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How to Behave in Sales Meetings

Many sales teams we deal with are not gaining insights and metrics from their sales meetings and conversations - with serious consequences.

If sales teams aren't tracking what's going on in sales meetings, they can't improve their conversations. Meetings are where deals are won or lost. Whether it's a discovery, demo, or closing meeting, it's important to do the right things to be successful.

Meetings are where deals are won or lost.

Most sales deals are lost because of poor sales calls. When you lose a deal, you need to take a hard look at the sales calls and figure out what went wrong.

Here are 6 important metrics to track in your sales calls:

  1. Ratio of talking to listening

  2. Number of questions asked

  3. Patience time with your employees' answers

  4. Speed of conversation

  5. Longest monologue

  6. Longest customer monologue

Analysis of Sales Meetings for learning purposes


Speak-to-listen Ratio

The speak-to-listen ratio is the time a sales rep talks vs. the time listening. The ideal speak-to-listen ratio in sales conversations can vary depending on the context and the specific goals of the conversation. However, as a general guideline, we recommend a ratio of roughly 40% speaking and 60% listening. This means that the salesperson should spend more time actively listening to the prospect rather than dominating the conversation with their own talking points.

A ratio of 40% speaking and 60% listening is recommended due to various reasons:

  1. Understanding needs: By listening, the sales representative can better understand the customer's needs, challenges, and goals. This information is critical to tailoring a presentation and offering a solution that meets the customer's specific needs.

  2. Build rapport: Active listening helps build rapport and trust with the potential customer. When people feel they are heard and understood, they are more likely to open up and engage in a meaningful conversation.

  3. Ask effective questions: By listening carefully, a sales rep can ask relevant and probing questions that unearth valuable insights. These questions can lead to a deeper understanding of the prospect's problems and motivations.

  4. Customized solutions: A sales rep who listens more than he talks can tailor his proposal and presentation to the customer's needs. This increases the likelihood that he will offer a solution that resonates with the prospect.

  5. Overcoming objections: When objections or concerns arise, the salesperson can effectively address them through active listening. By understanding the essence of the objection, he or she can provide targeted responses that allay the customer's concerns.

  6. Demonstrate respect: A balance of speaking and listening demonstrates respect for the customer's opinions and preferences. It shows that the salesperson values the customer's input and is genuinely interested in helping them.

Number of questions asked

The number of questions asked during a sales meeting gives you a good indicator of how serious the sales conversation went. But it's not always that more questions mean more success. The best salespeople ask between 10 to 14 high-quality discovery questions. If your sales team sells to executives, you need to cut down the amount of questions to around 4 to a maximum of 8. Execs just have less time and want to get to the point quicker.

And always use open ended questions as these encourage the prospect to talk more. This provides you again more information and the more information you have at the end of the meeting, the better.

If your reps ask significantly lower questions than 10 or significantly higher questions than 14 you should check in deeper with them.

Here are some great discovery questions you can ask:

What is your biggest challenge right now in XXX?

Figure out what’s the main motivator to change something. Change is always hard. So you need to understand why change is necessary.

What are the three qualities a service/platform/solution to YYYY must-have for you?

Additional questions depending on the answer the customer gives could be:

- What did you catch while reaching out to us?

- What is important for you in terms of your XXX goals?

- How do you manage XXX today?

- How are you doing XXX today?

- ...

Patience time in your reps answers

The more patient and calm your reps are, the higher the chances of closing the deal. Sales reps need to take time to answer questions. Research shows that 0.6 to 1 second is the ideal waiting time before answering questions or starting to speak again.

Patient reps come across as more confident and more confident reps close more deals.

Talking speed

How fast are your sales reps talking? The ideal talking speed is between 100 and 120 words per minute. Everything lower than that comes as too slow, everything faster than 120 wpm comes as too fast.

Pro-hints to talk slower:

  • Remove filler words

  • Take a breath between sentences

  • Take some time before answering questions, e.g. around 1 second

Longest monologue

How long was the longest monologue of your sales rep? We recommend not talking longer than 180 seconds. Everything above 3 minutes can be boring for your potential customer.

Longest customer monologue

The longer the customer talks, the better. Uninterrupted speaking time with your customer means that they get into a talking flow, exactly what you want as a seller. We recommend that the longest customer monologue should be longer than 3 min.

Qualitative data and metrics

Furthermore, it's important to get some qualitative insights out of the meeting. Here are some examples of what you want to get out during a sales meeting:

  1. Budget qualification

  2. Authority qualification

  3. Needs qualification

  4. Timeline qualification

  5. Objections

If you consider these metrics, you can improve your closing rate by 20% and more.

If you want to measure how you are doing in sales meetings upload your sales meetings free of charge via


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