A typical dull and boring meeting looks like this: cross-functional teams present their findings, strategies and the way forward. Initially, people are attentive but gradually content heavy and technical presentations lead to a sunken feeling in the meeting room. People start losing energy, they yawn, heads droop and eyelids close and a feeling of discomfort creeps in. Year after year it is the same format accompanied with the same loss of energy leading to unproductive meetings and wasted time.
We have noticed this a thousand times before. Many organizations have systemic processes that act as review mechanisms culminating into a business review, strategy and sales review meetings. When done right, these events hold the power to throw light on what went well, what did not, what could have been done better and where to go from here. However, a lot depends on how well the team participates in such events. If the sessions are not interactive and engaging, listeners and speakers are bound to get bored and lose interest. This is exactly what happens in meetings of this magnitude – employees are not engaged and seldom deliver any useful input.
Company-wide top-level meetings can be tiring at times and it’s hard to keep your team engaged. Also, every business has a certain meeting culture and that’s often hard to change. But there are tried and tested methods that ensure more participation to turn them into engaging initiatives that spell PROGRESS. We look at some hacks for effective sales meetings, strategy, and business reviews, leaders can use to help employees align with intent, reflect and take corrective action as required.
6 Hacks For Effective Sales Meetings, Strategy And Business Reviews:
Break the Ice:
‘Meeting’ is an interesting concept; the problem is that is not made interesting enough to deliver results. If these strategies, business review and sales meetings are looked upon and treated as fun get-togethers that can celebrate the present and meet future successes rather than court-martial sessions, teams will willingly participate. A fun game can work wonders to kick-off a meeting or sometime when the host has analysed the mood of the meeting. An ice breaker will get the energy level up, making the team alert and attentive. These ice breakers can be themed around introduction of the team, objectives of the meeting or any idea that brings people together.
Make Presentations More Visual:
Our brains were made for visual processing: we remember visually, and we gather visual information instantly. Textual information coupled with an image makes us remember 65% of that information. There is no need to overuse images but anything that breaks the monotony of yawn inducing text and graphs can help present the idea better. Visual learning content can be augmented by including an interactive game, which may add to the recall value.
Personalize! Create a meeting culture that works for your team:
Most business review and strategy meetings don’t lead to fruition, because everyone doesn’t get a chance to actively participate in these meetings. This might work for people who grab the farthest seat to grab a few snoozes, but not for the organization’s goals. Observably, meetings are sometimes biased with all the attention given to a set of people who talk and respond. And others are left out because everyone does not gather information in the same way. Some prefer more details while other wishes to skip trivia and move with a faster pace, covering more relevant topics. Personalizing meetings based on teams’ involvement reflects a better work culture. To know how your teams would like the meeting to be conducted, talk to them one on one and work on their suggestions. This will also bestow the onus of the meeting’s success on the teams’ participation, making them more responsible.
Probe questions, give answers and build healthy interactions:
Make every person feel important in some way to attract productive participation. Ask questions directly based on the person’s expertise. Ask questions to a group of people or everyone, but it’s important to maintain a balance. The idea is to encourage them to voice their opinions in a non-threatening way and also attend to their questions, if any. For this, the host should appreciate worthy responses and ideas, to encourage them to elucidate their thoughts further.
Challenge their ideas:
Meetings turn out to be dragging and boring when only one to two people speak and the rest stare at them, giving an impression of listening, but are they really listening? When this practice is observed, motivate others to contribute by challenging what is said. These healthy conversions can branch out into fresh ideas or augment their arguments towards a direction. Either way, the key is to get more and more people to participate.
Inculcate the Freedom of Expression in the Organization’s Culture:
In our experience, some companies have a strange culture of restricted communication amongst employees due to hierarchy, fear, policies etc. So, if they cannot express themselves on the floor, speaking up in such meetings is too much to ask for. The idea of a ‘meeting’ is not well received because people are hesitant to give their opinions and fear being pointed out. For example, if it’s a performance-oriented meeting such as sales review meets, non-performing individuals may dread attending them. But if they are confident that they will be encouraged and not humiliated, they will look forward to such meetings that are conducted for the mutual benefit of the employee as well as the organization.
We hope these simple hacks for effective sales meetings can help shape and win your goals. At SimuRise, we encourage an open culture of expression and build result-oriented solutions collaboratively. We offer tools – business simulations with a tinge of fun for attracting value-driven participation. We believe that better team engagement, freedom of expression, collaborative working, appreciation, and recognition inspires the creation of a productive workforce, enabling organizations to generate better results.
This is a video of The Search for the Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine session conducted at the beginning of Sapient Technologies Strategy meeting. The Simulation broke the ice and set the tone of the Strategy meet with engaged and inspired participation throughout the day along with some key learning takeaways.
If you want to encourage better employee engagement and motivate them for delivering their best, connect with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.