How to Prepare for a Sales Call
Before your sales call you may be feeling a few things: anxiety, nerves, curiosity… all of these feelings are good. Setting up for a sales call should feel similar to “pregame jitters”. You should be prepared for your call or presentation, but also nervous as every sales call (like every game) has high rewards and implications.
Through good preparation and a solid game plan you will not only set yourself up for success, but also place yourself in a strategic position to connect dots before the conversation even happens. You can vet what type of customer your clients will be, and make references to other organizations who use your products in their current market, location, industry, etc.
This post will set you up to maximize every sales call
Things you should be researching:
Potential Decision Makers:
You probably know what job titles normally purchase your products. Research who is on your clients’ team. You should know their role, who their boss is, their bosses’ boss, all the way up to the CEO. By understanding the chain of command, you will eliminate time from your call asking who your client needs to talk to, and even have contacts that you can reach if your client isn’t getting the job done.
Experience & Tenure of your Contacts
Depending on how many people are on the team you are working with, you may need to allocate more time to researching. Depending on the complexity of your products, you’ll want to understand business experience, company experience, social media presents, age, and even their interests.
Although researching a contacts social presence may seem “weird”, the last thing you want to is assume your contact is in their 40’s and make a millennials joke… only to find out they are 25 years old. This research can be quick and simple, and you’ll avoid little mistakes that can haunt you for an entire sales process.
Lastly, and possibly the most important, you never want to assume someone is a Decision Maker because they talk the talk… then you find out they are on week 5 and are an HR Assistant. You just wasted a lot of time and resources.
Revenue & Financials
Most salespeople feel uncomfortable talking about financials or revenue with their contacts. This is a huge ‘miss’ if you aren’t asking these questions. Why? Even if your product isn’t a revenue generating tool or impact their financials, their knowledge of these topics will be a sign of their level of decision making. Someone who knows the numbers of the business most likely has a seat at the “big table”. The more insight they have in this topic the better contact they will be.
By doing your research and bringing revenue into the conversation proves that you are interested and engaged. You as a sales person will stand out when your client is comparing products and competitors.
Possibly one of the biggest pieces of information you can know, across any market you sell in. If a company has outside investors the decision-making team is bigger than you think it is… especially as product prices increase. As an investor, there is no interest in their companies purchasing products that do not have an ROI or immediate value.
If there is an outside investor, you need to make it very clear what your ROI is on your product. An ROI needs to be clear in your sales call and presentation, as well as in your follow up documents.
Depending on your product and the influence that it has on a business, company culture and the effects on the morale of employees can be extremely important. A company has high morale and employee buy-in, they are most likely an easier company to work with. If employees hate where they work, it probably is a reflection of their management… aka the people you will be talking with.
Knowing the culture of your clients’ is a strong indicator of the type of people you will be having conversations with.
Direct & Indirect Sales Pitch
Once you have done your research, consolidate your findings into a strategic pitch. This pitch needs to be conveyable on your sales call, as well as your follow up sales pitch. Research and evaluate what you want to include when talking with your clients, then present that same material/content in a follow up sales pitch that your contacts can share/sell to the rest of their team.
This is extremely critical as all of the work you have done to this point could be lost if your contacts can’t sell/communicate your products value to the real decision makers.
PRODUCTS YOU SHOULD BE USING:
By far our favorite. You’ll be able to research a buyer’s experience, how long they’ve been with the company, as well as any other potential teammates that could be part of the buying process.
Great resource for researching company info. You will find up to date head count, tech stack info, growth, major competitors, market info, etc. We love this for general information as it provides a great overview of some of the below details that you are looking for. Great place to start your research process.
Great for researching if a company has funding or has raised capital. You’ll receive insight to who invested, what round they are in, when the last round happened, and for how much. Tons of great info.
Although this is rare that it can be helpful in closing a deal, it will still provide insight to the type of culture the company has which may or may not be helpful.
a. This product is for account-based sales pitch creation. For each of your accounts you can upload every piece of content that you need to share with your client in a single pitch (video, PPT, PDF, etc.). You can then collaborate on notes & context with your clients and track the engagement as their team views it. Tons of analytics and intel on who really is involved in the process.
The above resources should be something that your company is willing to invest in. If not, they are cheap or free (all good things). LinkedIn will be the most expensive, but worth every penny as you can even create leads from it (huge ROI). Everything else offers a free version.
As the Founder of hubPitch I invite you to use our Sales Pitch Software for free. Click here to sign up.