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6 Secrets to Leading Sales Meetings That People Want to Attend

Leading sales meeting

At Fusion Learning, we recently conducted a poll that asked sales leaders to rate the quality of their sales meetings. On average, sales managers gave themselves just 6.3 out of 10. Only 21 percent rated their meetings at 8 out of 10 or higher – leaving 79 percent at 7 out of 10 or less.

If you find yourself heading into a meeting and you know at the end of it you’ll rate it a 7 out of 10 or less, would you want to attend? Not me. Now, think of your sales team. How energized will they be?

Sales meetings are a critical component of a great sales culture — an opportunity to build the skills of the entire team and motivate them. In each meeting, if you provide your team with just one idea, strategy or tactic that will improve their game, and motivate with some positive reinforcement or reward, you will see a gain in productivity and sales results.

Here are six techniques guaranteed to improve your next sales meeting:Sales meetings infographic

1. Start with an energizer

Begin your meetings on time and start with some fun. Reward those who are punctual to help eliminate the lateness factor.

From week to week you’ll find my team doing trivia games, telling funny stories, sharing sales highlights of the week, or discussing their focus for the month ahead.

2. Conduct a capability activity

Every sales meeting must stretch and challenge team members’ skills to keep them at the top of their game. Capability activities can focus on prospecting, networking, lead generation, client meetings, presenting solutions or closing.

The capability activity is all about ongoing skill development and is the key to creating value at the meeting.

3. Keep it Simply Simple (K.I.S.S)

Always ask, “Does this item need to be in the meeting or could it be done outside the meeting or as pre-work?”

Keep it simple with four steps:

• Make sure the pace of the meeting is fast (pace should be dramatically faster than if it were a one on one meeting)

• Create the right atmosphere by making it engaging

• Add value by helping the team better execute on a key sales skill that will help them close business

• Have shared ownership; meaning you have the members share content on a regular basis

4. Have three rules for individual updates

When discussing personal updates make sure the topics are small and the answers timed, so they don’t take over the meeting or sap the team’s energy.

To ensure individual updates don’t take up too much of the sales meeting, follow these three rules:

• Set time limits

• Create different themes around successes, like key learnings and future focus

• Know when to take individual issues offline

5. Motivate and reward

You must build motivation into every team meeting. The sales team has a tough challenge and needs to feel supported and recognized. This isn’t about big gifts or exceptional moments — the simplest “thank you” can have great meaning.

Think about sorting the rewards into different categories. You can make them fun, competitive, team-based, recognition-based or even externally focused, such as getting input or recognizing someone outside of the sales team.

6. Follow a standard agenda

The standard agenda should be:

a) Energizer

b) Capability Activity

c) Team/Business Update

d) Individual Update

e) Reward/Recognition

If you follow this format, you’ll have a standard, consistent and easy-to-follow agenda that will keep you focused and on track. With it, you can reduce your meeting preparation time dramatically. With these six techniques, my sales managers have reduced their meeting preparation time to 10 minutes or less per meeting, while consistently creating high-value meetings. This focused and consistent investment of your time will guarantee gains in your sales teams’ productivity and overall results.

What techniques have worked for your team?

7 Insights from Selling Power’s Sales 2.0 Conference

keynote speech at sales 2.0 conference

If you were not able to attend Selling Power’s Sales 2.0 Conference in Philadelphia, we’ve got you covered. This year’s event focused on the evolution of sales; and our CEO Kevin Higgins provided insight on how to increase sales team productivity and results.

Here are 7 of the many insights that were shared during the conference:

  1. Artificial intelligence is making headway in the sales space. Although technology is advising people, it is still people that control technology; therefore, investing in sales talent is still essential.
  2. Building trust is at the heart of a positive customer experience; 80-90% of that customer experience is defined by emotion. Is your customer experience consistent and adding value in a way that your customers care about?
  3. Now more than ever sales and marketing must be aligned. Account based marketing delivers more value and meaning to customers. Leveraging both functions in a coordinated way is critical for growth.
  4. We now know that 70% of a buyer’s journey begins online and 50% of sales go to the first salesperson to make contact. How quickly are your salespeople responding to leads?
  5. A sales enablement strategy is essential to revenue growth: 81% of sales organizations now have a strategy in place.
  6. Digital and human interactions are both equally important and matter at different points in the buyer’s journey.
  7. Research indicates that there is a higher chance of winning at craps in Las Vegas (49.4%) than the B2B closing rate for a forecasted deal (46.3%).

