Lets deal with this head on:
There are many reasons for this but I believe this is largely down to the quality of Sales Execution & specifically the step in the sales process of Pre Call Planning.
I have observed in excess of 1000 sales calls & one the biggest impacts I have had as a Sales Coach on Sales Professionals is uplifting the quality of Pre Call Planning.
I have a view & I think its down to familiarity.
The biggest enemy to a sales professional is familiarity. That’s familiarity with your client, your CVP, your market place and your pricing.
You need to see each opportunity as unique & prepare for it in that way.
Just reflect a little, when you nail a sales call is it because you’ve prepared well?
I bet it’s not because you have been lucky!
I recall something that I’ve seen written down “No goal = no prospect” & I buy that big time. Without a goal you are not only wasting your time you are wasting your prospects time.
Sadly I’m experiencing fewer salespeople are taking the time for Pre Call Planning and documenting the goal of their sales calls
As a consequence are not preparing in advance of the call & therefore not meeting the call objective(s).
People laugh at me when I say, “Pre-calling planning is more than having an address and a phone number to call in case you get lost.”
However, the reality of the situation is that I often meet sales professionals who are not doing much more than that.
I would go as far to say that I have observed Pre Call Planning as the most undervalued part of the sales process by Sales Professionals.
Here’s 5 reasons why you should give this part of the sales process more time than you do today:
👍🏽 You have a plan on how to get the information you need. Helping you focus on what questions are you going to need to ask to get that information.
👍🏽 You anticipate and prepare for the issues that might prevent you from achieving your desired outcome. It should encourage you to prepare alternatives & practice by role-play.
👍🏽 You bring and add value to the conversation because you’ve put yourself in the shoes of your prospect. Prospects are looking for help, that’s why they have agreed to speak with you. Are you prepared to talk about the prospects’ goals and issues,.
👍🏽 You manage the meeting effectively, both time & content because you must be prepared to discuss what is important to your prospect not whats important to you.
👍🏽 You reduce the risk of making mistakes because you have a plan to refer to. Don’t take shortcuts because it leads carelessness & your failure to follow your sales process is what gets you in trouble when you concede to early or give away what you didn’t intend to.
Improving this step in your sales process you will see the most significant impact on the effectiveness of every sales call.
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Steve Knapp is the Founder and Owner of Steve Knapp Sales & Corporate Director in the Association of Professional Sales. With 30+ years of B2B successful sales, sales management and sales leadership experience. Steve created The 5 Principles of Sales Excellence & has used this to drive sustained sales performance in one of the most successful companies in the world. To discuss your sales requirements contact Steve on [email protected]