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STOP internal meetings! Asked by VP why I hate it?

I was complaining about internal meetings to my VP: stand-ups, constant questions about deals by my manager and director, pipeline review & forecasting, 1:1s...


He asked if there is anything else that bothers me about meetings/calls, except for spending time not selling. I thought about a few but wanted to hear others before I go back to him.

Why internal meetings SUCK?
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16
1nbatopshotfan
Politicker
+5
Senior Director, Enterprise Technology
Discussing the same items over and over or having the meeting hijacked by 1 or 2 people who want to make a team meeting about themselves. 
funcoupons
WR Officer
+11
up in Fiji, under paddy
Ugh the meeting hijackers...you just want to slap 'em. I especially dislike when they use it to talk about some off topic thing nobody gives a fuck about. One person on my team always brings up sports drafts...so annoying.
Ga
GambitP
Good Citizen
+3
Doing everything sales
Hate it when ppl do it! Good lord you have your 1:1
1nbatopshotfan
Politicker
+5
Senior Director, Enterprise Technology
Agreed. Or they bring up a tiny issue that only affects them and is unlikely to ever happen again.  Brutal. 
poweredbycaffeine
WR Officer
+9
Bean Juice Drinker | Sales Savant
For the first time in my career, I work for a company that values efficiency in internal meetings. We schedule a 25 minute or 50 minutes session, spend little to no time on small talk, and have clear goals. If we hit those goals we end the call.

You simply have to run internal meetings like you would a prospect meeting. Don't waste their or your time, set a clear agenda, and cut the call when it makes sense.
funcoupons
WR Officer
+11
up in Fiji, under paddy
Same here. 
Ga
GambitP
Good Citizen
+3
Doing everything sales
Who is in charge of the agenda? Don't you think you can switch up some of the convo to Slack or CRM comments?
poweredbycaffeine
WR Officer
+9
Bean Juice Drinker | Sales Savant
CEO is in charge of the agenda, and since we are distributed amongst 3 timezones it makes far more sense to have us all on a scheduled meeting.
Chep
WR Officer
+10
Business Development Team Lead
Micro managing kills me
Bittersweet0326
Politicker
+5
Digital Business Associate
Value. Point blank. If you are taking your time away from your day to day (quotas/etc) then it has to be valuable. If there is no value in one way or another I'm not super interested.
Rallier
Politicker
+9
Account Executive
Unstructured meetings are even worse. The questions should be "what do we want to take away from this meeting?" If you can't answer that, cancel it
Ga
GambitP
Good Citizen
+3
Doing everything sales
Aman! My 1:1s are always unstructured - how are you doing, do you need help with anything... such a waste of time, I rather just bring up any obstacles in real time   
Wanna.Be.Rick.Spielman
Opinionated
+3
Account Executive
Not at my present job, but at previous companies I would get so angry sitting there watching my manager click around in our CRM while we all sit waiting.  Before bringing 10 people in the room, maybe look at the reports and have them run before we arrive? Also, do not mandate we keep the CRM up to date and constantly review the pipeline and then force me to talk about what I am forecasting in a separate meeting.  Like what was the point of updating the CRM then if I still had to verbally present my forecast?
Chep
WR Officer
+10
Business Development Team Lead
Sounds like your manager is purposely trying to waste time and have people spin their wheels geez
Broncosfan
Politicker
+5
Account Manager
I am tired of being asked to be on meetings that I cant provide value on and provide no value to me. Meetings need to be smaller groups. 
Ga
GambitP
Good Citizen
+3
Doing everything sales
I see no value in team meetings beside when talking about team strategy. Forecasting calls shouldn’t be with the entire team on line 🤯
CaneWolf
Politicker
+12
Call me what you want, just sign the damn contract
A lot of meetings have a bunch of people on them but only actually benefit one person. So all of those other people are at least distracted, if not completely focused on, something that provides no benefit.
Lambda
Politicker
+6
Sales Consultant
Internal meetings are usually a HUGE waste of time, give me the notes u want me to have and tell me to act on them
Ga
GambitP
Good Citizen
+3
Doing everything sales
Exactly! Why do we need so many calls when you can easily summarize it into 2 lines of text for each deal
YOTPO
Fire Starter
+1
Account Executive
So easy to get off track and waste even more time. 
SiliconBBQ
Politicker
+3
The Metal Rooster
and focus on singular deals that can be handled between 1 rep and the manager outside of a team call
YOTPO
Fire Starter
+1
Account Executive
Nothing better than spending precious time listening to other reps talk about their deals that have nothing to do with you. Lol
Ga
GambitP
Good Citizen
+3
Doing everything sales
Right! Like when I just want to check with my manager if he spoke with finance about a discount, and we end up talking about other deals or just our  dysfunctional marketing team
YOTPO
Fire Starter
+1
Account Executive
5 minutes can turn to 30 so quickly. 
Show 1 more replies
stratman
Politicker
+2
Sales Engineer
I could use a few more meetings - I don't have enough pre-customer call prep calls with the reps. 
Ga
GambitP
Good Citizen
+3
Doing everything sales
Interesting! Do you want prep calls because you don't get enough context about the customer or want to strategize on how to run it together?  
AutoSmiler
Arsonist
+7
SDR
The stupid questions that get asked at the end and hold the meeting up even longer than it has to be. biggest pet peeve. And if it is a good question I have no issues with it, but when it is something that was gone over twice during the meeting and you have to ask to waste my time, it urks me. 
Ga
GambitP
Good Citizen
+3
Doing everything sales
What's the most common stupid question you get? Mine is "are we on track with opp x" (I literally just asked for your help 5min ago!) 
AutoSmiler
Arsonist
+7
SDR
Nothing specific that I am referring too, it's just those instances that can end up dragging a meeting on longer than it had to be. Short story is if you can get the point across in a team email, let's forget about a formal meeting! 
Worf
Politicker
+5
SDR
I think if you have a meeting, you need to have an agenda. 

