Having a reliable framework for sales calls can be invaluable in creating an effective and repeatable sales process. Here's how to make every call a potential success.
Some time ago, we worked with a client who seemed to have the perfect marketing formula.
They had a well-defined niche, an almost unrivaled reputation in their industry, a staggering amount of knowledge, and incredible value to offer to their clients. In addition to all that, the agency was able to find and retain a solid portion of its clients.
But they struggled with revenue, or at least it wasn't growing at the desired level.
That kind of result might sound almost impossible in light of our client’s agency’s foundation. But the cause was apparent to us right from the start.
It faced a problem that’s seen in most small agencies – the owner also acts as the primary salesperson.
The reality is that many agencies don't perceive this as a problem - it’s nigh-unavoidable when starting out. Young agencies have limited resources and onboarding is often not an option.
But as an agency grows, sooner or later the marketing and sales responsibilities will become overwhelming for a single person.
As soon as we recognized this, we started working with our client on putting new people in place to ease the burden. We also focused on defining a sales process so that the new workforce can seamlessly take over the crucial tasks.
In only three years, our client's revenue shot up by 850% - undeniable proof that this strategy works.
Creating a detailed sales process proved instrumental in getting our client’s new marketing and sales personnel up to speed and start contributing as soon as possible.
We also worked on improving their approach to sales calls, particularly on establishing a balance of structured and free-flowing conversations. This was a crucial element in the whole process, as they needed a framework for more predictable sales calls.
Such a framework is necessary when it comes to sales calls, yet it’s one aspect that many agency owners don’t pay attention to.
Now, there are specific things to do before and during a sales call that can make the process as efficient as possible. Get this right and your profit might just take off.
What You Should Do Before the Call
You must first have a foolproof plan of action before you get in touch with a potential client. There's little time to adjust on the fly once the call starts, so proper preparation will be essential to your chances of making a deal.
Follow these steps to ensure you’re adequately prepared before you get on the phone with a potential client.
First, you should clearly define your objectives. Specify the expected outcomes at the end of the call, both for yourself and the client.
Have questions ready to target your client’s particular pain points, wants, and needs, making sure to structure the call in a conversational fashion. You want to hit all the key points without making the call sound like an interview or an interrogation.
Plan out the call and how you'll guide the conversation through the relevant topics. Predict in advance your client’s questions and objections and prepare how you can direct the call towards the appropriate solutions and opportunities.
Besides touching on the crucial points, steer the conversation in such a way that you get all the necessary information for the rest of the sales process.
When formulating the call plan, try to leave it as flexible as possible. People will notice if you're being too rigid in sticking to a formula, so train your salespeople to maintain an informal approach. Cover the important details but leave ample space for unexpected turns in the conversation.
Prepare how you'll present what your agency has to offer. Given a sales call’s relatively short duration, you should know how to address the most relevant questions, needs, and concerns beforehand.
It’d help if you have a firm grasp on the values of what your agency has to offer and leverage that to help your clients reach a decision quickly.
Know who you'll be calling. The more details you have about your clients, the easier it will be to structure and lead the conversation.
It's imperative to understand their wants, needs, pain points, and particular challenges that your service can address. Your clients should ideally feel like your offer is tailor-made just for them, and you can create that impression during the call with prior research.
What to Do During the Call
If you've done your due diligence, all of the material you’ll need for the conversation should be ready. But the reality is that not even the best preparations can make up for an awkward sales call.
You need to ensure that the conversation has a natural flow, backed by a framework that keeps it on point.
The critical time to ensure a good call is at the very beginning. If you can motivate your clients to talk about the relevant subject in the first minute or two, you'll get the conversation going in a constructive direction.
An important tool that will help you in that regard is how you formulate your value proposition. The best way to go about it would be to tell the proposition upfront and in a straightforward manner.
State the reason you're calling by stressing the issue your client faces and why your service is the best way to solve their problem. If what you say hits the mark, you'll have a great starting point for the rest of the call. Even if it misses, you'll know it straight away by the client’s response and you can reframe or end the call early.
Try to establish a dynamic of conversation where your client takes part in talking about the relevant issue. Listen carefully, answer their questions, and only react if you need to nudge them back in the right direction.
Nailing the Perfect Sales Call
Preparation can significantly increase the odds of successful sales calls. Once you know every relevant detail about your client's needs and how your offer benefits them, you can engage them in a meaningful, productive conversation.
If you can manage the call and get the prospect to follow the framework on their own, with subtle encouragement on your side, you'll have a greater chance of sealing the deal.