If you’ve ever conducted a sales call, you know how anxiety-inducing it can be. For this reason, doing pre-sales call research is crucial. Before making a sales call, pre-sales call research involves gathering information about potential customers, their company, and their needs. This research can help sales professionals tailor their pitch and identify customer objections during the sales call.
In this article, The Brooks Group will examine the importance of pre-sales call research and how salespeople should conduct this research. Topics will include discussing the various benefits of pre-call planning and how to master pre-sales call research to close more deals with clients.
What Does Pre-Call Research Actually Mean?
It’s all about being prepared! Pre-sales call research refers to gathering relevant information about customers before making a sales call. Conducting pre-call research can help a sales representative adjust their pitch based on a customer’s specific needs and address any pain points that might arise during the sales conversation. Doing pre-sales call research typically involves researching the industry and history of your client’s company, identifying the key decision-makers and their roles within the company, and determining the client’s potential budget.
What Makes Pre-Call Planning Important?
Pre-call planning is critical because it allows the sales team to decide what they want to get out of a conversation with a customer based on what they have learned about that customer during the pre-call research period. Listed below are some benefits of conducting pre-sales call research and planning:
Improvement in Confidence
Conducting pre-sales call research can significantly improve a salesperson’s confidence. When sales reps come prepared with relevant information and a tailored sales pitch, they are more likely to feel confident and in control of the sales call. A sure sales rep will have more luck fostering a meaningful interaction with each of their clients than a sales rep who needs more confidence because of a lack of pre-call planning.
Successful Sales Cycle
Sales professionals who do sufficient pre-call planning are far more likely to have a successful sales cycle. By researching and attempting to understand potential customers and their particular needs, a sales rep can tailor their approach, therefore increasing their chances of closing a sale. Conducting pre-sales call research makes for a more efficient sales cycle overall. Customers always appreciate when salespeople are correctly prepared, as they’ll feel that their problems and pain points are being taken seriously.
Flexibility in the Discussion
Conducting pre-sales call research also allows for more flexibility in the sales discussion. For example, a sales professional who has researched a specific customer might already know what this customer’s pain points will be. They will therefore be able to come up with practiced counter-arguments and offer potential solutions. The knowledge a sales rep gains during the pre-call planning can help them adapt their pitch and address any unforeseen objections during the sales call.
Steps For Effective Pre-Call Sales Planning
Making sales calls and closing deals is a huge responsibility. You want to make sure you’re doing it right! If you’re just getting into sales or need to brush up on specific skills like cold calling, you should follow the steps listed below:
Study Your Potential Client
The first step for a compelling sales call is to study your potential client before the call takes place. Look up information about your client’s size and history. This will help you understand where your client is coming from. By researching your customer’s specific needs, you can gain a deeper understanding of their unique challenges and buying process.
Identify Your Call’s Objective
You must have a solid grasp of the “who” and the “why” of the sales call you’re about to make. Before contacting your potential customer, specify and solidify your goal to help you stay on track. How exactly do you go about doing that? Well, you’ll first want to consider where you are in the sales process and go from there.
Prepare Any Relevant Materials
Create or gather any materials you might need for the sales call, such as brochures, case studies, or product demonstrations, that might be helpful while making your pitch. It will leave a poor impression on the customer if you’re fumbling for loose papers while making your pitch! Make a list of everything you need to stay organized during the call.
Plan the Call
Prepare a sales call script or cheat sheet for your call. This is very important. Most people get nervous during phone calls, so it’s not uncommon to forget or “blank out” the main points you want to make during your pitch. When writing your script, remember to include the key points you want to make, any questions you might have for the client, and any common objections you anticipate from the customer.
Set a Goal
Setting a solid goal for your sales call is an excellent way to ensure you stay on track throughout the ring. Clearly define the primary purpose of the sales call and have a good idea of what you want to achieve by the end of the conversation. Keep going if your goal is to close a sale and you don’t manage to do that. Selling takes time, and if the client is open to a follow-up call, you might close that sale.
