Have you ever found yourself in a scenario where you thought: "I know this task is important, but I'm not quite sure if I'm the one with the authority to handle it? Besides, someone will surely take charge of the situation. I'm just going to sit on the sidelines and see what happens." What was the outcome? If you're like many of us, odds are the task didn't get done at all.
What's the Point?
Simply this: when everyone thinks someone else has ownership of a task, no one takes the initiative - and nothing gets done. And this is where the importance of meeting recaps come into the picture.
When we use the term "meeting recaps," what are we talking about? Well, if you're running an effective meeting, then you're not just dispensing information with no actions attached to it. Instead, there are going to be next steps, owners of tasks, and timelines that must be met.
So a meeting recap is more than a brief summary of the meeting. It should provide clarity on what tasks need to be done, who's going to handle those tasks, and when they need to be finished.
Keep Your Recap Simple
Draw attention to it with a strong subject line, even one that includes the phrase "meeting recap" in it. Don't clutter action items with a lot of unnecessary detail. Bullet point everyone's responsibilities. Use messaging like: "Here's what we agreed on; I/we will follow up in [x] days; if you have any questions, reach out to [x]," and so forth.
What Does a Recap Accomplish?
First of all, a recap ensures that everyone is on the same page. When the client is aligned with your sales team, and everyone is in agreement about next steps, it can take a lot of tension and uncertainty out of the relationship.
In addition, sending a meeting recap demonstrates your commitment to moving the project forward. Think of yourself as a guide. You not only point the client to their preferred destination, but you also help them navigate the path to get there. You're showing that you care, you're organized, you take pride in your work, and you believe in accountability - both for others, and for yourself.
More than anything else, an action-oriented recap shows that you're a professional. And professionals want to work with other professionals. It's that simple.
If you're a sales manager, how can you train your team to send out effective recaps? Consider this option: Conduct a team exercise in which each salesperson submits a sample recap email (perhaps one based on a recent meeting). Review the recaps at your next sales meeting. Let everyone discuss what they liked about each recap, what they would change, and whether it accomplished its purpose. You can use this as an alignment exercise for your team, as well as a valuable training opportunity.
If you know how to compose and distribute meeting recaps, you'll impress your clients, add value to your relationships, and keep everyone involved with a project in alignment. Not bad, right?
If you'd like more insights on how you can improve your sales leadership, contact us. Or sign up for our newsletter for more valuable resources.
The sales industry often revolves around meeting metrics, making quotas, boosting the bottom line, and finding the latest top sales tip. It's a "production mindset" that has been ingrained within many salespeople for years and years. So it only makes sense that when an organization's sales process isn't working properly, management's instinctive reaction is, more often than not, to look for a quick fix — e.g., the proverbial "miracle cure."
If only it were that simple.
The Myth of the Miracle Cure
The reality is, very rarely can all of a company's growth-related problems be traced back to a single cause. Businesses have many moving parts. They are made up of many individual actors. Because of that complexity, the notion that "all of our problems can be fixed if we address this one issue" is typically exposed as faulty reasoning (sooner or later).
Let's talk about a common scenario. Many organizations blame their sales problems on a lack of quality leads. That seems reasonable, right? If there aren't enough good leads coming in, then how can you expect to grow a business? As a result, these companies may try out new CRM systems, add extra incentives for reps that make their quotas, or look for that magic sales tip from an outside consultant.
All of those actions are good. They will likely provide some benefits. But... what if the problem isn't really the number of leads?
Why It Doesn't Work
Imagine that Company X does what it takes to bring in more leads for their sales reps. To them, that's the "miracle cure" that will solve of all their problems. However, after several months their revenues haven't really increased. Why isn't the quick fix working?
It could be any number of reasons. For instance:
What's the point of all this? Simply put, don't look for a quick fix. It's better to take a step back and probe for deep-seated issues that need to be addressed in order to move forward.
Oversimplification = Underperformance
It can be tempting to boil down all of a business' sales issues to one cause. After all, popular culture teaches us that if people can just fix that one, fatal flaw (Achilles' heel, Darth Vader's anger, Hamlet's indecision), then everything will be smooth sailing. The truth, of course, is usually far more complicated.
The myth of the miracle cure has its roots in oversimplification. But let's not kid ourselves: It takes a lot more time and effort to address underlying performance issues than throwing money at a "quick fix" solution and hoping that things work out.
Here's the key takeaway. Don't oversimplify your sales problems.
Be willing to put in the work of analysis and research. Take time to figure out all the factors that could be contributing to your team's underperformance. Don't be quick to point the finger at any one thing, person, or department. Seek an outside perspective, if you need it.
If you avoid the trap of the "miracle cure," then you'll be in a much better position to identify and address performance issues — and your business will benefit as a result.
Get Actionable Sales Tips
If you'd like more insights and sales tips on how to improve sales performance for your SMB, be sure to sign up for our newsletter, contact us directly, or explore our website for valuable resources and webinars.