In the Army we always had an "After Action Review" done at the end of the day - it served as our agenda items.

"What went well?"
"What didn't go well?"
"What can we improve on?"

That was the agenda set after every training/exercise and it's how we grew. If your sales meetings aren't focused on actionable items, then it's just a shit show.

Instead of having constant meetings, why not reschedule them or cut down on the frequency to make it more concise?
Ga
GambitP
Good Citizen
+3
Doing everything sales
I was in the military and hated those AARs after long nights of training. 
No sure how you apply it to sales. Most meetings/calls I have are about deal updates, forecasting, and strategizing on how to close specific deals. Always forward looking.  
Worf
Politicker
+5
SDR
Fair enough, AAR's aren't loved by everyone, but I have seen the transition into the civilian world adapt easily -  with success in college leadership and professionally when running agenda-focused meetings.

The way I'd apply AAR to sales would be simpler than you think.

"What's working right now?" (In regards to conducting meetings, outreach, calls, closings, etc.?)

"What isn't working for you guys right now?" (Is the quota unrealistic, what's broken/bugged, what forecasts/metrics are you not comfortable with, etc.?)

"What can we improve on? (What resources do you need, what can management do to support you, and what product features can we add that people have requested, etc.?

Just frame the narrative around an agenda item and I'm sure it'll at least be more constructed and focused than what you're going through now.

Maybe I'm missing the mark on what exactly you think the meetings should be focused on, or what obstacles you may face. Hope this helps/contributes, regardless!
Show 1 more replies
SalesPharaoh
Politicker
+8
AM BDR
Well it's fine as long as there is a MoM that can manage the productivity and helping you with struggles and what not.
Ga
GambitP
Good Citizen
+3
Doing everything sales
MoM? 
SalesPharaoh
Politicker
+8
AM BDR
Meeting Minutes or Minutes of Meeting
JuicyKlay
Politicker
+9
AM
The only good internal meetings are the ones that only include the cool reps and no management. 
Ace
Arsonist
+9
CEO
And also too redundant
Westloopgal
Good Citizen
Account Manager
They go nowhere and are messing up my money! LOL 
goose
Politicker
+11
Sales Executive
Bro, this is a trap.  You can't win here.
Ga
GambitP
Good Citizen
+3
Doing everything sales
I'm trying to push my team to move 50% of the meetings into Google sheets & docs. Writing comments about deals and action items instead of endless calls  
goose
Politicker
+11
Sales Executive
I'm only one guy but I have yet to know of a VP sales that legit wants complaints given to him.  That is a no-win situation if I ever saw one.  

This is not a sales friendly culture.
Salespreuner
Big Shot
+11
Regional Sales Director
At times, similar convos being discussed over and again - hmm, pushes the mind set and spirit down!
Ga
GambitP
Good Citizen
+3
Doing everything sales
What kind of convos? Pipeline reviews? 
Salespreuner
Big Shot
+11
Regional Sales Director
Account level reviews with action points being same 
LordBusiness
Politicker
+7
Chief Revenue Officer
The REAL problem with internal meetings is that that most "running" them do a HORRIBLE job of actually running the meeting.  Executing on a well planned meeting is a skill, just like public speaking and a lot of selling skills -- but everyone with a damn outlook account can just plop something on your calendar.  Here are my "rules for meetings"

1) Before a meeting maker is sent, ask yourself is this a "SHBAE" (Should have been an email).  

2) If you get past 1,  does your meeting invite have a clear AGENDA 

3) If you get past 1 + 2, the person who put the meeting on the calendar OWNS the success or failure of it.  Including, tone/pace/next steps, etc. 

If this is happening regularly, document when someone (your manager) is missing on 1,2,3.....and then bring the specific examples to the VP.   Simply stating "its taking up too much of my selling time" is a bullshit copout, and most leaders can see through it. 
ChicagoCloser1717
Politicker
+7
Account Manager
so many meetings designed to just check box or make someone's job viable when their role isn't really needed
LordOfWar
Politicker
+7
Director
"Well, its not that I hate the boss paying us all to sit around and chit-chat, but the competition is out there closing business"
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