Metrics of Success in Sales Development Rep Team Meetings: Modern Performance Expert Roundup
Productive conversations or time wasting wheel-spinning? Lively rhetoric or chaotic chatter? Agenda-driven time well spent, or Sales Rep emotional venting sessions? When it comes to team meetings, it can go either way- so learn how to wield this double-edged sword more effectively, with advice from our latest Expert Roundup. The numbers don’t lie, and our Experts outline how to use quantitative performance data and temporal agendas to make sure their group meetings don’t just convey weekly updates, but also elevate the skills and goals of every team member present. Read on for pro tips from our favorite SDR management gurus on how they run effective, focused, and productive team meetings that your Reps will look forward to.
What’s the secret to an effective team meeting? What’s the agenda and tempo for yours? What role do performance metrics play in team meetings for you?
In team meetings, metrics are a great way to pitch and bring people into a new idea.
Instead of just saying, “Hey, I want all of you to try this new tactic,” I can say, “I want all of you to try this in your outreach and let us know what the reply rate is, because your teammate tried this and saw a 50% response rate.” It helps to be able to say: we know this works.
Metrics are also a really great way to hold people accountable, by setting everything out in the open. Here’s Sara’s activity. Here’s Bobby’s activity. The numbers don’t lie, and so you can use them to objectively make calls about what needs to change.
“In team meetings, there’s always going to be an agenda, and there always should be an agenda. The agenda is controlled primarily by the leader or by me. There’s also a portion of the agenda that’s controlled by the reps so that they have ownership.”
So that we can give perspective and make the reps feel that they’re always part of the bigger picture, any updates coming from the company or the sales team always drives the first section. Then we discuss any potential changes that have happened in the business or the sales organization, and I give my perspective on how it could potentially impact that team. After that, discussing metrics and quota tracking is very important. Those are the biggest things to get out of the way immediately, in my opinion.
We like to put some sort of onus on the reps.
We’ll do something like a “good call, bad call,’” or some sort of exercise where the reps present. If there is a new product release, then the reps present it and teach the team about that product. If they had a good call, then they present on what happened. If they had a bad call, then they do the same thing.
Team meetings are pretty standardized. We go over the metrics for the team over the week, over the quarter, talk about any major standouts or shortfalls. Then each person on the team has a couple of minutes to cover their own personal what worked in sales last week and what their general plan is for this coming week. We have weekly meetings on Mondays and then every other day we have a 10-minute meeting from 3:50 to 4:00 where people walk in and write their KPIs on the whiteboard, any major events of note, and then we review it as a team.
“The only purpose is to promote accountability, so people expect that this is part of their day and share best practices, and it becomes another way to promote sharing of knowledge.”
Performance metrics don’t play a big role unless there’s a major standout or shortfall in what’s expected. If someone’s approaching the end of the month and they’ve only created two opportunities instead of the seven we expect, then I’ll bring it up and we’ll talk about it and see what the plan is to get to goal by the end of the month, as well as how I can help. If everything seems in line, I’ll just check the data before one-on-ones to see if anything looks off. Otherwise, we talk about other topics.
I haven’t found the optimal route for team meetings. I’ve tested so many things and tried different approaches. For instance, the team comes with an agenda, the team doesn’t come with an agenda, the team creates the agenda. But the group meeting is not something that I’ve really mastered, to be honest.
“In fact, I’ve never really seen a successful 10-person meeting. I don’t know, but if you put 10 people in a room, it’s like there are too many people in the room.”
As far as what I can draw upon from my experiences in different cultures, I would love to say that I’ve seen an amazing format and I’m going to adopt it. But it’s not the case. The Japanese have a worse team meeting than we do. No one communicates so there are extended pauses for 2 minutes at a time. I can’t remember one successful team meeting in Japan. That’s not an area they’re really strong. Germans will run it very rigorously. They will have a very strict agenda and things will get covered, but it doesn’t open it up for communication and collaboration. Maybe more of an open forum is the answer. Otherwise, I’d say just send out a survey or an email. You don’t need to waste everyone’s time.
It’s critical to ensure that we’re never meeting for the sake of meeting. Also, I’m adamant that meetings start on time. I plan for the specific amount of time to allocate for each agenda item. We actually have people keeping time in organization-wide meetings, and calling us out to make sure we stay on task. Ideally, we end early.
“Data-driven coaching is table stakes for leading an effective team. I always want to ensure that whenever we’re discussing performance in any facet, we’re speaking to the data. We’re not managing to the metrics, but we are validating our hypotheses with data.”
A sales process is a series of conversion rates over time, from one activity to the next, or one stage to another. It’s key to diagnosing where those conversion rates fall off, in order to align an appropriate coaching plan.
Team meetings often get turned into company updates, which really don’t help anybody. “Hey here’s what’s going on in the company, here are the things you should know about,” or, more annoyingly, “Here are the things that I need you to do for the business.” All that makes for highly ineffective team meetings.
I believe a team meeting should be used for training and development. At least one team meeting a month should be used to focus on something outside of the scope of the team’s day-to-day – like teaching them a new skill for the job that they do right now. I also believe once every other month you should teach your team something outside of the scope of their role that enhances them as a professional. They’ll actually grow more effectively because of it, which then leads to new avenues of thinking and more success within their roles.
“Too often, team meetings don’t have an agenda, and that’s a big miss. For a team meeting or an individual one-on-one, you have to have a set agenda with the specific deliverables and stick to it.”
Team meetings can easily devolve into feedback sessions or complaining sessions. An agenda is the best way to avoid this. My typical agenda for a team meeting: 10-minute team review, 30-minute training topic, 10-minute housekeeping – which covers improvables, announcing a new contest, anything needed. Then we end with 10 minutes of Q & A, giving the team an opportunity to let their voices be heard and ask questions.
Learn more from our experts, and see full profiles, here:
Philip Galligan, Global Manager of Sales Development at Eventbrite
Daniel Barber, VP Sales of Datanyze
Chris Pollot, Director of Sales Development at UpGuard
Dhiraj Singh, Inside Sales and Operations Manager at MemSQL
Steven Broudy, Director, Inside Sales, Americas at MuleSoft
Brooke Lengfelder, Director of Sales Development at mParticle
For more Modern Performance Profiles subscribe to our newsletter and follow us on Twitter.