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Planning the Sales Call

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by

Anna Owens

on 8 October 2013

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Transcript of Planning the Sales Call

Planning the Sales Call
Let's See a Sales Call in Action!
Kathleen & Anna: Sales Rep for Greenwise Paper Products

Kyle: Bartender @ 356 Sushi Bar
The Prospect/Customer as an Individual:
Personal (Some of this information can be confidential):
Name (including pronunciation)
Family Status
Education
Aspirations
Interest
Social Style (Driver or another category)
Attitudes:
Towards salespeople
Towards your company
Toward your product 

Resources Within YOUR Company
CRM Database
Direct inquiries
Sales History
Sales portals
Online database that include many sources of information in one place
Co-Workers
Selling center
All the people in the selling organization who participate in a selling opportunity (selling team)

The Internet
First place to look should be the website of the prospect company
Additional sources
Example: Hoover’s Website
News Articles
Social media sites

Secretaries and Receptionists
Because they are accustom to having salespeople pry for free information, you need to be courteous.
Prioritize questions and have justification for asking them. Have genuine respect.

The Prospect's/Customer's Organization
Demographics:
Type of organization (manufacturing, wholesaling, retailing)
Size, number of locations
Products and services offered
Financial position and its future
Overall cultural of the organization (risk averse, highest ethical standards, forward thinking) 
Prospect’s Customer’s:
Types (Consumers, retailers, wholesalers)
Benefits they seek from the prospects products and services 
Historical Buying Pattern:
Amount purchased in the product category
Sole supplier or multiple suppliers. Why?
Reason for buying from present suppliers
Level of satisfaction with the buyer
Reason for any dissatisfaction with suppliers or products currently purchased 

Sources of Precall Info
Practically impossible to research all of the previous information
Gather what is possible and profitable
Time is valuable!

Analysis paralysis: Spending all your time analyzing situations and finding information instead of actually making the sales call

Vital Info to Make a Sale
Do your homework!
Cost of collecting information
Beware of constant change.
Example from text.

Setting Call Objectives
Should be based on info gathered in step 1
Objectives should be created around the firm’s goals, the sales team’s goals, and the salesperson’s goals
Objectives should be...
Realistic
Measurable
Specific

Relationships:
Formal Reporting relationships
Important reference groups and group norms
Bonds that the prospect has already formed with other sales people 
Evaluation of Products/Services
Product attributes that are important: size, color, ect
Product evaluation process

Current Buying Situation:
Type of buying process (new task, straight re-buy, or modified re-buy)
Strengths and weaknesses of potential competitors 
People involved in the Purchase Decision :
How they fit into the formal and informal organizational structure
Roles in this decision (gate keeper, influencer, or the like)
Who is most influential
Any Influential adversaries (carry great influence but are opposed to us)
Current problems the organization faces
Stage in the buying cycle 
Policies and Procedures:
About salespeople
About sales visits
About purchasing contracts

The prospects own salespeople
They empathize with your situation. They can relate and connect with you on a sales basis.

Noncompeting Salespeople
Other Sources

The Prospect
Don’t expect them to answer every question you have. Do basic research before relying on them.
They are gathering information about you, just as you are gathering information about them!

Current Customers
Overseas
Salespeople often are amazed at the lack of information available about foreign companies
Two good sources:
U.S Government’s Export Portal
U.S Commercial Service Market Research Library
*One of the most important objectives is planning*
Setting More Than One Call Objective:
Primary Call Objective: the actual outcome the salesperson hopes to achieve during the call
Secondary Call Objective: other objectives the sale person hopes to achieve
Minimum Call Objective: the minimum outcome they hope to achieve
Optimistic Call Objective: the most optimistic outcome a salesperson thinks could occur
Benefits
Take away a sales person fear of failure
• Most salespeople can achieve at least their minimum call objective
Self-Correcting
• If a sales person reaches their optimum objective too early, then the objective was probably to easy
• If a salesperson cannot reach their minimum objective to early, then the objective is set too high

Making an Appointment
After gathering pre-call information and setting objectives, the next step is normally to set up an appointment.
Appointments dignify the salesperson and help get the sales process off to an equal footing.
Right Person
Some emphasize going right to the top when making the call...
Neid Rackham
Focus of Receptivity
Focus of Dissatisfaction
Focus Power
Right Place
Right Time
Best time for a sales interview varies
Time to present
Cultivating Relationships with Subordinates
Busy executives usually have one or more subordinates who plan and schedule interviews for them
Screens or Barriers
Strategies to deal with Screens
Through the screen
Over the screen
Under the screen
Bypass the screen

Telephoning For Appointments
Most often used to make initial appointment.
Save hours
Goal: make appointment

Additional Planning
Gather info about prospect & firm
Making an appointment
Setting objectives for the call
The Planning Process
Can occur just about anywhere
Place of business
Keeping up with business
Videoconferencing
What did you think?
Full transcript