The quality of the information that you know about your prospects affects how well you can seal the deal with them. A definite sales approach along with a solid pre-call research method makes a big difference in winning and losing an opportunity. As per Kelley Roberson from ‘The Robertson Group’, the thought behind pre-call research isn’t in devoting “hours scouring the Internet or news services”. Instead, it is measured by how cleverly you can correspond with your prospect about the key business issues that they face.
Try asking yourself:
- How much time it took for you to gather data about your prospects?
- How well was your previous b2b sales call?
- Did you accomplish your set goal?
- Do you know your next plan of action with the prospect?
- Do you have an indication that a real sales opportunity exists?
It’s very important that you define and follow a standard procedure for better closure of deals. Using a pre-call and a post-call checklist goes a long way in helping you out when you are stuck up somewhere or don’t know how you have to move ahead to finalizing a deal. This will also help you in evaluating the value of your b2b sales calls.
It is next to impossible for anyone to achieve a successful sale from a single prospect or a contact. Showing up with no future plan of action makes you look amateurish in front of your prospect which is exactly what you don’t want in this day and age of tough competition in the market. A lot of sales opportunities have a range of variables that should be considered and acted upon if they are to attain a booming sales conclusion.
You have a take many strides before achieving this and just like a good chess player; you need to think ahead of the game.
Given below are a few useful pre-call and post-call checklist items that can help you to boost your sales calling efforts:
Here are a few issues which you need to think before calling on a new prospect or an existing customer:
- What is the objective of my call and who is the correct point of contact with whom I need to speak to in the prospects company?
- Try to make a profile of the prospect – both in terms of the organization and contact person. This will help you to have an idea of who and what the prospect is and what authority he/she holds
- Get as much information as possible on the current processes/situation related to your offering
- Who all are the key decision maker(s) in the company? If there are many; who has the major power in the company?
- What potentially hindrances exist that can derail the sale?
- Which juncture am I at in the sales life cycle? Suspecting, Prospecting, Solution Proposal or Negotiation, etc. Knowing this will help to frame your discussions
- How will I initiate the call with the prospect?
- What information do I have and what is missing which I need to discover about the prospect?
- What sort of doubts could emerge out on the call and how will I handle them?
- What will be my fallback position?
Here are a few scenarios to think of when analyzing your prospect sales interaction:
- Did I achieve my set goal?
- Was there anything which went unfavorable during the call?
- What additional prospect/business information I have collected?
- Was I able to find out their business processes? For example, we at SMARTe need to understand a number of things about our prospects – Current Demand/Lead Generation Process which includes Data Sources (In-house, Standard Data, Custom Data, etc.), Campaign Channels, Current Sales Strength, Sales Model, Target Audience, b2b sales leads database etc. This would help our team to sale better!
- Did I discover their current challenges & their business objectives of looking at a solution
- Do I have any indication that this is still a probable sales opportunity?
- Did I put appropriate qualifiers – BANT, MEDDIC Qualification, etc. based on our sales process
- Was I able to take the sale to the next stage of our typical sales cycle
- What should be my next steps to move the sales opportunity ahead?
- What are the action items from the call? What types of timelines and who is accountable? Do I need support from other teams like Marketing or Operations? When is my next interaction with the prospect?
- What will be the next objective of my call?
- What is the best-fit scenario after he final analysis – is the opportunity worth pursuing
This tracking process will help you to find out your exact position in the b2b sales cycle with that particular prospect; so that you know what key actions need to be taken. It also helps in continuous improvement of your sales calling process, which lets you to perk up your prospecting skills as you analyze what had worked well for a previous prospect and what did not.
If you miss any of these pointers, however, make sure that you take time to revisit them later on in the sales cycle – to improve your productivity.