How to Make Your Medicare Advantage Sales Meetings More Productive

Ask any salesperson how they feel about the next Medicare Advantage sales meeting; they’re bound to say it’s akin to watching paint dry. Sales meetings aren’t likely to be productive with that kind of mentality going into the meeting. Nonetheless, Medicare Advantage sales meetings are necessary. With a little advance preparation, your salespeople will leave the meeting feeling informed and energized. 

The keys to productive sales meetings are using the time well, shaking things up by changing themes, and ensuring each salesperson takes value from the meeting. 


Why Do Salespeople Dread Sales Meetings?

Preparation: The Key to a Productive Medicare Advantage Sales Meeting

Themes: Focus on a Specific Area

Productive Sales Meetings: Keeping Them Interesting

Why Do Salespeople Dread Sales Meetings?

A notice of a sales meeting is bound to draw groans, yawns, and eye-rolls from your teams. Before digging into how to setting things up for productive sales meetings, let’s delve into the reasons no one likes them 

According to the Harvard Business Review, companies in the United States spend $37 billion on meetings. A bigger downside to that is that 71% of senior managers report that their meetings are not productive. 

Generally speaking, people in sales describe sales meetings as boring. The same person leads them. The agenda is always the same. The same people rehash the same things over and over again. The meetings seem to go on forever and nothing gets accomplished. 

Salespeople also complain (whether they voice it openly or not) that there’s always a hard push for numbers but they don’t get enough information or support. 

All these issues come together causing minds to wander during sales meetings. At the end of the hour, sales reps leave the conference room mentally drained and feeling like the meeting was a complete waste of time.

Preparation: The Key to a Productive Medicare Advantage Sales Meeting

To ensure productive sales meetings, the meeting facilitator and the attendees must be prepared and be fully present in their roles. Beyond that, focus your efforts on scheduling, the agenda, the goal of the meeting, and participation. 

Scheduling the Meeting

No one appreciates an impromptu sales meeting, especially when they have a “to-do” list a mile long or a sales appointment they’re eager to get to. Consistency is the key here. Schedule sales meetings on the same day of the week or month to give everyone adequate time for prepare for them.

Monday mornings are typically busy times for salespeople as they’re gearing things up for the week. A Tuesday or Wednesday morning might be better received by sales teams. The same goes for the beginning of the month. A sales meeting on the third or fourth week of the month might be a good time to make a push for those end-of-the-month sales. Whatever date you decide on, just keep it consistent. Sales reps will learn to work around scheduled meetings. 

Do you expect people to attend in person? Is a hybrid meeting acceptable? Do you expect everyone to attend remotely?

If you’re planning a remote or hybrid meeting, be sure everything is set up in advance. Here are some tasks to address:

  • Send out links to the virtual meeting
  • Send out an agenda
  • Use screen-sharing software
  • Send out reports needed for the meeting
  • Provide instructions for the meeting (muting, minimizing distractions, silencing phones, etc.)

Planning the Agenda

Every meeting should have an agenda. Write it down and make sure everyone has a copy of it. You might also consider asking the attendees for input on the agenda. 

Your agenda should list the day, time, and location of the meeting. It should also list the items you plan to discuss. 

If the goal of the meeting is to review sales progress, make sure you have the most updated numbers for everyone to see. Also, sales projections may help inspire everyone to work toward getting more appointments. 

Always start and stop your meetings on time. If you’re always waiting for one or two people to arrive, your meetings will start later and later. That’s frustrating and wastes everyone’s time. 

Establishing a Goal for the Meeting

What are you trying to accomplish by having a sales meeting? Each meeting should have one specific goal. Sales meetings can be about increasing sales numbers and they often are. 

Meetings can also focus on other topics that can help your salespeople work more efficiently and productively. We’ll discuss this more in-depth in the next section. 

Ensuring Participation

Sales managers often lead sales meetings, yet other people can be equally as effective at facilitating. One of the leading salespeople may want a chance to lead the group. As an added benefit, salespeople are often inspired by successful peers. 

One way to ensure everyone gets involved in a sales meeting is to ask everyone to bring at least one selling tip they can share with the group. 

The meeting leader or facilitator keeps the agenda on track and the meeting moving. A good facilitator will make sure to hit all points on the agenda and encourage everyone to participate. 

Lastly, be sure to end the meeting on an “up note”. Here are some ideas to end things positively:

  • Summarize the key points
  • Thank everyone for their contributions
  • Ask each person to share a goal for the week
  • Ask for feedback from everyone
  • Share an inspiring story, quote, or positive message 

Themes: Focus on a Specific Area

While sales numbers are of top importance, by having sales meetings with other themes you can help to inspire and motivate your sales representatives. 

Themed sales meetings can help to bring cohesion between team members and foster understanding. These types of meetings often lay the groundwork for ongoing discussions as salespeople work toward perfecting their craft. 

Overall, a well-planned theme and goal will help salespeople develop sales skills, communication skills, and cold-calling techniques. A sales meeting is also an opportunity for salespeople to learn more about the products they’re selling and how to develop a target audience for them. 

