Tips For Planning A Sales Call
Every salesperson out there would agree that you can't go with a Hallelujah or Hail Mary plan for your sales calls. It is best we leave Hail Mary passes for Tom Brady banking on Gronkowski somewhere in the end zone.
Many would agree that successful salespeople are flexible during sales calls - Rapid Learning Institute
Importance of sales call planning
Questions to ask while preparing for a sales call
Types of sales calls
How to structure a sales call
To some extent, you will need the Hail Mary. Sometimes, a buyer will call you without your prior knowledge and you will need to think quickly on your feet so as to keep them in your sales funnel. Be that as it may, a successful call out of the blue cannot guarantee future success. It is imperative to plan. Improvisation can only get you so far.
Importance Of Sales Call Planning
According to 91 Essential Sales Statistics: 2020 Data & Strategies Analysis, there is a 74% increase in your successful sales if you ask at least 11 questions during your initial call.
It gives the salespeople or the seller an understanding of the client’s buying motives.
You can determine possible connections (advantages or strengths) between you as a sales professional and your client that you can use to create a good customer relationship.
A sales call plan ensures that you understand your customers’ expectations and sets the foundation that you need to accomplish.
It lets you follow your sales process to increase the chances of getting the opportunity.
It is one of the proofs of your professionalism that clients can observe.
Questions to ask while preparing to make a sales call
These questions will act as your guideline as your plan for the calls as you plan for your sales week. The answers to these questions are valid in every step of the sales process. By answering 1 through to 5, you will be ready for the sales call.
1. What is the buyer's situation?
Here, you are doing reconnaissance on your buyer. You are trying to understand their goals. The buyer's goals will help you understand the value your product is going to offer the buyer. Furthermore, you will be able to determine how to approach the sale, and how to see it out.
2. What are my sales goals for this buyer?
Buyers have different goals. These call for different sales conversations. Here, you will be able to determine whether you are:
cross-selling or up-selling currently available products due to their value for the buyer
with a new or returning customer
with a buyer with huge business benefits for you and the company
3. What is the outcome of the call?
This is supposed to be straightforward. That doesn't mean that you should overlook it while making your elaborate plan. This question is the answer to what the endgame will be like. You need to be asking provoking but relevant questions which will help you meet decision-makers in the future or even get a full commitment.
4. What are my strengths?
In every sales conversation, there are stars aligning in your favor which you can leverage, take advantage of, and ensure a successful sales call. These could include:
The current provider is not meeting the buyer's needs and you can be the new and better option
The buyer was at a seminar where your bosses spoke authoritatively
Your top management knows the buyer personally.
The more specific you can be for the particular situation, the better.
5. What are my weaknesses?
By now, you have established that every situation has two sides. It is only natural that you will have some things acting against you. Identify these as soon as possible, and plan ahead to conquer them or reduce the amount of damage they could do to your sales efforts.
Types Of Sales Calls
Your sales call plan will be guided by the nature of the calls you are making. The way you ask the questions above will vary with respect to the type of sales call you are making.
1. Cold Calls
This is the commonest sales call. Here, the salesperson and buyer don't know each other and will be coming into contact for the first time. The first step that a sales rep takes to approach the customer is known as cold. Most industries utilize this type of sales call to throw out a wide net and gain new clients and potentially increase their sales. Making a cold call means you have no idea if your customer needs or wants the products or services you offer to them.
As illustrated by Rain Sales Training, a cold call is comprised of:
Introduction: Make a quick introduction and share a brief overview of your company.
What’s in it for me?: Immediately move to the “What’s in it for me?” and pitch a value-based offer for an introductory meeting.
Call to action: You’re not going to make a sale on the first call, but you might schedule a 10-, 20-, or 30-minute introductory video conference or phone call to share your valuable insights and expertise.
Propose time to meet: You close the cold call by asking the buyer to look at a specific time on their calendar.
Answer questions/respond to objections: Some common cold-calling objections can threaten to end a relationship before it begins. However, you can overcome these objections and make saves. This involves engaging with a buyer and asking them to elaborate on their answers, delving into what might be happening at their company, and offering insights into their problems.
2. Warm calls
A warm call is a call to a buyer with whom you have an existing relationship. While cold calls are like going for a blind date, a warm call feels like a date with someone you have known before.
How to structure a sales call
If it is a call to benefit your business, you need a structure to act as a guideline for salespeople.
Introduction: First impressions are key here. Make your introduction a good one to capture your buyer's attention. Always keep it short and sweet capturing the details of why you are making the call.
Qualify: The questions will come in handy here.
Deal with objections: You should anticipate some questions to come from your buyer, and prepare some answers. This works well for you in the eyes of the buyer because you come off as someone that knows what they are doing.
Schedule a follow-up: The sale is never done after one call. Ensure to schedule more meetings til you get your positive response and commitment.