How to Use Virtual Meeting Technology to Connect Your Remote Sales Teams
Sales kickoffs and team meetings play an important role in organizing and motivating your sales team. However, justifying the expense of an event space, travel, food, and time out of the field can be difficult in normal times. In times of upheaval like the COVID-19 pandemic, this type of meeting is impossible.
The engine that is selling cannot stop regardless of circumstances. In fact, during times of crisis, an all-hands-on-deck sales team meeting might be just the thing your business needs to keep things on track and quickly adjust to meet changing customer needs.
Luckily, we live in a time in which technology exists that allows sales teams to connect virtually.
Unfortunately, despite technological advances, planning a virtual sales team meeting is NOT as simple as flipping on the computer — in fact, in many ways, the logistics of ensuring the meeting achieves its intended purpose is more challenging.
Here, we will explore some key solutions for overcoming the challenges associated with planning a virtual sales team event.
Virtual Sales Team Meeting Challenge 1
Virtual Meetings Are Perceived as Informal
Because sales professionals have the option of wearing pajama pants to the meeting, it is often difficult to take a virtual meeting as seriously as an in-person gathering. In fact, they might even think that the expectations of their managers are less rigid.
Priming your sales team with messages that emphasize the importance of the meeting will help drive home the importance of the event. Messages that demonstrate sponsorship from top leadership, a clear agenda and goals, and specific expectations of attendees are powerful ways to highlight the importance of the meeting. These messages should be reiterated in the days or weeks prior to the event.
Virtual Sales Team Meeting Challenge 2
It’s Hard to Keep Sales Professionals Engaged in the Conversation
Distractions, social loafing, and virtual fatigue are real. Preventing your sales team from disengaging from the conversation and the content requires building in more planned calls to action for participation.
You can bake opportunities (or requirements) for participation into the structure in a few ways:
- Require all participants to have their video on throughout the conversation
- Utilize virtual breakout rooms for small group discussion with facilitation from sales leaders or trainers
- Plan regular breaks in the agenda
- Work frequent pauses into the conversation in which the facilitator randomly selects a participant to share an insight or answer a question
- Require pre-work that participants will be required to present during the meeting
- Include sales training, a keynote speaker, or both in the agenda. Providing your team with the opportunity to grow their skills and advance their careers is a good way to answer the question WIIFM (What’s in it for me?) and earn buy-in and engagement from the team.
Virtual Sales Team Meeting Challenge 3
The Challenges of an In-person Sales Event Still Exist
In-person sales team meetings run the risk of being ineffective when the content does not resonate with the audience.
In addition to planning for the unique logistical challenges of hosting a virtual event, relevant content must lie at the core of the conversation.
Ensuring that the agenda of the meeting aligns with corporate strategy and builds skills that your sales team needs to succeed in the current market is a high-level goal that will guide the creation of content for the virtual sales team meeting.