1. Planning | The Sales Bridge
Sales Call Planning and Research. A Crucial First Step.
First sales calls and initial meetings with new clients are important — planning for them is crucial. A doctor would never enter an operating room without knowing which procedure was being performed, and a lawyer would never dare go into a courtroom without researching the case beforehand. So it goes to show, a salesperson should never conduct a first sales meeting without an effective planning and research strategy.
Performance Based Results sales call planning programs motivate reps to develop the methodology needed to kickoff the sales process and conduct value-based research before any prospecting begins. It’s a vital first step. We provide sales teams with the fundamental skills to lay out clear objectives, find out pertinent information about a client, and foresee any potential obstacles.
Step 1: Your Planning and Research Strategy
Research Your Prospect
- PBR motivates sales reps to use Internet resources, including social media, to gather valuable information about a company or industry.
- It is important for sales professionals to get timely insights into what’s happening in a prospect’s business.
- We help teams determine critical industry pain-points before any sales conversation begins.
Know the Prospect’s Competitors
- We show sales reps how to gather info (good and bad) regarding what a prospect’s competition is doing (and not doing).
- Our training covers customizing an early selling strategy to unseat an entrenched competitor, before communicating with the prospect.
Know Your Objective for the Call
- Sales teams learn how to stay on track by defining the “who” and “why” of a sales conversation.
- Define selling goals — We show reps how to get customers to reveal their “big-picture” strategy.
- We show sales teams ways to determine beforehand a potential prospect’s decision-making process.
- Who are the executive leaders?
- What is the sales chain-of-command?
Plan Your Questions
- Our planning workshops help reps prepare questions ahead of time to help advance the sales conversation.
- We demonstrate methods to avoid using prepared selling scripts.
- Our training teaches reps how to pre-plan asking open-ended sales questions and smart follow-ups.
- Our training gets reps to investigate potential sales objections and “stalls,” now rather than later.
- We show how to gauge a prospect’s potential level of commitment and sincerity.
- We demonstrate procedures that pre-evaluate a customer’s level of urgency — allowing the rep to be “ready for anything.”
- Our programs help reps avoid sounding robotic or over-rehearsed. The sales conversation should flow and be natural.
- We teach reps selling techniques that allow the customer to feel respected, part of a dialogue, and not being talked at.
- We conduct “listening” exercises to help reps anticipate the prospect’s responses and to pick up on auditory and visual cues.