Practice, Practice, Practice
To avoid hemming, hawing, and stumbling over your words during your sales call, it’s a good idea to practice beforehand. Try opening out to a friend or coworker and see what they think of your approach.
Mastering Pre-Sales Call Research
If you prepare for your sales calls, the consequences could be beneficial. The last thing you want to do is stumble through an awkward phone call and keep the deal open. Planning ahead by researching your potential clients is a great way to ensure you’ll be ready for whatever the potential client throws at you. Here are a few tips on how to master pre-sales call research so that you can knock your subsequent sales call out of the park.
Identify Target Audience
When conducting pre-sales call research, it’s essential to identify your target audience to adjust your pitch and increase the likelihood of landing a sale. You should clearly define what you are selling, as this will help you determine the specific group of individuals (or businesses) that would be most interested in buying what you have to offer. It’s also a good idea to research your potential customers’ demographics, psychographics, and behavior. You can use specific data tools and social media analytics to help you identify patterns and trends in your target audience’s behavior.
Investigate the Business and the Decision-makers
One of the essential parts of pre-sales calls research is investigating the client’s business and the decision makers within their business. Look into the company’s history, mission, values, and overall business model. Make an effort to understand the company’s goals, objectives, and current challenges, as this will give you some insight into what you should discuss with your client to build rapport.
When conducting pre-sales call research, you want to ensure you’re researching the right person. This will be whoever is going to make the buying decision. It could be the CEO of the company or someone in a similar role. It’s also a good idea to research the company’s financials. This will give you an idea of your client’s company’s overall financial health and how your product or service might benefit them.
Identify Pain Points
Identifying your potential customer’s pain points is one of the most helpful things you can do for yourself and the client. With your client’s specific pain points in mind, you can effectively tailor your pitch and demonstrate how your product can solve your client’s problems. If you get stuck, try looking into complaints and feedback from former customers, as many clients have similar pain points. You can also conduct a survey or facilitate a focus group with a small sample of the customer’s target audience to validate your assumptions and gain valuable feedback.
Frequently Asked Questions
What do sales reps get out of sales calls?
Sales representatives get plenty out of conducting pre-sales call research and making sales calls. For example, making sales calls can help sales reps identify and qualify potential customers (qualified leads). Sales calls can also help reps build relationships with potential customers, leading to future sales and repeat business.
What should I do during a sales call?
During a sales call, following a structured approach is essential to communicate better the benefits and features of the product you’re selling. Establish a connection with the person you’re speaking to, and present your company’s product as a potential solution to their pain points. Address any client’s objections, and remember to follow up with them after closing a sale.
What are the critical components of a successful sales call?
You should keep several critical components in mind while making a sales call. First, before even making the call, you should prepare by conducting pre-sales call research on the client. During the call, practice active listening and build rapport with the client to gain their trust. Listen to their problems and pain points and be straightforward about how your company’s product can help them. If the opportunity presents itself, ask for a sale at the end of the call. If not, schedule a follow-up call so you and your client can continue the conversation.
What’s the difference between a call with an executive and one with a lower-level rep?
The main difference between a sales call with an executive and a sales call with a lower-level representative is the level of decision-making authority and understanding regarding the product being sold. An executive will typically be interested in high-level strategies and the big-picture impact of the company’s product. In contrast, a lower-level rep might be more interested in the product’s specific features and capabilities.
What is pre-call preparation?
Pre-call preparation, as previously mentioned, is the process of researching information about the client and company before making a sales call. To have a successful sales call, you must understand the client’s particular needs and pain points and determine their decision-making process and budget.
Explore More With The Brooks Group
In conclusion, pre-sales call research is essential to the sales process. Conducting this necessary research allows salespeople to better understand the company and the person they’ll be speaking with. By effectively researching the company, identifying the decision maker, and preparing relevant materials for your sales call, you c1787an bet that your sales call will be successful. Are you interested in learning more about the sales process? Check out this article about goal setting with your sales team.