In today’s current digital-first workplace, you’re likely to work with someone who isn’t always in the office. Especially now as companies work to ensure the safety of the employees due to uncertain times through work from home policies. As a result, in-person meetings with fellow sales and marketing team members are now shifted online.
For some, virtual meetings may just be a normal part of their profession. And for others, business isn’t as usual. This is a new head-scratching moment to figure out how they can engage their team members without face-to-face meetings.
As the saying goes, the show must go on. Virtual meetings can be an effective way to interact and communicate with team members and customers. A Gigaom Research report stated that 87% of remote users see video conferencing as a benefit that helps them feel more connected to the meeting process and their team.
Here are a few ideas on how to keep up the energy during your sales and marketing meeting to get your teams – even if it’s online.
Having more frequent check-ins or stand-ups can be one way to make your meetings more effective. Instead of long unwieldy meetings, consider brief, regular and frequent meetings to keep teams communicating consistently.
If you touch base with your team members or other department leads for a shorter amount of time, but more frequently, you are more likely to stay on topic when you do chat. Ensure every team member has an opportunity to speak and that they are heard.
One way to make frequent meetings a habit is to end each of your meetings by setting the following meeting date or making sure you have a consistently recurring meeting date.
Prepare (and Distribute) Your Agenda
Creating an agenda should be the bare minimum of your meeting preparations. Ensure that you’re allowing enough time for effective discussion, reviewing or answering questions and that you’re not going too long or too far off-topic with the agenda.
If you want to go above and beyond with your organization skills, you can include extra agenda notes to the calendar invitation, such as who is covering each topic and approximately how long each discussion will take. This can help you stay on schedule and keep everyone accountable.
Another step to consider is the timing and distribution of your agenda.
Do you finalize the agenda right before the meeting is about to start or do you send it to your employees ahead of time?
When employees have the chance to scan talking points before the meeting begins, they have time to think of any relevant questions, to explore relevant resources and the space to brainstorm ideas individually before coming into a group setting.
Start By Celebrating Successes
When you’re working in-person, there are a number of opportunities to engage team members and celebrate successes in the office. From ringing the sales gong to booking meetings – there’s a certain energy that an office provides.
Working remoting doesn’t necessarily present the same opportunities, that’s why it is even more important to celebrate successes during virtual meetings as part of the agenda.
Spend the first few minutes of the meeting celebrating your team:
- What was accomplished since the last meeting?
- Who was overperforming with their goals this week?
- What marketing endeavors yielded an uptick in leads generated or other KPIs?
Letting your team brag about their wins raises the spirits of everyone in a virtual before you get started.
When employees are recognized for their creativity, sales accomplishments or new discoveries, they will feel motivated to keep pushing towards the company’s goals.
Overcome Sales Roadblocks and Objections
One of the largest disconnects can happen between sales and marketing teams, but it doesn’t have to be that way. This is increasingly a challenge without face-time to discuss business issues or to tackle roadblocks. When sales and marketing teams can effectively work together, they can better identify friction points along the customer journey.
Open discussions about roadblocks, objections and other issues between the two teams can clear any communication issues, improve brand consistency and send better-qualified leads to the sales team.
Align on Metrics with Marketing and Sales Together
This is a vital step if you’re setting up virtual meetings between your sales and marketing teams.
Keep both teams informed about one another’s KPIs is incredibly important to see where the other team is coming from. Give a representative from each team a chance to present their metrics, their strategies, and how they are planning to proceed with their strategies.
There might be a miscommunication between the two teams about how each determines which goals and strategies are worth pursuing. Ultimately, decisions come down to the metrics.
Marketing teams especially will need to know how to prove their ROI to get buy-in on future social media and digital campaigns.
Open the meeting to ideas on how the two teams can align their metrics and come together on goals and strategies.
Don’t Forget The Post-Meeting Follow-up
You can prepare all you want and run a flawless online meeting, but there’s no guarantee your teams are going to remember every detail when they leave the room.
It is helpful to keep consistent notes during the meeting and then sending out an organized recap after the meeting finishes.
These meeting notes can remind everyone of their goals, update anyone that may have missed the meeting, and help you plan the agenda for the next meeting.
Notes can be stored in a shared Google Doc, preferred project management, productivity or communication tool — Trello, Monday, Slack, etc.
For example, if you spoke with your marketing team about the next pieces of content you are creating together, drop relevant notes from the meeting in a Trello card right away so the details don’t get lost and you don’t have to repeat the same information multiple times.
Quick Tips for Effective Virtual Meetings
All of these ideas are great habits for creating better meetings for sales and marketing. But there are a few little things you can include in every meeting to make sure that you’re using time effectively and keeping your teams happy. Check out these quick tips for better, more effective meetings:
- Turn on the Webcam – virtual meetings should still feel like it’s a human-to-human experience. Use video conferencing instead of traditional dial-ins and turn on your webcam. It can be awkward speaking to a computer screen. Without body language, facial expressions, understanding your team members can be difficult. Using platforms such as Skype, Zoom or WebEx can add a human touch to your meeting.
- Watch the Clock – Respect your time and the time of your team members. Keeping a clean agenda, managing time spent during the meeting, and ensuring each part of the meeting doesn’t run too far over time will keep things running smoothly. If it looks like things are about to boil over, start looking at what can be moved. If you’re scheduling a meeting longer than an hour, plan for a break in the middle to score some extra points with attendees.
- Prepare For Action – Spend a few moments at the end of your meetings discussing how you can take action on what was discussed. You’ve spent your time discussing the “what” and “why,” but really focus some time on the how. This can help motivate your team as they get ready to get started!