Every sales rep's "first thing first" is to make a sales call.
When sales reps join the team, they're expected to make "n" number of sales calls in a day, and there's no turning back!
Sales calling is an inevitable skill you need for success. Whether it's a cold calling or speaking to prospects showing interest, the quality of your sales calls matters–making sure you have a pitch-perfect sales call.
So what do you focus on?
Like any other work, you need a sales plan as a north star before engaging with potential prospects. The better you prepare, the sooner you get recognition as a good seller and earn prospects’ trust.
Planning helps position your sales statements, your secret weapon while engaging with the prospects and delivering the sales message. Sales call planning must be the first step of your sales procedure to hit the right target.
In this article, we’ll discuss:
- What is sales planning?
- 6 steps for a successful pre-call sales planning
- 9 confirmed ways to effectively close a deal.
What is sales planning?
A sales plan is an operational plan that provides a blueprint for all sales activities with set objectives within a particular time frame.
If you want a plan to work, you need to strategically outline a plan. From streamlining, organizing, setting weekly sales plans, to quarterly sales plans, goals, high-level tactics, etc. Map out your potential targets and how you’ll execute this plan.
The pre-call plan is the first step to working with you when you think about the sales cycle.
Having a pre-call plan is crucial to making the most out of the sales calls. Here are six guaranteed steps to help you perform a successful pre-call sales planning.
1. Do the groundwork
Your market research smoothens your sales process. Do the required groundwork before implementing your sales plan. You can’t call up the prospects on the grounds of assumptions, as it will be a futile attempt. While many neglect to do the research, thinking its a waste of time, it actually sets a base for your sales process.
Taking time to do the legwork saves the prospect and your time–making the pitch meaningful.
Never underrate the research and go on a blind sales call, it’s a big red flag. Instead, know that you can never go wrong when you have a legit plan.
The benefit of research is that it helps understand the targets' problems, needs, and other details. When you scan them fully, your pitch will resonate with prospects’ requirements.
When you know whom you're dealing with, you can have a well-crafted sales pitch that evokes emotions and pushes them to take an actionable step.
Your research also helps include the sweet spot in the pitch that captures prospects’ hearts. You can find your client's pain points and strategically use them to reach them.
The problems will help introduce the product/service and build a good rapport with them.
2. Analyze competitors
Once you gain insight into your competitors' products, sales, and marketing tactics, you ward off any challenge and make yourself stand out from the rest.
Understanding competitors will keep you ahead of the pack, make your products jump off the shelf, and help you customize yourself based on the market's needs. Evaluate their strength and weakness with yours to face them.
3. Set a sales call objective
Setting an objective for anything is an art one must practice. Your objectives will define you and help you measure your sales success. Knowing the “who” and “why” makes the sales calling purposeful and easier.
You’re one step closer to jotting the right questions in knowing why you do what you do. Defining what you want to do keeps you aligned with your goals.
You can use sales planning software to speed up, maintain, and track your goals. The tool monitors improvement, eyes the gaps in your sales cycle and scales up the process.
4. Frame your questions well.
You might be in the business for far too long, but if you don’t know the right questions to ask, you’re missing out on potential opportunities.
Asking the right questions gives you the needed information and puts everything into perspective. If you’re wondering why you’re not able to find solutions, probably you’re not asking the right questions.
Don't sound robotic or scripted while you're asking the question. Include open-ended questions that will make the prospects think.
Just because you’ve prepared questions doesn’t mean you’ll not get questions outside the box. Yes, you’ll get it, but you don’t have to get distracted by them.
5. Get used to objections.
Objections or rebutting are an unavoidable part of the sales call. Whether you’re an age-old business or a start-up, expect the prospects to object to you.
Research and rehearse well in advance to face them. Such situations might make you feel like calling it a day because you’re least prepared. The objection comes in all shapes and sizes that you never know.
Objections can be due to a lack of need, urgency, trust, money, product understanding, surety, time, or the human psyche.
6. Too much preparation is bad
Preparation is good, but over-preparation isn't. You shouldn't tend to over-prepare and end up screwing the flow.
Here's why over-preparation is a big turn-off - the more you practice, your sales calls sound like a machine when dealing with humans. Be as you are and build a strong human connection.
Over-preparation might lead to over-sharing, which isn't needed while the prospect is waiting to be heard. Give equal time to listening and the prospect's response.
Planning is worth all the risks when you're on the call. You know you're in a safer position when you face the prospects. It's never too late to give it a shot and win a sales call with better sales planning and forecasting.
That being said, here are the game plans to help you seal the deal.
What’s your game plan to sell faster? - Here’s one you can follow!
9 confirmed ways to effectively close a deal
Internet is flooded with tons of sales advice, and deciding how to be the jack of the team is difficult. Here are nine ways to ace your sales calling skill over time:
- Engage with a quick decision-maker/influencer: Nobody wants the talk to get wasted after many efforts. Talk to someone quick to answer or reach out.
- Identify the pain: The sooner you find the cause of the problem or the trigger, it’s easy to reach the prospect’s sweet spot.
- Create awareness: So often, prospects don’t know what they need or name their problem unless you ask them the right questions and help them realize they have a problem.
Use storytelling techniques to make them emotionally connect with your sales pitch. The more relatable and intriguing your pitch, the more it’ll keep the prospects hooked on your message.
- Build a sense of urgency: Your story/pitch should compel the prospects to feel how deep the problem is and create a sense of urgency that needs immediate attention. Bring them to the point where they are urged to buy the product.
What are those things that prompt them to take a quick step? Here are a few ways you can develop urgency -
- Give prospect breathing space: Often overloading leaves no room for processing. The prospects get tired of consuming too much information in one go.
Give the prospects breathing space to make a purchase decision. Don’t make them back off because it’s too much to handle or confusing. Keep it simple and precise.
- Summarize the call: Don’t head to closing without summarizing the call. Recap the problem discussed and the solution provided to assure the prospects and win their trust. A summary is a cut-short version of the compelling pitch. Be crisp about what was discussed, giving clients the benefits they anticipate hearing. Help them visualize the solution.
- Stir the prospect to close the deal: Provide clients with more than one way to close the deal so they don’t feel spooked. While people don’t want to burn their pockets, they also don’t want to settle for something which isn’t quality assured.
Steer the prospects knowing your product is the solution to all their problems, including finance.
- Deal with disapproval: Nobody likes to be unaccepted, rejected, or objected to in business. But unfortunately, that’s the reality of everyday life, and you can’t be everyone’s cup of tea.
Objections are inevitable, but you can overcome them with complete proof of preparation and rebutting the claims you think are right. Every salesperson, at least once in their lifetime, has seen rejection. Objections are standard, and how you deal with them and close more deals matters.
- Close the deal or schedule follow-up: Everyone loves to hear "YES," but it takes a lot to get there. Deal closing is the final step you've been waiting for; when it's successful, you're assured that hard work paid off.
Once you enter the agreement and the purchase is made, you finish the deal. In business, you still have to follow up to track your clients and customers changing needs.
Get your sales plan organized with a suitable sales planning template, from your weekly, daily, quarterly, and annual goals to other details that can help you nail the sale calling process!
Results first, payment later.