To access additional thoughts from the conference, including how we can help you improve your sales team’s performance, contact us. We’re here to help!

5 Critical Focus Areas for New Sales Leaders

New Sales Leader

You’ve just been promoted, coming from being on top of your game in sales and you are now tasked with leading a sales team without a road map. For many, the most critical and immediate opportunity is to “learn” the things you need to be successful in as short a time as possible and “unlearn” those things that made you successful as an individual contributor, because they will not necessarily work for you as you look to lead a team. Here are five top areas to focus on to help you get up to speed in your new role:

1. Take Stock – Listen and engage

  • Spend time with each team member — get to know your team’s strengths, opportunities and needs and observations
  • Get out in front of customers to understand their perspective and the market
  • Connect with other functions within the company to hear how your team interacts

2. Create a 90-Day Plan – Develop an onboarding plan that will enable you to establish relationships, gather information for a strategic plan, and develop an engaged team

  • Start immersing yourself in the business
  • Look for places to get quick wins and communicate
  • Leverage the diversity of your team

3. Understand current strategy, modify as appropriate to form your own and communicate to team to build alignment and buy-in

4. Be aware of the “mind-shift” to this role, as this is one of the biggest transitions there is – moving from an individual contributor to leader

5. Don’t go at it alone – find a peer, mentor or thinking partner to share ideas and gather input and stay connected

Those organizations that support new sales leaders see higher levels of engagement and performance. Are you investing in what matters most to help your sales leaders transition and secure early wins in their new roles?

 

Fusion Learning Inc. Ranks No. 469 on the 2016 PROFIT 500

 

PROFIT and Canadian Business unveils 28th annual list of Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies

Toronto, ON (September 15, 2016) Canadian Business and PROFIT today ranked Fusion Learning Inc. No. 469 on the 28th annual PROFIT 500, the definitive ranking of Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies. Published in the October issue of Canadian Business and at PROFITguide.com, the PROFIT 500 ranks Canadian businesses by their five-year revenue growth.

Fusion Learning Inc. made the 2016 PROFIT 500 list with five-year revenue growth of 82%.

“Companies become a part of the PROFIT 500 through innovative thinking, smart strategy and sheer grit,” says James Cowan, Editor-in-chief of PROFIT and Canadian Business. “These firms demonstrate what Canadian entrepreneurs can achieve, both at home and across the globe.”

“Fusion Learning Inc. is extremely honoured to be a part of the PROFIT 500,” says CEO Kevin Higgins. “The PROFIT 500 is one of the most widely respected lists in the world of Canadian business, so receiving this recognition is phenomenal.” “We want to especially acknowledge our esteemed clients for helping us to rank on the PROFIT 500 for 10 years running.”

» We’ve assembled a collection of our best sales management videos with ideas and tips to help sales leaders drive over plan performance. Click here to sign up.

About Fusion Learning Inc.
Fusion Learning Inc. helps sales leaders and salespeople perform better. We are passionate and dedicated to creating meaningful results for you and your company by designing and delivering simple and practical sales training solutions that unlock individual performance and increase sustainable sales results. We offer practical, customized sales training programs to drive the right kind of sales behaviors to realize measurable increases in sales productivity, meeting activity, sales win rates, and client experience ratings. Our client list includes industry leaders such as American Airlines Cargo, American Express, BlackRock, BMO, Chobani, Direct Energy, EMC, General Electric, HSBC, Molson Coors, New York Life Insurance, Nucor, Pfizer, SAS, Scotiabank, Telus and many others. Visit Fusion Learning Inc. online at www.fusionlearninginc.com.

