Back to Basics: Why Pre-Call Sales Planning is Crucial

Posted on 03/15/2013 in Sales Call Planning

Why is Pre-Call Sales Planning So Crucial?

What can be more fundamental and important than pre-call sales planning? A wasted sales call is a lost opportunity. 

What Elements Should Be Considered in Pre-Call Sales Planning?

The pre-call sales planning process doesn’t have to take long, nor does it always need to be written down, but it should address these 4 core elements: 

  1. Your Sales Call Objective:  What specific results or actions do you want to accomplish with this customer at the conclusion of this sales call? Your objectives need to also take into consideration factors such as "what can I do to strengthen the business relationship with this client” and "what can I do to help this customer during these difficult times?”
  2. Critical Questions to Ask the Customer: A few good questions must always be part of your sales call planning process. "What has changed since our last conversation?”, "How can we help you?”and "What are you finding difficult in your business today?”  are some examples.   .
  3. Benefits and Value to the Customer: What benefits will you highlight about your sales solution? Can you offer the customer a new or different product or service that will provide value? When you do some pre-call planning on benefits and value statements, it helps you to avoid the mistake of feature dumping your way through a sales call.
  4. Possible Objections: Depending on the product or service that you intend to highlight during the sales call, you can probably anticipate the most likely objections. How will you respond? What is your fallback plan if the customer says no? 

 Visit our Sales Workshops page to learn more. Sales managers interested in helping their salespeople improve their pre-call planning skills visit our Sales Meeting Kits: Pre-Call Planning page.