Is your sales team caught up in a seemingly never-ending cycle of meetings? Most teams meet more often than is really necessary. When your employees are bogged down with too many meetings, it can leave everyone feeling scattered and overwhelmed.

Leadership development experts Karen Hurt and David Dye hear it all too often from executives and leaders: “We know we have too many meetings, but we don’t know how to fix it.”

According to Dye and Hurt, the first step is to evaluate who your meetings are for and why you hold them. Is a meeting truly the most productive way your sales reps could spend their time, or is the meeting a chance to show everyone who’s boss? Are you holding the meeting because you want to help your sales reps succeed or because scheduling a Zoom call is easier for you than using other channels? By contemplating your reasons for meeting, you will often discover that you are using meetings for the wrong reasons.

If you want to reduce the time spent in meetings, read on. In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we share practical tips from Dye and Hurt on how to meet less.

Make the most of every meeting. When you get your team together, use this valuable time to share ideas and then provide information that sales reps need to work asynchronously. Hurt and Dye recommend taking a few minutes at the end of every meeting to ensure everyone knows who is doing what and by when.

Get input. According to Dye and Hurt, you can often get the best ideas by simply asking for them. Send an email or Slack your team asking them how you can meet less. The goal is to avoid having a meeting to discuss meeting less.

Think and then meet. When there’s a topic that warrants a meeting, give your sales reps time to think on the topic and then meet. This helps introverts and cuts down on the number of meetings, say Hurt and Dye.

Declare meeting-free times. Another way to scale back on your meetings is to establish certain days or times that are off limits for meetings. This allows your sales reps deep-think time and helps everyone prioritize their time together when the meeting rolls around.

Use asynchronous tools. Those chat and project management tools you use? They can help your team members connect quickly, eliminating the need for some meetings. Before sending a Zoom link, consider if you need to set up a formal meeting or if you can Slack a sales rep or check a status in Trello or Basecamp.

Appoint a meeting attendee. If too many of your sales reps are being pulled into organizational meetings, try appointing one employee to attend on behalf of your team. This can help you get more time back in your day while also helping your team member increase their influence.

No one likes to spend their day logging on to meeting after meeting. If you are guilty of overscheduling your sales team with meetings, think about how you can make better use of everyone’s time. Oftentimes, the most productive meeting is the one that never happens.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers

Source: Karen Hurt and David Dye are leadership development experts and founders of Let’s Grow Leaders.