If you’re at a loss as to the types of themes that will make for a standout Medicare Advantage sales meeting, we’ve got some great ideas on how to help build your teams and their sales. 

Sales Meeting

Salespeople expect to have to attend sales meetings yet not everyone knows what to expect, especially newer salespeople. If you haven’t already done so during orientation, explain how your company runs sales meetings and why their attendance is so important.

By establishing the context of sales meetings, newer salespeople will be better prepared to actively participate. 

Encourage salespeople to work hard before the meeting so they have good numbers to report. Also, encourage them to uplift and motivate one another.

The closing of a sales meeting is a good opportunity to give praise to deserving sales reps and celebrate their successes.  

AEP or OEP Sales Kickoff Meeting

The months before the enrollment periods are the best time to put some big plans in place for a sales kickoff meeting. A slogan for the year will help keep salespeople motivated right up to the end of the season. 

Alternatively, you could schedule sales kickoff meeting at the beginning of the new year. 

Feeling uninspired? Here are some motivational slogans to try:

  • Achieve More in ‘24
  • Reach for the Sky in ‘25
  • Think Big, Achieve Big
  • Sales on Fire
  • Raising the Bar in ’24 (or’25)
  • Do More and Score
  • Contact, Sell, Close
  • Medicare Advantage: The Customer Vantage
  • Sales Advantage with Medicare Advantage

However you decide to do it, a sales kickoff meeting sets the stage for a successful selling season.

Lead Generation Training

Leads can be hard to come by, especially at the beginning of a salesperson’s career. Newer salespeople won’t have a customer base that provides them with referrals. Even the best salespeople can continually learn more about inbound and outbound lead generation

The following topics make for lead generation sales meetings:

  • Cold calling (including permissive-based selling)
  • Cold emailing and setting up an email string
  • Blogging
  • Networking
  • Social media
  • Lead generation tools
  • Becoming a trusted source of information
  • Persistence and managing the sales funnel

Structuring Sales Presentations

Not everyone is creative enough to put together a winning sales presentation on their own. If your company doesn’t have a template for salespeople to use, they could work on creating one during a sales meeting for everyone to use.

A sales presentation could focus on understanding Medicare Parts A, B, and D and Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplements. It would be helpful to create several different sales presentations depending on the type of enrollment period that’s opening up. 

In addition to creating a Medicare Advantage presentation, salespeople may need training on how to walk customers through it smoothly. Provide tips about staying on the message, addressing pain points, and overcoming objections

Needs Analysis

Salespeople may know their products well, but how adept are they at matching a customer’s needs with the right products? 

Customers have different priorities when it comes to Medicare Advantage. Some customers are cost-conscious while others are more interested in being able to see certain doctors or ensuring their regular prescription medications will be covered. 

Still others will be most interested in ways they can lower their out-of-pocket costs. Salespeople should know how to help customers determine how much they regularly pay out of their pockets and help them project what medical costs they might expect in the future. 

Role-Playing Sessions

As good as your sales training program may be, salespeople will be better prepared for real-life selling when they have opportunities to play the role of the customer and the salesperson before setting up appointments. 

Role-playing gives salespeople much-needed practice in understanding customer concerns, communicating, asking the right questions, handling objections, and getting to the closing at the right time. 

Be sure role-playing sessions include providing constructive feedback from managers and peers. 

Role-playing can be particularly helpful when sales teams are experiencing a slump for several individuals are facing some of the same challenges. 

Gaining Insight Into the Market and the Competition

Sales managers may understand the market and the competition, yet many fail to share that information with their salespeople. 

The U.S. Census Bureau reports that all baby boomers will be age 65 or older by the year 2030. The organization estimates the baby boomer generation at 73 million people. 

Every boomer is a potential customer for Medicare Advantage. Every one of them knows other people in the same age bracket which is what makes selling Medicare Advantage a lucrative career. 

Older people are more at risk of chronic conditions such as dementia, heart disease, arthritis, and type 2 diabetes. Yet, thanks to the advances in medicine and a focus on healthier living, people are living longer.

The World Health Organization reports that most older adults will have at least one chronic condition, and many have two or more chronic conditions. For this reason, salespeople need to help customers review their coverage annually. 

Also, do your salespeople know what their competition looks like? A sales meeting could focus on who their competition is and how they’re doing. The meeting might focus on using some of the same strategies the competition is using or modifying sales strategies to pull ahead of them. 

Mastering Technology

Your sales teams will have people with varying degrees of technical prowess. A sales meeting could focus on how to use technology and screen-sharing with potential clients during presentations. 

This might be a good opportunity for one or more members of the sales force to teach their peers about how to work screen-sharing into virtual appointments with ease. 

A fear many salespeople have is what to do if they experience audio, video, or connection problems during a sales appointment. A run-through of how to use technology with opportunities for practicing with it can instill confidence in the entire team. 

Productive Sales Meetings: Keeping Them Interesting

Overall, the question you need to ask yourself at the end of a sales meeting is, “Did my sales meeting provide value to my salespeople?”

You can successfully answer that question yes if all attendees learned something new, had a chance to participate, and you closed the meeting by thanking them for their time and celebrating their achievements.