What is a sales call? Answers to that question may vary depending on who you ask, but most professionals will agree that sales calls are conversations broken down into a specific series of steps. While the intricacies of your sales call process might differ from one prospect to the next, the foundational steps remain the same.
Today, we’re going to explore the foundations of a successful call structure.
Step 1: Sales Call Planning
The best sales reps follow a consistent template for not only introducing themselves to clients, but collecting crucial information, and closing potential deals. However, before you can dive into the actual call, you need to ensure you’re properly prepared.
Researching your buyer can help you to collect important information about a prospect’s pain points, values, and motivators. Research and preparation is key to making your pitch more relevant from the moment the sales call begins.
Step 2: The Introduction
One of the most important steps of a sales call is the introduction. This comes right at the beginning of your call, so it’s easy to overlook. However, the right introduction can make or break your chances of a customer listening to whatever you have to stay.
Introduce yourself with the right tone of voice, and immediately focus on how you’re going to deliver value to your lead. Remember, before you start with the rest of the sales call steps and start pitching ideas, you need to ensure your buyer is engaged in the conversation.
Step 3: Asking Questions
Although your sales call planning step will have given you some initial information about your prospect, asking questions is still an important part of the call process. The more questions you ask, the better you’ll be able to pitch your potential solution or service.
If this is your first sales call, you can use your questions to qualify the lead, determining whether they are the decision maker in the company, and whether they have the potential to make a purchase. You can even find out what kind of process your lead usually goes through when choosing a new product or vendor or discover how they made the choice to go with their existing provider.
Step 4: Deliver the pitch
After the preparation call steps are complete, you’ll be ready to make your pitch. Remember, don’t just follow a script when delivering your pitch. Make sure you use the information you’ve collected before and during the call to personalize your offer to the needs of your lead.
The pitch isn’t always going to be selling an entire product or service. Instead, you can focus on selling your customer on the goal of the call. For instance, you might say “We can streamline your processes by…” or “We can save you x dollars per month on that by…”
Step 5: Mange objections
Often the most complex call step for beginners, managing objections is critical to closing a deal. Most of the time, your prospects won’t automatically grab your offer with both hands as soon as you present it. There’s a good chance your customer will have concerns they need you to handle for them.
Learn how to manage objections correctly. For instance, if someone says they don’t know if they’re ready to switch to a new vendor, you can follow up with, “I hear you, other customers have had the same concern, but let me tell you why you don’t want to miss out…”
Step 6: Closing the Sale
This is one of the last sales call steps you’ll engage in, and among the most important. Closing the deal involves actually getting your customer to agree to take the next step in the purchasing journey together. When closing the sale make sure you’re getting more than just a promise.
If your prospect seems ready to sign a contract or sales agreement, ask them what they need to do that. In many cases, your sales lead may need a little longer to think about the offer and get other people involved in the decision. If this is the case, find out when you can follow up and arrange a new call.
Step 7: Customer Maintenance
Finally, remember every sales call should end with some maintenance and follow up. At the end of your call, make sure you have defined a time to follow up with the lead, or you know what you’re going to be doing next to take the relationship to the next level.
If the deal is closed, you should still make a time to call up and check in with the customer to ensure they’re happy with their purchase. During this conversation, you can ask for reviews, referrals, and even discuss future needs.
Master Your Call Structure
A great sales call can differ from one business to another. However, if you get the essential call steps mentioned above right, you should have the right structure in place to convert your customers. Remember to keep learning from every call, and adjusting your strategy based on what you know about your company, your target audience, and your sales results.