Pre-call Planning for Sales Pros
I recently read a question posted on a LinkedIn group that shares best practices amongst sales leadership professionals. The posted question was: “What do you think about sales people dropping in to see a client or prospect when they are in the neighborhood?”
Feeling strongly about the subject I was compelled to post a response. I absolutely discourage my sales teams from making what I refer to as “howdy calls”. For every sales contact, the sales person should have a specific intent and specific take-aways in mind to avoid wasting their time and the time of the prospect.
Regardless of whether they are making the sales contact by telephone or face-to-face, successful sales people take the time to do pre-call planning. Pre-call planning does not have to be a laborious undertaking and in many cases it can be done in as little time as a minute. The important thing is to have a clear plan before picking up the telephone or walking in the door to make the sales contact.
At a minimum, pre-call planning should include the five elements shown below. In cases where the prospect’s Compelling Event is not yet known, it should be identified as a take-away to be learned during that meeting. Prior to each customer call, the sales person should be able to clearly articulate:
1. Who are the Participants in the meeting and what are their roles?
2. What is the Agenda for the meeting?
3. How much Time has been allocated for the meeting?
4. What Compelling Event is driving the prospect/customer to action?
5. What specific Take-Aways do they want to accomplish in this meeting?
Whether you are a sales leader accompanying one of your team on a sales call or a sales warrior on the front line, engaging with a prospect or customer should be done in a thoughtful and intentional fashion. If the sales person can’t answer these five important questions, they probably should not be going on the call.
For more information, please contact Compendium Advisors at Dave@CompendiumAdvisors.com or 925-984-5381
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