Sales Conferences Often Miss the Mark
It’s time consuming and expensive to produce an effective sales conference. Many see the single largest cost of a sales conference as travel, living and training expenses, yet it’s really the cost of sales lost when salespeople aren’t selling! For example, if you have 20 salespeople who each produce a gross margin of $2,500 per day, the cost of taking 20 people out of the field for a 3-day sales conference is $150,000 in lost profits!
So, how can you make your sales conference both productive and profitable?
Sales Conference Ideas
- Survey participants in advance of the sales conference to identify needed topics and outcomes.
- Plan out every element of the sales conference, publish and stick to an agenda and involve participants.
- Ensure that salespeople receive information and skills that help them significantly boost their sales results. Remember, good managers manage; great managers help boost the performance of their team members. Make sure improving sales performance is a key element of your upcoming sales meeting or conference (and feel free to contact The Sales Alliance for suggested conference topics and programs).
- Make the meeting fun and motivational. People learn more and are more attentive when they’re entertained and full of energy. Likewise, they sell more when they leave motivated and “pumped up.”
- Watch for hidden messages and inconsistencies. If you hope to communicate that your salespeople are important to you yet the company puts them up at Motel 6, are you presenting a consistent message? If you are hoping to help your newer people become effective yet all the “old timers” are the ones receiving most of the awards, what does this really communicate?
- Provide creature comforts. Having water, soda, coffee and snacks on hand ensures that people have what they need (yes, some of us are addicted to our caffeine or sweets!) in order to focus on the meeting topics. Providing plenty of breaks (not just a mid-morning and mid-afternoon break) allows people to use bathrooms, take medications, etc. at the intervals they need.
- Don’t overdo it. Marathon sales conference sessions generally receive negative ratings. Plan in time for fun, outings, dinners and drinks and never end the meeting past the published times on the agenda.
- Coach your presenters. Even the best content can be boring if presented poorly. So, consider having a “dry run” of your sales conference and coach your presenters to be interesting and interactive (and contact The Sales Alliance if we can assist with this function).
- Provide take-aways such as handouts, reference cards, pricing guides and software. People are able to retain more if they have reference materials to both re-read and to refer to when needed.
Indeed, time spent planning a sales conference, and including the best possible tools and materials, is essential to a profitable and productive meeting.
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