How to Structure a Sales Meeting Agenda that Gets Results
A sales meeting agenda is a roadmap for your team to follow and keep everyone on the same page.
But we all know sales meetings don't always work out as planned.
I'm not going to throw a whole bunch of stats around—you are the stat. You know what it's like to sit in a meeting that's achieving zilch and think, wow… I really could be talking to clients or closing deals instead of sitting here.
Well, a sales meeting agenda is one way to avoid all that. It structures meetings so they have a purpose, goals, and next steps so shit actually gets done. Without a solid agenda, meetings can easily go off-topic, run over their timeslot, and waste a whole afternoon.
We all work remotely at Close, so touching base regularly is super important and we know a thing or two about what goes into a sales meeting agenda that works.
Let's take a look at what every agenda should have and how to create one for your own meetings 👇
What Should Be Included in a Sales Meeting Agenda?
Key targets and goals. Discussing new sales tactics. Asking the team what they think needs to be done to land that big client in your funnel.
Sales meeting agendas can cover a lot, whether it's a big quarterly breakdown of targets and KPIs, or just a weekly check-in. Effective planning and a sales team meeting agenda can make discussions more productive. Your sales representatives will be excited and ready to contribute to the meeting as a result.
Every sales meeting agenda should cover:
🥅 Goals. What do you want the meeting to accomplish? Do you want your team to close more deals, touch base on a new training schedule or brainstorm how to solve a specific sales challenge? Clearly define the goals of the meeting in your agenda before it starts
📋 Agenda items. Lay out any key agenda items you want to discuss in a specific, actionable, and relevant way that relates to the meeting's goals, crucial for effective sales performance management. We're talking about discussing new sales tactics, reviewing previous sales performance, or scheduling sales training.
🗣️ Discussion points. Make sure the agenda isn't blase about what needs to be covered during the meeting. Besides keeping the meeting on track, outlining specific points will get the conversation going and make sure everything gets discussed
🕒 Time. Every agenda item needs to have a time limit attached to it. There's nothing worse than a meeting that overruns and throws your entire calendar out of whack. Try to be realistic about how long each agenda item will take and if you have to cut out anything to keep the meeting short
✔️ Action items. Finally, think about what you need your sales team to do post-meeting. Make sure your agenda has actionable tasks, like following up with prospects or setting a deadline for implementing new software, so your team stays accountable. Otherwise, the meeting will be a waste
By following these steps, you can create productive meetings that are engaging and help your team achieve their goals.
How to Create a Successful Sales Meeting Agenda
Ready to create your own agenda? Here are a few key tips you’ll need.
Clearly Define Meeting Objectives
The first step is to create a clear agenda and outline an action plan for your next sales meeting.
In sales speak—figure out why the hell are you meeting in the first place. Decide what you want to accomplish during the meeting and what specific topics you need to discuss as a team: do you want to review a key client or discuss key performance indicators (KPIs)?
This will help your team get on the same page and work towards the same goal once the meeting kicks off.
Prioritize Key Topics
Repeat after me: don't try to cover everything in one meeting.
An MIT study found only 50 percent of meeting time is effective, well-used and engaging, and the figure is slightly lower if your team is remote. We've all sat in those meetings that try to cover new hires, product launches, goals, upcoming projects, new ideas in the pipeline, client issues…..
Y'all… It's 👏 too 👏 much 👏
Stick to one (or at a push two) key topics and keep the meeting short.
Assign Talking Points During the Meeting
Who will introduce the new sales strategy? Or talk the rest of the team through the Q4 KPI results?
Each agenda item should have someone assigned to take the lead. This is vital to ensure the meeting runs smoothly and on time.
Ideally, the person in charge of an agenda item will know about it at least a week in advance so they have time to prep material and information, especially if they're going to be sharing their screen with the rest of the team. It's also a good idea to let them know how long they will be talking for and who they will be talking to (mainly so they don't waste their time on building a 43-slide Powerpoint that will end up in the trash).
Steal this example if you want:
Cement Post-meeting Action Items and Responsibilities
After your sales meeting, review what was discussed and follow up on any action items.
There’s nothing worse than spending 30 minutes on a meeting and at the end of it thinking… “Okay, now what?”
