How to Plan a Powerful Global Sales Meeting

Posted On: July 24, 2015

With more and more companies expanding business to include a global sales force to sell to a global market, headquarters are being established on nearly every continent. The growth possibilities are exciting and the potential is virtually endless. 

Expansion, which includes more global employees, means sales meetings are a completely different kind of beast than they used to be. If your business has offices in other countries with teams of sales and marketing staff then you’ll be happy to learn our four tips for creating the most productive and effective global sales meeting.

#1: Plan Your Pre-Meeting

So much preparation goes into the details of an actual event that often the pre-meeting work is considered too late or not at all. Create a task force just focused on the pre-meeting details—everything from building up excitement to creating a mini-brand of your event. Some things might include:

  • Pre-meeting thoughts: Pose questions of a sales force that has them in the mindset of the meeting even before they arrive. Solicit the five words they think describe their work or the company or the future. Prepare them with three critical questions they can think about prior to the meeting. Ask them to submit anonymous questionnaire responses to their thoughts on the culture of the company, their satisfaction, their experiences, their ideas for change.
  • Contest surge: Contests are fun at sales meetings, but for sales staff on a global scale the day-to-day with other colleagues simply doesn’t exist. The surge of a new contest that has sales staff working towards a goal that will end when the meeting starts and is awarded in person has a different energy than a regular sales promotion or contest.
  • Pre-welcome: While you’ll likely have welcome baskets at the meeting accommodations, a pre-welcome kit sent to each individual imparts that you are both thoughtful and intentional. Whether it is gamification-centered where there is a branded article of clothing they have to wear, take a picture and post to your event site or an important book you want them to read prior to the meeting, the possibilities are endless for a pre-welcome.

#2: Think Powerful, Not Big

For companies with staff working around the globe, it is more challenging to find the pulse of your organization—no matter how attentive you structure your company environment. When planning an annual sales meeting, think powerful, not big. Some companies wrongly believe that if they wow their employees with over-the-top lavishness during annual sales meetings that productivity will increase and sales will magically triple. You can’t buy love or sales—but you can make an impact with powerful motivation. The thoughtfully powerful theme of your sales meeting will equip your employees with practical strategies to take with them after they’re back to their typical routine.

#3: Steer Into the Unknown

If your business is about selling industrial air compressors, don’t get a CEO from another industrial products company as your keynote speaker. Think differently and secure speakers with a new view. Consider that motivation can come from a variety places and an expert in nanotechnology or Latin American literature or major league baseball or an entrepreneur in Sub-Saharan Africa can help your globally-minded sales team consider new ways of approaching their work and interactions. One way to steer a ship is directly into uncharted waters. It heightens awareness, brings people together to focus on a single goal, reveals different leaders, and propels people to use their innate creativity in new ways.

#4: Serve Others

When you’re planning a global sales meeting for a staff of hundreds you absolutely must be self-focused and paying attention to the goals of your meeting. Yet, no matter where you meet in this world, your team’s attendance effects so many—the service staff at accommodations, entertainment venues and travel companies. The environment where your meeting is held from the air your plane flies through down to the water, the land, and the community—everything and everyone pays a price so you can enjoy a well-crafted annual sales meeting. Plan your event with a service element. It can be as simple as donating unused supplies and technology to a nearby school. It can be as hands-on as a full day of volunteering at a food shelf. A global sales meeting with service to others included is vital to the building up of community that is normally spread across various continents. In traditional companies you can gather groups for Friday afternoon volunteering but an approach to giving back like that isn’t available to a global sales crew. Service opportunities have to be crafted in advance and an annual sales meeting is a perfect time to plan for one.

Global sales meetings are momentous but they’re more than just organizing the transporting of people from point A to point B. Venues, entertainment, accommodations—those are the obvious necessities for a successful meeting. We’re invested in going to a deeper, more profound level of global sales meeting planning that has a pre-meeting agenda, a powerful approach, opportunities to think in new ways and a chance to serve others.