Sales call planning is the simple action of making sure you’re prepared for an upcoming sales call, by considering how you’re going to approach the process. The right sales call plan can help you to avoid the fact that around 50% of first meetings never lead to a second meeting. Unfortunately, many people continue to overlook the importance of a good plan.
What is Sales Call Planning?
A sales call plan essentially lays out all of the elements of your sales call process, so you know exactly what you’re going to do going into a conversation. For sales, planning the call can be extremely valuable, because it ensures you’re ready to handle any challenges that might come your way as effectively as possible.
With pre-call planning, sales teams can also determine what kind of questions they’re going to ask, and how they’re going to engage their lead. Remember, there’s around a 74% greater chance of successful sales if you ask 11 questions or more during an initial call.
Sales call planning:
Gives sales reps and sellers an understanding of the buyer motives to work with
Determines possible connections between the product values and the client
Highlights the customer expectations and sets the foundations for success
Creates a repeatable sales process to improve your chances of conversion
Helps you to improve the quality of your sales calls over time
How to Prepare for a Sales Call
For many professionals, call planning is critical to a successful sales call. So, how do you go about strategizing your path to success? The following sales call planning template can help:
1. Research your prospect
The first step in creating a good sales call plan is researching your prospect. Too many sales professionals go into a call either completely or entirely blind. Taking the time to research the prospect and company is essential. It allows you to build rapport with the prospect, and make sure you can actually present a relevant pitch to that person. You can usually find out a decent amount about a person from social media these days.
2. Know the pain points
Figure out what the pain points of your prospect are likely to be. You can do this by examining the competitors of your prospect and looking into what they’re doing. This will give you a good way to compare your prospect to other brands and push them to think about what they could be doing better or more effectively.
3. Set a goal
You need an actual objective for the call to keep you focused. Think about what you’re trying to accomplish with this sales call. Are you making the final push to convert your target customer, or do you just need to set up an appointment with another senior member of staff? Having a specific goal in mind will help you to direct your sales conversation as effectively as possible.
4. Plan your questions
Remember, asking the right questions will help you to gather the information you need to make informed and appropriate suggestions about solutions for your customers. While you might not want to sound like you’re reading from a script, having a set of questions you’re going to ask ironed out ahead of time will advance the conversation. Remember to use open-ended questions and follow up to find out more about their answers.
5. Anticipate objections
Finally, your sales call planning steps should also include anticipating any objections your prospect might have to you reaching your goal. You may have encountered some of these objections before from other clients. Knowing what kind of objections your sales calls are likely to bring to light will mean you can prepare with the right responses.
Preparing for Sales Calls
Remember, sales call planning is an important part of successful selling, but don’t make the mistake of over-planning. The last thing you want is to sound scripted. You still need the conversation to come across as natural as possible.