Editor's Note: This post has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness on August 17, 2020.
Remember that oldie-but-goodie of Goldilocks and the Three Bears? You know, the one where Little Red Riding Hood goes through a series of items where each is too much of one thing but not enough of another only to find that there is a “just right” to each? As part of our continued research into what makes top performing sales managers effective, we have found that there is also a “just right” amount when it comes to meeting with your sales reps.
First, top performing sales managers are most likely to hold their team or group meetings on a monthly basis (53%). Check out the largest grey column in the first table below. This indicates that the “just right” amount to meet with your sales team is monthly. Conversely, lower performers tend to meet most often on a weekly or more often basis (32%). While team meetings are a crucial component to leading a sales team, this is evidence that there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. It’s easy to explain how this happens.
If you’re leading a team that is struggling, it’s often instinct to circle the wagons more often. Our research indicates, that this reaction is likely not the best use of your finite sales coaching time. Conversely, there is also such a good thing as not enough of a good thing. While days are hectic and open time for busy team members is often hard to coordinate, making sure you meet monthly with your team is a behavior supported by the practices of top performing sales managers.
Next, let’s turn to one-to-one meetings. In the table below, we see that top performing managers most often hold one-to-one meetings with their sales reps at a frequency of every other week (41%). All other types of managers, on the other hand, are most likely to hold one-to-ones on a weekly or more often basis (42%). While there is wiggle room here to adjust to your team’s unique needs, we again see guidance from the most successful managers and their behaviors that show that there is indeed a “sweet spot” for one-to-one meeting frequency. Meeting more often than every other week does not necessarily translate to higher performance from your sales team.
It would be very remiss of me if I failed to add in one caveat here: Simply meeting with your reps and teams is not enough. These interactions must be well designed and well executed. Simply, they must be quality interactions where you not just meet but coach and coach better (see white paper below).
To close, take a lesson from Little Red Riding Hood – stop wasting your time testing out meeting times that are too often or too infrequent and start to schedule your team meetings monthly and one-to-one meetings every other week. And check out our most recent white paper for more information on how coaching done well is a must to impact team performance and effectiveness.
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