Club every year and wasn’t in the vulnerable position of having one large client making up most of his goal achievement. Being the wise person I try to be, I asked him how he did it. 

This week’s agenda being delivered to Meeting to Win Subscribers Friday, February 28th will share his simple method and challenge our subscribers’ teams to do the same.  Join us for great discussions, exercises and field application every week. 

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Next Sales Team Meeting Topic: Jump Start Growth in Existing Clients

Monday, January 13th, 2014

Meeting to Win subscribers will enjoy the sales team meeting topic, Jump Start Growth in Existing Clients, to be delivered Friday, January 17th.  If you are providing your existing customers with the results they were seeking, they can be a great source of new revenue for you and new results for them.

3 Ways to Jump Start Growth that our subscribers will be discussing and applying:

#1:  Be Present

#2:  Increase Customer Service

#3:  Add More Value

To get your team digging into these ideas and applying them to real opportunities in your own client base, subscribe here.  You’ll get your sales team meeting topic delivered right to your inbox Friday, January 17th, 2014.  Feel free to contact me with questions:

100 Sales Team Meeting Ideas – #18: Role Play…. Seriously.

Monday, January 13th, 2014

Everyone will moan and groan.  Thats for sure.  It’s just like the pain you feel when you took that first public speaking class, but the first time you were asked to speak in front of a group, you were so glad you’d had the practice.  Role play upcoming meetings, role play first calls to a customer, role play objection handling, role play every meeting for 5 minutes.  Your team will grow into excellent communicators with this commitment.  What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger…. right?

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100 Sales Team Meeting Ideas – #16: Visualize Success in the New Year

Monday, December 23rd, 2013

PalmTreesVisualization is a powerful mental exercise.  I’ve practiced this in my own life and I’ve achieved much of what I’ve visualized – almost exactly like I visualized it.  I’m a believer!

What does success look like to you and your team?  Here is a fun exercise to do heading into a new year.  Stop and as a team visualize success. This means much more than simply giving yourselves a sales growth goal.  This means to actually describe what success looks like (% over plan, specific new customers, etc) and what it feels like (stress free, happy customers, big commission checks).  Each person, in great detail, should visualize the success they want to have in the next year and them describe it to their teammates.


100 Sales Team Meeting Ideas: #10 – Expect Common Objections

Monday, June 10th, 2013

During your next sales team meeting, talk about the objections your team is hearing.

Chances are they are all hearing the same objections and there may not be as many as they thought. This is a great exercise and will help your team feel more in control.

Sometimes it feels like all you get are objections and its useful to break that down to manageable pieces.

After you identify the objections you commonly hear come up with strategies and scripts for addressing each one. Now, during their next sales call, they can expect and effectively address their most common objections. Empowering!