This is why all sales meetings need to result in some kind of action. Each team member should walk away with an understanding of what they need to do next. You can do this with three quick steps:
- Sum up the meeting. It's a good idea to take meeting notes so during the end, you can wrap and repeat any key points or issues. It's even better if you can send a dot point summary over email or Slack that meeting attendees can refer back to afterwards
- Assign responsibilities. If any action items need follow-up work, assign it during the meeting. Follow this up with a written reminder (again over email or Slack) with a set deadline to keep everyone accountable
Oh, and if any team members raised an issue or asked a question during the meeting that was a liiiiitttlleeee off-topic—don't ignore it. Table it and tell them it'll get followed up either after the meeting 👍
Key Components for an Effective Sales Meeting Agenda Template
When organizing a sales meeting, an agenda template can speed up the process and ensure you don't forget key items.
It's a (huge) waste of time to create every meeting agenda from scratch. A customizable template can lay out the bare bones of a sales meetings agenda, like key items, discussion points and action items. Then, all you need to do is tweak each section to match the purpose of your meeting. Here's an example of a customizable template:
Meeting date + time:
- Meeting mission statement: Brief description of meeting
- Quick overview: What will be discussed?
- Action item: Brief description
- Action item: Brief description
- Follow-up items: Assign action items to salespeople to work on after the meeting
- Takeaways: Outline next steps and ask if anyone has questions
Yep, the template is pretty bare-bones right now.
But picture this: A startup is launching a new product feature that's just been tested by BETA customers. The feedback from the product team is in, and the sales team needs to figure out a way to pitch this new feature to customers in a way that gets results. So, a sales manager schedules a meeting to bring their sales team members together for a brainstorming session.
Now, without an agenda, this meeting could go off the rails. Quick. But the sales manager can use a sales meeting agenda template to keep everyone focused and on track. This template should look something like this:
Sales Team Meeting Agenda: New Feature Launch
🕒 Overall Meeting Time: 40 minutes
📅 Date: July 22nd @ 2.30 EST
- Meeting mission statement. This is a single sentence to help the team focus on the meeting's purpose. In this case, it'll be something like:
"Discuss results from new feature BETA testing and craft sales strategy for future prospecting and demos"
- Quick Overview
🕒 Time: 5 minutes
🗣️ Speaker: Sonia (sales team leader)
➡ In Q2, the new
- Action item: Discuss Customer Stories and Insights
🕒 Time: 10 minutes
🗣️ Speaker: Greg (VP of Marketing)
➡ ️ Greg will discuss BETA testing the new feature over the past 6 months. He will talk about any teething problems BETA testers had, what the feedback was, and any insights the sales team can use to sell the feature to new customers (and upsell the current ones)
- Action item: Updates on sales targets for feature launch
🕒 Time: 10 minutes
🗣️ Speaker: Sonia (sales team leader)
➡ A quick update on sales targets for Q2 once the new feature is released.
- Action item: Brainstorm sales scripts
🕒 Time: 10 minutes
🗣️ Speaker: Team brainstorm
➡ Join forces to tweak existing sales script templates to match the new feature launch and feedback from BETA customers
- Closing remarks and next steps
🕒 Time: 5 minutes
🗣️ Speaker: Sonia
➡ Assign next steps and responsibilities to sales team members ahead of the launch
See! It doesn't take much to structure a sales meeting from a standardized agenda template. Want to get a head start on all this? Grab our free sales meeting agenda template here 👇
5 Best Practices for Conducting a Productive Sales Meeting
When it comes to sales meetings, it's essential to have a clear and concise agenda that drives results. Here are some best practices to help you structure your sales meeting agenda:
1. Send out the Meeting Agenda Ahead of Time
Make sure that your sales team has everything they need to contribute to the meeting, and the agenda should be at the top of that list.
Send this out ahead of time, and I'm not talking a couple of hours before the meeting either. I was in a meeting last week and I got sent the agenda TWO MINUTES before I jumped on the Skype call. How the hell was I expected to prep for that in any meaningful way? 😑
I couldn't. And it ended up being a 45-minute waste of time.
If you schedule a sales meeting for 2 pm on a Tuesday, make sure your team has the agenda no later than lunchtime on Monday so they can review it and get back to you with any questions. Oh, and don't forget that if the agenda lists discussions about metrics, reports or KPIs, you should also send out any data or reports so your team can take a look and get up to speed.
2. Set Some Ground Rules
Don't be afraid to set some ground rules for the meeting to keep everything on track. We're talking about things like:
- No interruptions
- Stick to the time limits
- Keep discussions focused on the agenda topics
- Respecting everyone's opinions and ideas
List these rules on the sales agenda and discuss them at the beginning of the meeting to avoid the whole thing going south.
3. Get Your Team Involved (and Shoutout Any Success Stories)
Did one of your sales reps close a major deal recently? Or maybe your team pulled together and exchanged advice on sales scripts or demo strategies?
