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Planning the Sales Call
Transcript of 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)
Social Style (Driver or another category)
Towards your company
Toward your product
Resources Within YOUR Company
Online database that include many sources of information in one place
All the people in the selling organization who participate in a selling opportunity (selling team)
First place to look should be the website of the prospect company
Example: Hoover’s Website
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
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)
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...
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 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.
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!
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
Take away a sales person fear of failure
• Most salespeople can achieve at least their minimum call objective
• 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.
Some emphasize going right to the top when making the call...
Focus of Receptivity
Focus of Dissatisfaction
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.
Goal: make appointment
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
What did you think?