Marketing How To: How to Conduct Productive Brainstorming Sessions with Your Sales Team
Businesses all over the world run on great ideas. Businessdictionary.com defines brainstorming as a “process of generating creative ideas and solutions through intensive freewheeling group discussion”. Each and every participant is encouraged to come up with as many ideas as possible.
In addition to generating great ideas, brainstorming sessions bring people together into the creative process, promote a sense of ownership, create a sense of belonging, promote team spirit and identify people with great ideas.
No idea is a bad idea in a brainstorming session. No one is allowed to analyze or criticize the ideas during the session. The purpose is to generate as many ideas as possible by making the most of the creative potential of all the participants.
Sales persons regularly interact with customers and prospective customers. Brainstorming session with the sales team usually generates great ideas to improve the business. The challenge is to make the most of these sessions.
Here are some tips on how to conduct brainstorming sessions with your sales team.
Marketing how to experts recommend that you choose a location away from the office. Successful organizations usually choose a resort. The location should be conductive to creative expression. The participants should be allowed to dress in casual wear.
Ideally an entire day should be dedicated for the session. It is important to be prepared with tools like a computer, soft board, white board, projector, bold marker pens, sheets of paper, etc.
The number of participants should not be more than ten. Marketing how to experts suggest that one person should act as a coordinator. The coordinator may begin the session with a brief welcome address.
The rules have to be communicated clearly. It is a good idea to have a copy of the ground rules displayed on a softboard. The coordinator should communicate the objective of the session with a focus statement, which should not be more than one sentence.
The focus statement should be specific and easy to understand. “What offers will encourage college students to buy our product?”, is a good example of a focus statement. It is important to avoid generic statements.
The coordinator should encourage participation from all the team members by conveying that they are perceived as valuable assets of the team. They should be encouraged to open up by saying that their ideas can make a difference to the company.
The coordinator should avoid giving lectures during the session. The participants should be encouraged to speak. The coordinator should take care not to inhibit the flow of ideas. He/she she should intervene only when there are negative comments, criticism or too much of time consuming analysis. Mobile phones should not be allowed inside the room.
The coordinator should evaluate the ideas towards the end of the session. Voting will help in selecting good ideas and eliminating bad ones. The entire team should then focus on improving the good ideas.
Marketing how to experts emphasize on the importance of documenting the entire procedure. The session may be concluded by the coordinator by briefing the team as to what was achieved as a result of the exercise. This is when “who” would do “what” by “when” would be clear to the entire team.
By implementing the above mentioned tips while conducting brainstorming sessions with your sales team, you are sure to generate great ideas.
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