Call planning is a widely adopted best practice. The benefits are well documented – increased sales, better engagement, more relevant discussions. The biggest barrier is the perceived amount of work that goes into each call. Let’s talk about pre-call planning for now:
1. Determine the call objectives. The first step in pre-call planning is setting the objective for the call. The objective should be formulated in terms of the commitment desired from the customer that moves the sales cycle forward.
Keep the objectives simple.
Keep objectives realistic to the current sales cycle
Objectives should be measurable
Don’t try to do too much at once.
2. What’s the plan for achieving your objectives? The easiest way is to have a template; having a tool allows you to systemically work through the call in your mind. A sample template might have the following categories:
What are your Call objective(s)
How do you plan to achieve the objective(s)
How do you know you’ve advanced?
3. Rehearse the call – verbally. Rehearsing / Role-playing in front of an audience (ie., colleague or sales manager) will help you iron out the kinks, add additional angles to the pitch and make the delivery smoother.
We’ll discuss the best practices of post-call next week. Drop a line about your pre-calls. Share with us.