Whatever it is, acknowledge these wins and use them as an icebreaker to get everyone involved. It's a good idea to do this at the start of the meeting, as it can boost morale and add some team spirit before you dive into any numbers and reports.
Another way to get your team involved in a meeting is to create an atmosphere where they feel comfortable enough to speak up. Harvard Business Review's Paul Axtell says it's important your team feels like they have permission to talk during a meeting, and this all starts at the top.
“The quest for better meetings ultimately lies in leading with mutual respect, inclusivity, and establishing a space that is safe enough for people to speak their minds.
"To create psychological safety during a meeting, ask the group to devote their full attention to each person who speaks, allow each person to take their time and complete their thoughts, and share what is valuable about peoples’ questions or comments."
Basically, sit up and pay attention to what people have to say—and the rest of the team will do the same when it's their turn to talk.
4. Watch That Clock
Staying on track and on time is essential for a productive sales meeting, so allocate a specific amount of time for each agenda item—and stick to it.
You don't want to kill the vibe or discourage anyone from asking questions. But even when team members are given the chance to speak, reserve the right to cut them off when the clock's ticking. If a discussion is dragging on, it's okay to table it and tell everyone that you can pick it back up later.
What's not okay is to let the meeting run 15 minutes overtime and throw off everyone's schedule for the rest of the day.
5. Don't Schedule a Meeting Unless You *Really* Need To
Finally, don't schedule a meeting unless you really need to.
Harvard Business Review wrote way back in the 1970s that you should only drag your team into a meeting if you have a very clear goal in mind, otherwise it'll be a waste of time. We've all been in those meetings that drag on (…and on) with no real purpose and steal a good chunk of a busy afternoon.
Before gathering up your team on a busy Wednesday ask yourself if you need a meeting at all. Thirty-two percent of people asked by SurveyMonkey said recent meetings could've easily just been an email, which would've saved a ton of time and prep. I want to preach this from the rooftop. I even have a coffee mug sitting on my desk right now that literally says I Survived Another Meeting That Should've Been an Email.
Avoiding pointless meetings can also save your company a hefty chunk of change—a Doodle report found pointless meetings waste $541 billion (yep, billion) in employee time every year.
So think about whether you are having a meeting just to fill an hour on your calendar— or to actually get shit done.
Must-have Tools and Resources for Creating a Sales Meeting Agenda
There are tons of tools, apps, and resources out there to help sales leaders like you create meeting agendas to help make them more productive.
All of these boil down to two options: a simple template, or a fancy schmancy meeting agenda app. Let's take a better look at each option 👇
1. Sales Meeting Agenda Templates
Sales meeting agenda templates typically include all of the key sections that should be included like purpose, action items, any current projects that are being worked on, or pipeline updates.
Using a template can save time and help ensure that you don't miss anything out (believe me, when you're busy… it happens). The best sales meeting agenda templates are already crafted to suit your team and goals. A small startup sales meeting will look totally different to a meeting in the Microsoft sales boardroom, so the agenda will probably focus on growth goals or KPIs instead of Enterprise accounts.
But don't worry, we got you. Our team has created a free sales meeting agenda template that's perfect for startups and SMBs to tweak—grab it here ➡
2. Productivity Apps and Tools
If you want a more involved way to create sales meeting agendas, think about using a productivity app.
Tools like Trello, Asana, and Monday.com have built-in meeting agendas to list action items, create follow-up tasks, and send out invites. Check out this one in Asana:
Each meeting topic has an assigned speaker and the action items have a deadline attached to them. Using an app is a little more work than creating a meeting agenda in a Google Doc, but it will automatically alert team members if they run over a deadline. So… pros and cons! 😉
Curious about the latest tools that can enhance your sales productivity? Our article on sales productivity tools has you covered.
Boost Productivity and Drive Team Success with a Sales Meeting Agenda
Getting a sales meeting agenda right isn't hard.
The problem with sales meetings, in general, is a lot of companies just…. Don't use them. And it results in things going off track nearly every time the team jumps on a Zoom call.
Take it from us: a well-crafted sales meeting agenda will save you a ton of time and make your team a helluva lot more productive. That's because everyone is jumping into the meeting room with a solid idea of why they're there and what will be achieved when they leave 30 minutes later.
Don't overcomplicate it. Start with a simple template that gets the basics right, give it to everyone in advance, and don't overrun the clock.
If you missed it, we've done the hard work for you and created a sales meeting agenda template that's perfect for startups and SMBs. Grab it for free here and simply tweak it for your team's needs!