About PROFIT and PROFITguide.com
PROFIT: Your Guide to Business Success is Canada’s preeminent media brand dedicated to the management issues and opportunities facing small and mid-sized businesses. For 34 years, Canadian entrepreneurs across a vast array of economic sectors have remained loyal to PROFIT because it’s a timely and reliable source of actionable information that helps them achieve business success and get the recognition they deserve for generating positive economic and social change. Visit PROFIT online at PROFITguide.com.

About Canadian Business

Founded in 1928, Canadian Business is the longest-serving, best-selling and most-trusted business publication in the country. With a total brand readership of more than 1.1 million, it is the country’s premier media brand for executives and senior business leaders. It fuels the success of Canada’s business elite with a focus on the things that matter most: leadership, innovation, business strategy and management tactics. We provide concrete examples of business achievement, thought-provoking analysis and compelling storytelling, all in an elegant package with bold graphics and great photography. Canadian Business—what leadership looks like.

Media contact

Scott Gilmore, Fusion Learning Inc., scott@fusionlearninginc.com, 416.424.2316

Selling Power Features Fusion Learning Inc. on 2016 Top 20 Sales Training Companies List

May 26, 2016 – Fusion Learning Inc. is pleased to announce that it has been named one of Selling Power magazine’s Top 20 Sales Training Companies for 2016. Companies featured on the list excel in helping sales leaders improve the performance of their sales teams.

“We couldn’t be happier about winning this important award,” said Alyson Brandt, President, Fusion Learning USA. “Selling Power is one of the most respected sales publications in a highly competitive industry, so receiving this recognition for six consecutive years has been phenomenal.”

According to Selling Power publisher and founder Gerhard Gschwandtner, sales training is a vital component of a high-performance sales organization.

“Sales training is a competitive differentiator for top-performing sales teams,” says Gschwandtner. “Sales leaders should use this list of the Top 20 Sales Training Companies to see which companies are offering the best and most advanced offerings available on the market today.”

Each sales training company featured on this year’s list offers sales organizations the following benefits:

• Provides a consultative experience.

• Quantifies results with metrics.

• Offers customization and post-training support.

• Has a documented track record of ROI and customer satisfaction.

Here are the four main criteria Selling Power considered when selecting the top sales training companies:

1. Depth and breadth of training offered

2. Innovative offerings (specific training courses, methodology, or delivery methods)

3. Contributions to the sales training market

4. Strength of client satisfaction

Selling Power editors say the firms included on the 2016 Top 20 Sales Training Companies list are uniquely positioned to help sales leaders create organizations that will succeed and remain competitive in today’s selling environment. The list appears in the June issue of the magazine.

 


» We’ve assembled a collection of our best sales management videos with ideas and tips to help sales leaders drive over plan performance. Click here to sign up.

ABOUT FUSION LEARNING INC.
Fusion Learning Inc. helps sales leaders and salespeople perform better. We are passionate and dedicated to creating meaningful results for you and your company by designing and delivering simple and practical sales training solutions that unlock individual performance and increase sustainable sales results. Coupled with a deep appreciation of your personal and business objectives, we offer practical, customized sales training programs to drive the right kind of sales behaviors to realize measurable increases in sales productivity, meeting activity, sales win rates, and client experience ratings. Examples of Fusion Learning Inc. program offerings that set us apart include FUSION Selling, an advanced sales program that equips salespeople with a process to collaboratively generate insight on their own. Our client list includes industry leaders such as American Airlines Cargo, American Express, BlackRock, BMO, Chobani, Direct Energy, EMC, General Electric, HSBC, Molson Coors, New York Life Insurance, Nucor, Pfizer, PwC, SAS, Scotiabank, Telus and many others.

ABOUT SELLING POWER
In addition to Selling Power magazine, the leading periodical for sales managers and sales VPs since 1981, Selling Power Inc. produces the Sales Management Digest and Daily Boost of Positivity online newsletters, as well as a five-minute video series featuring interviews with top executives. Selling Power is a regular media sponsor of the Sales 2.0 Conference.