Sales calls are the lifeblood of any enterprise that engages in complex B2B sales. And while meaningful interactions initiated by your teleprospecting team are vitally important when it comes to moving well-qualified leads down your sales funnel and along their path to purchase, true salesmanship is a product of thoroughly preparing for calls.
Today, we’re going to deconstruct all the preparatory steps that go into sales and lead generation with an eye on the anatomy of a successful sales process. Below, we’ve detailed three key benchmarks to consider before your sales team ever picks up the phone.
While interpersonal interaction closes sales, contacting your leads “cold turkey,” essentially winging the process, can lead to disastrous results. Like any competitive venture, from sports to investments, you need a viable, well-thought out strategy going into the process. When preparing for a call, you need to provide your sales team with a playbook.
It should be noted, however, that a playbook and a script are two very different things. Pre-written sales scripts are ultimately limiting in nature. They force conversation down a very static, unnatural road.
Instead, the idea is to give your sales team a structural framework in which to operate. That means providing them with a range of options and best practices while encouraging autonomy and problem solving within that framework. To establish a foundation for your framework, think about the goals of each sales call (i.e. finding the decision maker, appealing to their needs, and encouraging an action or response) and then build your playbook from there.
Pay attention to the old maxim: knowledge is power. When it comes to preparing for a call, research factors heavily into the equation. You have to know your product, the market in which you operate, and your customers, inside and out.
Market awareness involves understanding your customer’s pain points. What drives them to buy? What needs do they have, and what limitations does their current business model impose? To speak properly to those pain points, your team must understand its own product offerings in depth, as well as the competition’s lineup. Understanding the needs and values of your customer base puts your team in a position to move them confidently through the sales process without resorting to second-rate salesmanship.
Research also includes professional development. Preparing for a call by staying abreast of the latest in sales trends and techniques is a boon to your operational efficacy, one you can’t afford to miss. An outsourced firm such as JMS Elite can help provide you with market validation and additional insights designed to set you on the correct path.
3. Goal Setting
The sales process doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Sales hinge on results, as do the livelihoods of your sales corp. Setting goals is key to preparing for calls. When preparing your team to make sales calls, don’t forget to build your preparatory framework on goals and solid, real-world metrics.
KPIs, or key performance indicators, measure both the success of your sales efforts and the overall health of your company. Preparation involves establishing those goals —both easily achievable and stretch— and codifying those goals as part of your overall company culture.
A Stitch in Time
There’s an old saying: a stitch in time saves nine. Engaging in thorough preparation before your reps make their sales calls will save you time, money, and energy in the long-run, leading to a more profitable and agile company. If you’re not sure where to begin with your prep practices, JMS Elite can help.
Download our free sales guide “Meaningful Interactions in B2B Lead Generation and Telemarketing” to get started. JMS Elite also offers a wealth of sales-based information to help you streamline your operation. Feel free to browse our past blogs, or contact us directly with any questions.