There’s no open bar, no opportunity to see your old pals, and no chance for the top revenue producers to bask in the glow of their applauding (and envious) peers.

This begs the question, should you even bother with a sales meeting?

The resounding answer is "yes." Your sales team need motivation and connection now more than ever. However, if you think you are going to replicate what you did in person, in online format, forget it. Let’s be honest, those one-way information dumps weren’t great in person. On zoom, they’re excruciating.

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Traditional sales meetings often (unintentionally) send a message to the sales team: all we care about is the numbers. This is a fatal error. It leads to lack of engagement, a transactional sales force, and ultimately, lower revenue and less customer retention.

Instead, think of your sales meeting as a unique opportunity to build belief. You want your team to know why their work matters, to the company and to your customers.

Compare the difference between a traditional sales meeting, and a belief building meeting. As you read this, ask yourself, which one sets the sales team up for a better conversation with their customers?

Traditional Sales Meetings Belief Building Meeting

Sales results. We added 100 million dollars in revenue, Here’s a look at our stock price. We helped a million new customers. Here’s the impact we’re having on real live humans

Reward and Recognition. Jane closed a million -dollar sales. She’s our best salesperson Jane had a huge impact on clients. Here’s what the million-dollar solutions did for her customers.

Product intros. Here are the new products and all their features Our clients have a pressing challenge, here’s the solutions we created to help them

Sales team hears: "We sold a bunch of stuff this year, and next year we need to sell a bunch more. We made a difference for our customers, and next year we’re going to change their world in an even bigger way."

This results in — Transactional Sellers Tribe of True Believers

A transactional sales force with little or no emotional connection to customers is not going to survive 2021.

To create a differentiated sales team, they need to be excited about the impact their work has customers. Activate your own tribe of true believers, using the talk track above. You can also:

• Tell stories about how your work made a difference to customers

• Bring in customers themselves to talk about why they need and value you

• Give your team space within the meeting to reflect on their own sense of purpose

Your sales kick off is the biggest opportunity you have to forge an emotional connection, activate a sense of purpose, and build belief with your team. Don’t screw it up.

Lisa McLeod is the author of the best-sellers “Selling with Noble Purpose” and “Leading with Noble Purpose.”

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