Putting together a sales meeting takes countless hours and a financial investment. There’s nothing worse than hearing that salespeople dread going to it. Here are six tips to change the perception of your sales meetings.

1. THINK of your salespeople, not as employees, but rather as event attendees. This mindset puts you on the right track for putting together a sales meeting that gets your salespeople jazzed. It forces you to see the meeting from their point of view.

2. ASK for their input. Most sales meeting agendas are the result of executive and sales management input only. Rarely does anyone ask the salespeople what they want covered in the meeting. A great question to ask your salespeople is:

“For this to be a great sales meeting, what will have been accomplished?”

By getting their perspective on outcomes, you can then craft the sales meeting to accomplish those.

3. ENGAGE them during the meeting. Don’t have lecture after lecture…unless you are providing pillows for the salespeople. Make the sessions interactive. Have breakout sessions where small teams can work on projects. For example, if you don’t have a needs analysis or handling concerns guide, this is a great time to construct them.

4. SHARE best practices. Most salespeople will tell you that their favorite sales meetings were the ones where they learned from their colleagues. Be sure to have plenty of brainshare opportunities during the meeting to foster that best practices sharing.

5. PLAN breaks. Remember your audience. Salespeople hate to sit still. Their minds are on the calls and emails they are missing. Plan 15-minute breaks – two in the morning and two in the afternoon – to keep them focused on the meeting content.

By doing this, you can set the ground rule of no email, texting or calls during the meeting. After all, if the meeting content is designed to help them sell effectively, you can’t have them distracted.

6. REQUEST feedback. After the meeting, ask for the team’s feedback on it. But, don’t just ask for it, act on it! People often feel that no one bothers to read their surveys so they don’t spend any time on it. Make sure your sales team knows you have read their comments and considered their recommendations for future sales meetings.

These six tips position you to have a sales meeting that your team cannot wait to attend. See you next time on the Sales Management Minute.