Editor's Note: This blog has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness on July 6, 2020. Photo by Hattie Kingsley Photography.
Previous research by the EcSell Institute has established that top performing managers hold team meeting with their teams on a consistent basis. In addition to suggesting that consistency is important, this research also indicates that the optimal frequency for holding team meetings is monthly.
In this extended white paper we further explore this research by adding an examination of the impact of a leader's coaching performance on team member perception of team meeting value. This deeper look into team meetings adds critical clarity to the impact of team meetings on team members and what current managers can be doing to increase the effectiveness of their role.
We've highlighted our findings from that research in this blog by showing that while highly effective managers do regularly hold team meetings, it is the value brought to these team meetings by the manager that is the impact differentiator. This outcome is important as it demonstrates to those in team leadership that good coaching is not summoned simply by executing team meetings. Instead, impactful sales coaching takes place when the manager injects value to the meeting.
A quick tip on how to end your team meetings . . .
What our findings suggest is that there is no direct positive impact of meeting frequency on team meeting value. Instead, the influential impact on the sales rep works through the value added to the team meeting by the coaching abilities of the sales manager. Stated differently, the existence of a team meeting does not automatically equate to team meeting value. Instead, team meeting value is expressed through the sales manager's coaching effectiveness.
Unsure of how to do this? Here are five simple ideas to get started:
1. Create more interaction
Share information and drive discussion throughout the meeting. Look for ways to ensure information, ideas, opinions, and perceptions are moving not just from the sales manager to the sales rep but also from the sales rep to the sales manager from start through to the end of the meeting.
2. Share responsibility for meeting leadership and content
Involve reps in leading different portions of the meeting and provide opportunities to decide the meeting topics. Doing so allows reps the ability to bring in dimensions to the meeting that are most relevant to them and to invest more individually into the meeting time.
3. Discuss best practices
Team meetings are an ideal platform for sales reps to share best practices with their peers. Incorporating this element allows not only for idea generation but also for increased dialogue and trust-building opportunities amongst team members.
4. Allow time for creating positive personal relationships
With the potential for taking countless forms, purposeful meeting time should be devoted to building relationships between team members. Ideas may include sharing personal updates, time to discuss a topic outside of the nuts and bolts of sales work, or setting aside time to recognize each other’s achievements or contributions.
5. Insert development components
Look for opportunities to share information, education, or resources designed to help sales reps advance either within their work or on a personal level.
Remember, simply holding team meetings does not equate to effective leadership by the manager. Instead, managers must find ways to bring value to team meetings. This value is added through purposeful planning by the manager with the intention of making the meeting engaging, relevant and personal to the team members in attendance. Without purposeful planning, the simple execution of a team meeting provides reduced benefit to the team member.