Most sales people agree that planning ahead of time for important sales calls is a precursor for successful call outcomes. However, based on my observation in working with hundreds of sales people over the years, many continue to ‘wing it’. Sales call after sales call, they leave the entire outcome to chance.
Pre-Call Planning Overview
The goal of pre-call planning, used in all stages of the sales process, is to think through all the important aspects of a sales call in advance of the meeting. It starts with a clear understanding of which stage you’re in of your sales process and where the prospect is in their buying journey. Advance planning ensures you and all participants are on the same page prior to the customer meeting, thereby increasing the overall effectiveness of the call. Ultimately, consistent pre-call planning improves your ability to effectively manage desired change for the customer thereby optimizing your sales results.
Purpose of Pre-Call Planning
- Increase sales call effectiveness
- Pre-planning ensures all participants are on the same page
- Frees sales people up to listen and stay flexible
- Baseline approach to preparing for sales meetings
What Happens when you’re Not Prepared?
- No sale
- Stalled sales process
- Lack of confidence (from customer) in you and your company
- Waste of time – both yours and your customers
- Reduced percentage of securing future meetings
- No agreement on next steps/sale process in limbo
- Exasperate an already poor customer situation (prior issues)
Summary of Benefits
- Increase sales call effectiveness and thereby close ratios by 20% or more
- Accelerate your sales process through strategic thinking and careful planning
- Ensure customer meetings are productive through an agenda where all participants are on the same page
- Enhance your ability to truly listen and stay focused and flexible
- Avoid ‘Bad’ calls and the associated fallout of a poorly executed customer exchange
TOP Line Account™ Sales Success Model
- Common close ratio: 25%
- Add consistent pre-call planning: +20%
- Add account strategy work (Including Win Themes™, competitive blocks and executive engagement): +20 – 30%
- New close ratio: 65 – 75%
Free Pre-Call Planning Tool Available for Download
To help you jump-start your efforts and ensure a higher or more consistent degree of success, I’m offering an easy to use Pre-Call Planning Tool. Simply visit www.toplinesales.com(Resources Page) to download your fillable PDF today.
Lisa Magnuson is an expert in corporate strategic sales and TOP Line Account™ revenue building. As a respected sales consultant and author, Lisa works with clients to build successful strategic sales programs that drive revenue from large new accounts and enable growth from existing high value customers. Learn more at www.toplinesales.com