An Effective Meeting is the Lifeblood of RevOps.
RevOps and Meetings
Despite the increased use of Slack and other communication channels, meetings will never be usurped as the primary way to communicate complex issues in business.
Meetings make an impression. They are either done well or bad. Most people run them poorly and they get a bad wrap. When meetings are run well, we feel aligned, empowered, and energized.
Non-Sales Meeting Types
There are several types of meetings outside of standard sales meetings that have different purposes and require different inputs and actions.
Ad hoc - Decision Meeting: Used to make a specific decision
Frequency: As needed
Output: Decision or plan to have criteria for decision
Ad hoc - Discovery Meeting:
Frequency: As needed
Input: Template with a guided set of questions
Output: Information necessary to create a deliverable (project plan, document, etc.)
Recurring - Update Meeting: Give updates on current projects
Frequency: Usually recurring on a set basis
Input: Project Plan
Output: Capture Additional Task + Firm understanding of next steps.
Non-Sales Meeting Parts
A meeting is a living, breathing animal that has four parts:
Start of Meeting
Start: When Host + 1 other person joins
Ends: When all participants join
Starts: When all participants join
Ends: When participants agree on a common objective
Starts: After common objectives are identified
Ends: When Recap of Discussion / Next Steps is complete
End of Meeting
Starts: When Recap of Discussion is complete
End: When “Around the Horn” is complete
There are specific actions that, regardless of the meeting type, help make a good meeting. For clarity, we’ll break these actions into best practices for structuring your Sales and Operations planning meeting agenda.
Thirty Minute Rule (Applies to everything but discovery): If a meeting is longer than thirty minutes, one of two things went wrong:
- Scope : The Scope is too large for the meeting and the decision and task should be broken into smaller parts.
- Preparation: We didn’t properly prepare for the meeting. Preparation is key to successful meetings.
The key here is to BE ACTIVE. Take control. Command the meeting. Never wait.
Acknowledge: Acknowledge everyone who joins the meeting.
Be the Referee: Actively say - “We are waiting 2 more minutes to get started.” Never wait without a purpose.
Roll Call - Full House: Actively say, “I believe we have everyone here on the call, are we waiting on anyone else? If not, let’s get started.”
Roll Call - Missing People: If you know people are missing, actively acknowledge they are missing. Say, “We’ll wait 2 more minutes for XXXX, if they aren’t here, we’ll get started.”
Take Command: The Partner should NEVER start the meeting for you. It is bad if a partner says, “Should we get started?”
State the End State (what success looks like): The point of the meeting is to end the meeting. Prior to starting the meeting, state the end state, “Today, a successful outcome looks like this to me - X, Y, Z (Any objectives).”
Audible: If an audible is needed, annotate the additional end states and ensure they are accomplished.
Share Screen: The owner of the meeting always shares their screen and takes notes.
Take Notes: It’s worth repeating. Whoever takes notes owns the meeting.
Recap Your Understanding: Things get complicated. Use your notes and recap the meeting for 10-15 minutes. This ensures everyone is on the same page.
Interrupt People: This is hard for some. If someone is over-explaining or off-topic, it is the meeting owner’s JOB to interrupt.
If Over-explaining: Say, “Understood. So what I am here you say is: X, Y, Z. Is that correct?” Then move on.
If Off-Topic: Say, “Those are really good points. I captured them in the notes. What about, X, Y, Z - [Insert name]”. Move the conversation forward.
Ask People to Repeat: Sometimes people ooze gold. When they do that. Say, “Slow down, pretty please. I want to make sure I get that in the notes.”
Prepare Prior: Poor preparation is preparing to fail. If you are leading the meeting at a minimum:
- Key Topics
- Known Decision
- Recommended Next Steps
Drive Decisions/Forward Progress: As the meeting progresses, you are capturing decisions and next steps. You ask:
- Who: Who is doing the task?
- When: When will they finish the task?
Eliminate Shoulds: “Shoulds” are decisions in disguise. They should be addressed head-on. If you hear a “should.” Your brain should say, “ding, ding, ding. There is a decision here.” Don’t let people SH***T (I mean should) on your meeting. Capture it and move on.
10 Minute Rule: When you are 10 minutes from the meeting ending, you start calling time. “Team, we have 10 minutes left. Let me do a quick recap to make sure we have the next steps annotated.”
5 Minutes Prior: At five minutes, you should have all next steps (Who - the owner, What - the task, When - the date when they will finish. Should look like:
- 8/12: Will create draft training (Matt)
- 8/14: Will schedule review of draft training (Ron)
- 8/17: Will hold training (Matt)
Around the Horn: Always end with an “Around the Horn.” That is - asking everyone on the call if they have any questions or concerns about the next steps prior to ending. This ensures:
- Opportunity: Everyone has an opportunity to voice concerns or additional questions that need to be answered.
- Alignment: Everyone on-call agrees to the next steps identified during the meeting.
Recap: “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?" The RP opinion is no, it did not make a sound. Same with a meeting, the meeting didn’t happen unless a recap was sent as evidence of it occurring. Send those recaps!!
- Pro Tip 1: Use the notes you took during the meeting as your recap 🤯🤯🤯
Make Meetings Your Superpower
Meetings are a RevPartners specialty. We run meetings better than others and that gives us superpowers. Using the above rules, you too can fly.