Hello I am Steve Johnson the President of the Next Level Sales Consulting. I am excited to tell you about our new book “How to Build a Sales Team That Stays, Sells and Succeeds”. The inspiration for the book has come from the last 35 years in the laboratory of human experience of training and coaching over 90,000 sales people and 10,000 sales managers in some of the best companies in the country.
In the book we focus on seven of the essential coaching activities that successful sales managers do consistently. In this series of videos, we will focus one of these activities at a time. The focus of this article is the goal setting meeting.
The purpose of these meetings is to check-in on a consistent basis on the progress being made on the goals and objectives that were agreed to in the review and plan meeting at the beginning of the year.
Keep in mind that the most important thing in the goal setting meeting is the conversation—you are only using the form to document the conversation. So, we are going to introduce you to a goal setting meeting template that we have in the book. We strongly recommend that you limit the goal setting meeting form to one page. So, let’s break down the goal setting meeting one step at a time.
- After you have set the agenda for the meeting you will begin the conversation by asking “What was your biggest victory since we last met?” Then, you will want to ask questions to gain further clarity about the behavior that created the victory.
- While you are asking questions and listening, you will be taking notes in the box on the goal setting meeting form
- After you have covered the biggest victory, the next step is to ask questions that help you gain an understanding of how your salesperson did on their action steps and their level of execution on what they set out to do.
- Reviewing action steps and completion status is the accountability loop that connects this meeting to the prior goal setting meeting. You will begin this part of the conversation with a question like, “We put some action steps in place in the last meeting. How did they go?”
- After you have discussed the action steps set in the last meeting it is time to transition into a conversation focused on the key performance indicators.
- It is not uncommon for a sales manager to go right down the form, one KPI at a time and peel the onion back on the outcome of each KPI. Confirm the goal, the actual, the over/under, and the goal for the next meeting
- While you are asking questions to gain more specificity of exactly what happened with your salesperson’s KPI’s since the last meeting, you will be taking notes in the observations box on the form.
- After you document the conversation in the observations box, you will then reflect back to the salesperson what you believe you heard so you can confirm your understanding of their situation.
- Once you have asked questions, listened, taken notes, and reflected back a confirmation of understanding, it is time to transition into setting action steps. Actions steps for them and potentially action steps for you as the manager
- After you and your salesperson finish developing action steps you will move to the next step – summary and commitment. This is a critical step, because it is easy for salespeople (and sales managers) to forget all these great ideas as soon as the next email/phone call/text message comes in.
- After you have both signed and dated the form and agreed on the date and time for the next goal setting meeting, you will want to give encouragement to your salesperson. Let them know that you are behind them 100% and you are confident they can reach their goals.
- The goal setting meeting could last from 30 – 60 minutes. Make sure to plan the appropriate amount of time on the calendar to conduct the meeting effectively.
- The goal setting meeting is one of the seven essential coaching activities that successful sales managers do consistently that we highlight in the book. Hit this link if you want to learn more.