How to brief your sales team. Before you make an exhibition of yourself.

Posted by Michael Madden
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The only thing worse than having no sales team, is having a poorly briefed one, because they won’t make you any money, but they will cost you.

So how do you build a sales team that is high impact?

The answer is properly briefing your sales person (or team) to ensure they are well equipped to have conversations with your prospects, articulate the value of your event, and close the sale.

A well-briefed sales team is the key to an effective exhibition.

Download the brief to build guide to exhibitions here.

Here are some tips to help you brief your sales team and generate more leads.

  1.  Be prepared

    By the time you are ready to brief your sales team you’ve probably spent months building your booth, checking out the exhibitors and bulk ordering branded pens.

    You know the plan like the back of your hand, so you think you can just brief your team on the spot, but you’re wrong. Your brief needs as much thought as your event plan.

    Don’t assume that your sales team has as much knowledge as you do. They most likely won’t. When putting together your briefing session go back to the start and run through your plan in an ordered way. This will make sure you don’t forget anything; and your sales team can digest things in a logical way.

  2. Schedule a meeting

    ANOTHER meeting? Yes that’s right.

    Don’t be tempted to brief the team at their desks or via email. They’ll more than likely have an eye on their computer screen and an inbox full of emails to filter through.

    You need your team to activate ‘listening mode’ and absorb all of the important details. A 60 minute meeting, away from their desk, will be much more effective and get them in the right frame of mind.

  3. Bitesize is best

    OK. You’ve now run through your sales brief and you’ll ask the question “does everyone understand?” In return everyone will then nod his or her head.

    You’ll feel great because you have done your job and everyone is now fully briefed.

    The truth is, by this point everyone will be keen to a) grab a coffee; or b) not look silly by admitting there was something they didn’t quite understand the part about the ‘interactive customer survey’.

    A better approach is to take time running through each part of the meeting, and then ask open-ended questions before moving on. By doing this you can test whether the information has been absorbed, and importantly, key messages can be communicated effectively.

  4. Provide the right tools for the job

    How do your sales team normally sell your products and services?

    They may be used to securing deals over the phone or by email, and face-to-face selling may not be their strongest skill. If this is the case it may be useful to provide some quick training on face-to-face selling. It really could be as simple as a reminder to not stand with your arms folded or to smile.

    Ensure they have the seen the marketing material, data capture forms and know how to work the technology before the exhibition. The team need to feel confident generating leads and securing deals using the tools they have been given.

  5. Don’t skip the debrief

    After the show, gather the sales team and ask for their feedback. Their insight will be invaluable to get things even better the next time.

    Some of their feedback may not be what you want to hear but don’t take it personally. They were there and saw first hand how things were received and will know better than you what worked and what didn’t.

    By taking time to listen to all of the feedback you are proving you understand the value of the sales team. If they are a part of your sales team at the next exhibition, and you have implemented some of their feedback, your team will feel more engaged than ever before.

    So remember, don’t take any shortcuts when briefing your sales team. If you take a structured approach, ask open-ended questions and provide your team with the right tools you are sure to make a huge difference.