What is Pre Sales Call Planning?
Pre Sales Call Planning involves a thorough research on market, target customers and customers’ existing needs for determining things or information that should be considered while making a sales related call for execution of actual sales objectives. In simple words, this is all about getting prepared for a specific call prior to making it actually. Sales Call Planning helps in qualifying Sales Coaching as well as target prospects for ensuring successful sale. It further prevents probable failures on call itself.
Why should you focus on preparing a Pre Sales Call Planning
Sales calls do not often yield a good result as expected before making a call. This could be due to improper understanding of customers’ exact needs and preferences. This causes failure in convincing a prospect and ensuring a final deal. Thus, the major reason behind focusing on preparing a Pre Sales Call Planning is gaining information from customers regarding their needs and sales goals. It can provide the sellers with an enhanced insight into their prospects’ buying motives. Thus, if you have a proper plan for sales call, you have already developed value-summaries that can help you to convert negative buying motives of the prospects into positive ones.
According to Nsconference.uk, Pre Sales Call Planning helps the sales personnel grow immense confidence within them that helps them in dealing efficiently with probable roadblocks and improving relationships with customers. Most importantly, prospects are likely to respond positively when they will find that you have the willingness to provide them with relevant information that they are looking for and it will make the game easier for you than earlier.
If you lack confidence and come-across as an unprepared salesperson lacking proper knowledge of your target-audience, you will eventually lose your goodwill and credibility. However, when you emphasise gaining proper knowledge of ways you can provide them with best assistance you can develop long-lasting relation with your prospect that will help you out in closing a successful deal even when your prospect does not have any intention to purchase any product. You need to make sure that you have very good knowledge of their wants and desires before making them aware of the ways the company’s services or products will satisfy their needs. You should master the skill of gaining a proper understanding of your prospects’ pain points, which will require you to conduct a thorough research before making call, and this will help you in communicating the best ways your products can address the pain points of the prospects. This will be the first step of your Pre Sales Call Planning as without this step, you will not be able to understand the exact things your prospects want to hear from you. This will trigger their interests to make purchase decision even when they do not have prior intention of making a purchase.
What steps should the sales team consider prior to making a call?
Every prospect is different and all the prospects can have different attitudes. Hence, it will be irrational to think that a Sales Call Planning will be the obvious way of convincing the prospects. However, a few steps should be considered that can make the entire process worth the effort and time. A proper Pre Sales Call Planning is designed when a salesperson uses client data for preparing the information plan for providing clients with relevant data in accordance with their needs (Porter and van den Hooff, 2020). Hence, you can easily find that information about the prospect that will help you to enhance effectiveness of the sales call that can result in a successful deal. A few steps you should consider making your sales team about include:
➢ Know them before you call
As a sales professional you are expected to have thorough knowledge of your target customers along with their pain points to provide proper solutions that can satisfy their needs. It is essential to have an idea of purchase goals of the prospects, their motives and preferences or needs. This information could be collected by going through their Instagram or social-media profiles where plethora of information could be found and hence, identification of their persona becomes possible. You can consider framing a few questions based on this persona that will help in gaining current desires of your prospect. However, to determine their pain-points you should apply your emotional intelligence.
According to Zaki and Neely, emotionally-intelligent salesperson is the one who is able to convey sensitivity and empathy while conveying product information to the prospects. If you are able to connect with them emotionally, it can provide you with an additional advantage of gaining deep insight into buyers’ problems or negative perceptions due to bad experience in the past, which could help you to identify the information of facts, you should consider while providing solutions. Hence, before making a call you can prepare to be empathetic enough without just uttering what you have been asked to convey to the prospect.
➢ Determine if it is a cold call only
Your target customers often do not show any interest to talk to you especially in cases where they pick up the phone by mistake or have zero experience in purchasing from the brand you are working with. In such a case, there could be only 2 to 3% chance of getting them convinced even after huge effort. However, if you succeed in the cold-calling process you can win the game even in the future if the prospect finds that you have done adequate homework for providing relevant information to him or her. Thus, this may not result in successful deal immediately; however, it can cause the prospect to get back to you after he or she finds alignment between your information and his or her needs in the future.
➢ Set the objectives you want to achieve
You often end up providing information that is relevant to the businesses’ needs only and it accounts for a big failure. However, if you try to put your feet in shoes of your prospects, you will be able to identify the kind of information your buyer can expect you to share and the type of question you should ask. In this context, the best way of setting the objectives will be asking some questions to yourself through adoption of customer-centric approach:
● What type of information can my prospect expect me to share with him or her?
● What outcomes should I expect after the call?
● How should I take the buyer to the next steps of the buying process?
This can help in reinforcement of the entire sales-procedure and in moving the prospects forward.
➢ Prepare a set of questions based upon the objectives
In this step, you need to integrate both yours and your prospects’ goals and questions should be asked in a proper order for uncovering relevant information regarding buyers or prospects. This will aid you in providing them with tailored solutions based upon their current problems.
➢ Set-up and send an agenda to prospects before making calls
Most sales professionals often neglect this very step and this reduces effectiveness of meeting. This impedes process of information sharing between you and your buyers. Hence, consider sending agenda with meeting link in email so that prospects can have proper idea of what they should expect from the call.
How can an organisation help its sales-team to make a convincing Pre Sales Call Planning to convert prospects into end customers?
Organisations can play a crucial role in developing ability of sales-people to persuade prospects. In this regard, they can provide prospects with proper checklist.
Figure 1: Pre Sales Call Planning checklist
● A list of contacts to make sure you do not haphazard while making a call
● Influence of prospects’ current role on decision-making process
● Previous engagement with organisation to determine their experience
● Existing relation with organisation
● Call goals for exchanging information considering both negative or positive experience of prospects
● Framing questions to be asked
Conclusively, consider having a Pre Sales Call Planning a necessity for ensuring success of your sales call by influencing your prospects through customer-centric approach instead of focusing solely upon business goals. A proper Sales Call Planning will not only help in influencing your customers however, will also help you in developing your self-satisfaction after making a call.