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March 31, 2014

Seven Sales Call Planning Tips Bring Success Closer

By Mandira Srivastava, TMCnet Contributor

Sales Momentum (News - Alert), an exclusive marketing and consultancy firm that works with Fortune 1000 companies to improve sales productivity has shared seven tips to help B2B salespeople improve their call planning – both before and after sales calls.

Sales call planning is challenging for sales success in B2B accounts, and sales calls are the most valuable and expensive resources available to sales managers.  

Here are seven sales call planning tips you can answer for yourself before every sales call that will help prepare you for success:

1: Set the call objective. Ask this question to give yourself the lay of the land. Craft the objective in terms of the commitment desired from the customer that moves the sales cycle forward.

2: Simple and understandable: Adopt a simple approach in most sales situations.  But this is often overlooked by professionals before they meet with customers or prospects. It will be better for professionals to adopt a pre-call plan that should not be more than one page or take more than 15 minutes to create.

3: Standard way of pre-call planning: Standardizing pre-call planning is one of the most tried and tested reinforcement tools that enables sales professionals to follow a “keep it simple” notion. It allows sales people to set call objective, questions to ask, question the customer might ask, points to communicate, possible objections, potential next steps.

4: Rehearse key calls: In a major sale, all calls are not of equal importance. One or two key calls during the sales cycle are very important and demand more attention when it comes to pre-call planning. Rehearse as you go. Opening? Closing? Same drill. 

Post-call planning tips:

5: Complete post-call planning right after the call. When the call is still fresh in the salesperson’s mind, it’s easier to decipher what the notes and scribbles penned during the call actually mean.

6: Think about what happened on the call, impact on overall account strategy, and what needs to be done next.

7: Review your call: Determine what went right and what went wrong and what would you do differently if you could do the call again.

According to Richard Ruff, principal at Sales Momentum: “Top sales performers are always getting better. They plan their sales calls – taking the time to systematically think about what they’re about to do and to learn from what they just did.” 

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