Establish a sales drumbeat with clear governance meetings

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An essential element of sales leadership is to establish a clear sales governance structure. A structure designed to create a clear drumbeat for the organization. And one where you drive progress with a combination of pull and push interactions with your team. Your structure of governance meetings represents a vibrant internal eco-system driving sales progress. A crucial time investment area demanding 2-5 hours of your time weekly for preparation and execution.

Yearly/Bi-yearly strategy planning/pivot meeting 

At the top of the sales governance pyramid there is a yearly strategy planning meeting. A governance meeting designed for business strategy alignment across a business.

The purpose of this meeting is to secure all execution is guided by clear strategies and strategic choices. The frequency of these meetings is yearly or bi-yearly depending on the nature of the business

Common topics for this meeting are choices related to: market segments to address. Business expansion options to prioritize.  Adoption of new business models. Resulting in strategy pivots and investments level changes to meet market dynamics.

Quarterly strategy execution reviews

The Quarterly Business Review is the anchor point for execution of your sales strategies. The sales targets and priorities are set here and for the base for quarterly execution plans.

The major deals and opportunities are brought up to secure clarity and buy-in for the sales execution plans. This is also a meeting where larger strategic topics can be penetrated between the Strategy Planning meeting.

Common topics for this meeting are: Focus areas and strategic priorities. Break-in deals in new markets. Secure match between growth opportunities and execution capabilities.

Weekly/Bi-weekly sales team reviews

This sales meeting is perhaps the most central one. A short and intensive session focused on progressing deals. Very fact centric and straight to the point.

You want your sales team to meet frequently to let success and push breed between individuals. This meeting includes the broader team for lean sales operations. Expect each opportunity or deal to be addressed in 1-2 minutes.

Common topics for this meeting are: Progress for important deals. Removing obstacles blocking progress. Advances planned as next step and support required from peer teams.

Monthly individual coaching

The sales team reviews are intense and need to be complemented with individual coaching sessions. One-on-one meetings where you can go deeper into complex deals. Addressing learnings made and development opportunities.

It is important to position this meeting as a session with the needs of the individual team members in focus. You want to build the confidence and trust to develop a close relationship. Expect to find a lot of latent potential when you coach your team members to support their monthly personal planning and execution.

Common topics for this meeting are: Sales progress for each team member the past month. Personal planning for the coming month. Secure support from within the team and development of individual sales skills.

Daily deal driven calls 

As opportunities move into intensive stages you should be ready to meet and drive progress daily. Never more than 30minutes and involving the broader sales team.

Less dependent on structure and more focused on driving daily actions and share information critical to win the business at stake.

Drive progress by shifting leadership style to match situations

These spread in the nature of these governance meetings require an ability to adapt your leadership style between these meetings. Some situations require collaboration within your team. Others more of confrontation to pass hurdles of ambiguity. As a sales leader your job is both to put the structure in place and to leverage the framework constructively.

You need both to succeed and a strong discipline sticking to your defined drumbeat plan.

Questions to ask to yourself and your team

  1. What is the right cadence for each meeting – let the pace of your market define the frequent each meeting need to be.
  2. Which of our current meeting structure is working well and should be maintained – Use the parts that work as intended.
  3. Which meetings should we add or delete – governance structures are constrained by the available time
  4. Which length should each governance meeting have – shorter meetings more frequent is preferable for fast moving markets
  5. What agenda should we have for each governance meeting – standard agendas and templates contribute to a good drum beat
  6. How should I develop my leadership to maximize effectiveness of each meeting – a great drumbeat is often leadership constrained.

Additional reading suggestions

Credit for these insights to the great sales leaders and teams I have had the opportunity to work with and be part of.

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