Written By: Jessica Stokes
All too often, virtual team meetings are unorganized and a bore. But, with the right mindset and preparation, they can be a powerful way to motivate and inspire your team, nurture a culture of collaboration and accountability, as well as incorporate a bit of fun and camaraderie into everyone’s week.
“You’re on mute,” someone calls out as the weekly team meeting is getting started.
It’s Monday morning and you have ten other things that need your attention before noon. You listen to the call in the background as you send off a few emails, make some updates to the CRM, and log in to LinkedIn.
You pop off of mute for fifteen seconds to contribute, then resume the other activities, all while thinking in the back of your mind, “Why do we have to do this every week”?
Being focused on a virtual team meeting can be hard, but running and hosting those meetings is even harder.
No sales leader tries to hold a boring, unengaging meeting, but the truth is that many virtual team meetings have little impact on the team each week.
Here are some best practices for vitalizing your virtual team meetings.
You would never walk into your top client’s office unprepared, so don’t log into a team meeting unprepared. As a sales leader, your team is your biggest asset.
They are working hard to sell & service your clients and deliver success to you and the organization. Show them that the time in this meeting is important by preparing in advance.
Also, if you expect your team to share any content, then be sure to state that in the calendar invite.
When setting your agenda, be sure to know the amount of time you can allow for each piece of the discussion.
It’s eight minutes into the scheduled start time, and the banter of the weekend adventures and the latest round of golf are being discussed while you wait on a few attendees to locate the correct meeting information and get logged in.
A handful of participants are enjoying the small talk, and the majority of the attendees are looking at the time and wondering when the meeting is going to start. As the leader of the call, be sure to take control and start on time.
Kick-off the meeting within a minute or two of the scheduled start time.
Don’t make the entire team wait for a few individuals who are running late, and address those individuals in private after the meeting.
You wouldn’t run an in-person meeting and allow your staff to all be on their laptops, cell phones, and playing with their dog. So don’t allow it in your virtual meetings.
Turn your camera on and let them know that your weekly meetings will be cameras on and cell phones down. With all cameras on, there is more engagement on the call because people are doing less multitasking.
When you are working on your agenda, be sure to plan how you will engage the team.
This might be in the fashion of a breakout in small groups, an exercise, role play, or even something that you have asked them to prepare and share in advance.
There are countless ways that you can get participation from the group if it’s planned in advance.
Picture this: you took time last week to prepare the agenda for today’s sales team meeting. You even incorporated a fun Kahoot game to kick things off this week.
As your team is engaging with the meeting, there is one person who wants to derail the topic and start discussing next quarter’s compensation plan.
You know that you don’t have the information yet to have a discussion about that topic, and quite frankly it’s not the time to be going down that rabbit hole.
Keep control of your meeting by acknowledging the topic, but not addressing it.
I find that writing it down on the “parking board” is a great way to let that individual know that I heard their concern, and we will address it in our next meeting, or offline.
It might sound something like, “Great question, Steve. I’m going to jot that down on the parking board and we can address it later this week.”
This will allow you to properly close the meeting before the mad rush at the top of the hour for people wanting to get onto their next calls. If you have a call to action, then close by stating those expectations clearly.
For example, “I’m looking for each of you to send one video message to a customer this week and be prepared to share that video with the team next week”.
This call to action sets clear expectations for the participants as they get ready to disconnect from the meeting.
Applying these tools to your weekly meetings will help keep your team engaged and even looking forward to your meetings.
As the meeting leader, it’s critical that you have time on your calendar the week prior for “meeting preparation” so that you don’t find yourself underprepared and running virtual team meetings that could have been emails.
It is critical that virtual training engages learners to help knowledge stick, and the effectiveness of virtual training delivery depends on its production quality. This FREE checklist will help prepare you to deliver legendary virtual learning experiences.
Jessica Stokes is a Master Sales Trainer at Sales Gravy. She started her sales…
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