Ahhh, October. The leaves are donning their favorite fall colors, there is a run on pumpkin sales, night falls sooner, apple cider simmers on the stove…are those pies being baked? We’ll let Martha handle the autumn whimsy…let’s talk spring.
Ahhhh, Spring. The sun is welcome on the skin, the ground swells with new life, maybe a pair of twin fawns are born, and you can open your windows wide. New life. Regenerate. Renew. Regroup. Spring is the quintessential time to reinvigorate a sales force so why not plan a Spring Sales Meeting right now that actually rocks in the spring?
Take inventory of your sales team with straightforward questions about what challenges they face, what isn’t working, what is working and their expectations of the spring sales meeting. Send a simple online survey to gather the anonymous results in the first few days of the month. Give two weeks for employees to respond with one reminder after the first week. This gets the survey wrapped before Thanksgiving.
Why a survey? A survey to gather informed data has a twofold effect:
1: When a member of a team is surveyed they feel cared about and cared for. It is a clear way to impart that their opinion and their input is valued. Pre-meeting anonymous surveys also create an opportunity for employees to voice their thoughts in a safe environment.
2: Survey results can help inform upon what elements your Spring Sales Meeting needs to focus. Perhaps you’ve been thinking the meeting needs to be all about rallying around a new product being launched when most of the survey results flag a huge need for boosting office morale.
After the survey results are in, book as much as you can during December. The location needs booking immediately (if not sooner). For organizations planning years in advance (at Docherty we know teams already booking their 2017 events through us) finalizing a date and location seems easy but is one of the most difficult decisions to execute.
Book your guest speaker and secure contracts before year’s-end. It feels busy but early December is the calm before the holiday storm when everyone is stretched thin or scattered and unavailable. Early December speaker requests are riding on the tails of the season of gratitude and a positive response to such a request is more likely then.
January is when people collectively reassess and start to dream bigger dreams for themselves. Set aside constructive time to dream about how you’d like your organization’s Spring Sales Meeting to be experienced. Given the survey results you’ve gathered and the speaker you’ve secured, your dreaming can take very intentional paths. Do you want an international experience, a wilderness experience, a techie environment, great views, great food, great fun?
Share your dreams with your meeting crew so those ideas can become reality.
Review your sales’ teams previous year’s numbers: the wins, the achievements, the improvements. Then, plan the love. How will you acknowledge and recognize various sales accomplishments at the meeting? Consider that public recognition of achievement in front of peers is vital to an employee’s continued successful selling.
What gifts, perks and rewards will make the most sense and express the most gratitude to your sales force? Plan the love and then set your incentives group in motion to prepare the very smartest, slickest rewards package ever.
It is time…create the itinerary and get the designs finalized that will spread the buzz you want around the Best Spring Sales Meeting Ever (though we suggest you come up with a better event title). Help guide the conversations around the event with enticing, teaser-like details to hold the interest of your team.
The dates, speakers, locations, seminars and goals have been created. Now you just need to prepare the recipients for what to expect. When creating buzz plan a bi-weekly teaser about one element of the meeting. Perhaps share a menu item one week, a seminar title another week, a reward being presented, etc.
Is everything on course? Your meeting planning company has all elements of the gathering in good control, but you have to handle the day-to-day activities of your organization even while away from it. There is nothing like a delicious little checklist to which you can refer each morning.
Something often left off an admin’s list is handling the return of sales crew post-meeting. Momentum will be high and anything in the way of that can plummet even the most well-intentioned sales crew to that pre-event stasis. If, for instance, new operational procedures will be introduced during the meeting, then plan for those to be tested and properly oiled before the return of the crew so they can be off and selling. If awards are being presented ensure the in-office display board is updated with plaques before the crew even returns (or Wall of Fame or whatever public way achievements are honored). If new positions are announced prepare for the website and other collateral to reflect the changes.
So every fall, think spring and start planning a sales meeting that will inspire your staff and actually rock.