One of the major challenges faced by most sales leaders is trying to align their team and keep them on track with current business priorities. With a constant state of flux in the market, it’s crucial that your sales team knows exactly what their priorities are and focus their efforts in that direction.
Yet your team is going to be very enthusiastic about having to attend another meeting. And rightly so. A global survey by Microsoft revealed that 69% of respondents felt that meetings were not productive. In fact, poorly organized meetings cost approximately $250 billion a year in wasted time.
One way to combat this meeting overload is to focus on having shorter and more productive meetings. A sales huddle is the right step in this direction and can become an important part of a sales leader’s strategy.
What is a Sales Huddle?
A sales huddle is a frequently-held, short meeting that helps sales leaders touch base with their team, convey important priorities, briefly discuss challenges and set the tone for the day.
While the frequency is entirely up to the leader and the requirements of the team, the optimal frequency is daily.
Sales huddles should be short and to the point. A huddle of about 30 minutes is perfect to check in on their progress and align your team around common objectives.
This blog post will cover the various aspects of a sales huddle and how you can use it to keep your team updated, motivated and productive.
Benefits of a Sales Huddle
Unlike other sales meetings, a sales huddle is intentionally frequent and short. This makes it the ideal time to connect with your sales team, do a quick review of the previous day’s business and align them to your expectations for the upcoming day.
A sales huddle keeps your team working together, in sync with each other and the company’s objectives. It also helps the sales leader get a first-hand account of the challenges their team fees at the frontline.
A successful sales huddle improves communication among sales reps, and between the management and team members.
Additionally, it affords a sense of daily accountability – ensuring that team members are accountable for their daily behaviors and not just outcomes.
Preparing for a Productive Sales Huddle
Preparation is key to running a successful sales huddle. Without enough preparation, your huddle runs the risk of becoming too long, monotonous and irrelevant. Your sales huddle should be something your team looks forward to. Making that a reality depends on your level of preparation.
Set Frequency and Length
The first thing is to decide the frequency of your huddle. Some teams find a daily huddle is the most effective. Second, what time of the day will work best for your team. Ensure that your huddle is not disruptive to their best working times or busiest parts of the day. First thing in the morning usually works well so your team is alert and on point for the rest of the day.
Set an Agenda
Setting an agenda is the next important element in ensuring your huddle is short and on track. Ensure that you have a definite agenda that covers all the points you want to communicate with your team. Leave enough time for updates, celebrating successes and clarifying doubts.
One strategy is to divide the meeting time into parts and assign elements of the meeting according to your priorities. Here’s how a productive sales huddle could look: 20% – review, 30% – discuss challenges, the day’s objectives, 10% – celebrate those who are doing well, 10% – team to share their learnings, 10% – questions and wrap up.
Sameer Srivastava, VP at Alkem Laboratories Ltd. shares, “We celebrate success, we appreciate everyone’s efforts, their work, their performance for about 70-80% of the time. And for 20% of the time, we talk about the things I want them to work on.” (Read more on Sameer’s sales strategies here.)
It’s important to gather the necessary data that you want to discuss before the meeting to ensure that your information is at your fingertips.
If there are recurring issues that the team is facing, a huddle is a perfect place to quickly address the challenges and throw it open to the group for suggestions. However larger issues that require intensive discussions are best left to longer meeting formats. Identifying which topic you are going to discuss with your team is also best done in advance. So you can be prepared to facilitate an effective discussion in a short span of time.
Conducting a Productive Sales Huddle
Here are some best practices to help ensure you have a productive sales huddle:
Start on time
Set the tone for your meeting by always starting on time. This will mean you, as a leader, must be available at least five minutes before the scheduled start time. This will encourage your team to see the importance of starting the meeting on time.
Follow your agenda
Ensure that your agenda is followed strictly. It might be important initially to lay down ground rules of the meeting. Your time limit should be adhered to strictly. This may mean asking team members to keep their points brief or calling for a separate meeting to discuss an issue that seems to generate deep discussion or debate.
The sales huddle should be an informal place where all voices are heard regardless of their seniority in the team. A perfect time to set the stage for this is to ask each team member for a 1 minute update on the previous day. This should include the status of deals as well as a progress report on their outreach.
Your huddle should be a safe space where achievements as well as challenges are freely shared. A quick round of applause or word of praise will boost the morale of the team. Team mates can share best practices to meet common challenges.
Open ended questions are a great way to keep your team members talking. Ensure that introverted team members get a chance to share their opinions and louder team members don’t dominate the discussion.
Keeping a meeting short and productive is no easy task. You will need to be firm about off-topic discussions or long-winded explanations. The huddle should not become something your team dreads or perceives as a waste of time.
Reviewing Results and Next Steps
Spent the last few minutes reviewing results and charting out the next steps at the end of your sales huddle.
Summarize the key takeaways from the meeting. A whiteboard listing of main points will help visual learners keep track of the main points from the meeting.
Ensure that action items are clearly spelt out along with who is responsible for what and by when.
Keep the last minute to give your team an inspirational quote for the day or just a word of appreciation.
Your team’s time is money and as a sales leader you should guard it at all costs. A productive sales huddle will ensure that you connect at regular intervals with your team without wasting their time.
Use your huddle to pass on vital information to your team and to hear back from them on their challenges.
After you determine the right frequency and time you want to spend on your huddle, ensure to use the tips above to prepare for your meeting. Remember to plan your materials and agenda in advance.
Ensure that you adhere to your timing and agenda to make the maximum use of your time. Keep your team engaged and interacting throughout the meeting. Aim for maximum participation.
End on a positive note, celebrating achievements, appreciating your team’s efforts and clearly setting out action items and responsibilities.
A productive sales huddle can make a vital difference to your team’s performance on the field. It can save time and money by keeping your team updated and aligned to their objectives. If organized well, your sales team will look forward to these huddles and real learning can take place.
AI tools like worxogo Nudge Coach can help your team stay on top of their behaviors and give you vital feedback on problem areas that need to be addressed with your team. Additionally, behavior dashboards can help you celebrate the right behaviors being exhibited by your team and work on behaviors that need to be changed.
For more on how worxogo Nudge Coach can help you manage your team’s sales behaviors, contact us.