Sales Team Meeting Troubleshooter – Problem: Data Dump

Updated: October 24, 2010

  • To begin, I happen to believe that, if done appropriately and in the best interest of sales and the customers, it is OK to push back on some of these requests. At the very least, ask that they be reprioritized and spread out. It's worth a shot… I did have a VP of Sales who set up barriers around the sales teams Tues-Fri to protect selling time. Great move!
  • The reality is that companies feel that it is necessary to dump this data and aside from respectful push-backs and reprioritization, ultimately, it's going to have to be…dumped. So, as a team, acknowledge that this information needs to be shared and, hopefully, in many cases it is actually helpful. Then, figure out a better way to share it so you can reserve Monday mornings for sales-generating sales and customer topics.
    • Some ideas:
      • If you have an intranet, carve out a team page and post any information that can simply be posted. As a team, set a standard for reading updates once per week or whatever makes sense. Last time I checked, we are all adults and can be trusted to keep ourselves updated. Expect that.
      • Since Monday mornings are the worst time to dump, set aside one hour (outside of selling time) to Data Dump. Call it what it is and dump away. Everyone can come prepared for an administrative meeting.
      • Share information on a recorded webinar. Send your team a note when there is a new webinar so they can access it when it is more convenient for them. They can call you with any questions.
      • Create a team newsletter. Once per week or less frequently, update the newsletter with necessary data dumps. Again, set a team standard that this needs to be read regularly.
      • Send this information in e-mails with clear subject lines. I've seen coding systems used, too. "A" meant read/take action within 24 hours (everyone hates fire drills); "B" meant "read/take action within the next week"; "C" meant "FYI/good info to save". With a good system, the team members can prioritize and manage their time around all the information coming at them.
        • The inbox can be the most overwhelming place! Teach everyone to use Outlook most efficiently. E-mails can be coded and filed as they come in. They can set aside informational e-mails to read outside of selling time. Color code emails from important people (customers!). The best thing I did was differentiate between e-mails sent to just me and those sent to a distribution list that just included me with a code in Outlook. Guess which one got filed in "read later"?
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