How to make a good sales call? It’s a big question, and one you should always think about.
The sales call is a core component of business, but cracking them is not easy.
You or your team may be nailing the cold calls, and generating interest from potential clients with your solutions, but you’re maybe still struggling to get many people to the next step and actually wanting to buy or trial your product. Even if you do not have this problem, you should always want to brush up your skills, and make sure you are doing all you can to achieve the goals you have set. Regardless of how things are going for you, we can help.
Whether for you, or your team, we have a list of tips, tricks, and tools which can guide you from before to after the sales call, to get the best results.
Prepare for the Sales Call
Getting the most from your calls, you need to prepare in advance, which may require some time.The more you prepare however, the easier it will be in future calls. Have a sales call plan and follow the next few tips, and you will achieve a lot more:
Did you know that calls that take place too early in the mornings are generally less effective? Or too late in the evening? If calls are being arranged by you or your team, make sure it’s picked at a good time. The best time to make sales calls is around 4pm in the afternoon. Failing that, around 10/11am.
If you are dealing with clients in different time zones, it is important to keep track of the time difference. Tools such as the time zone converter can show the time in two different countries, so you can ensure your clients, no matter where they are, are being contacted at the best possible time.
Have your research ready
Sales calls are generally scheduled rather than a cold call, and therefore, the sales rep should try to be as prepared as possible with the details of your client. Have all the relevant information ready, and ensure they have any useful information in advance, so they don’t have to be overloaded with information, rather have a conversation.
This information you can use about the client may be from your previous conversations, but also check out:
- Your CRM and marketing system
- PR releases
- Customer reviews
Know your goal
What is the purpose of the call? This is the focus of your interaction with this client, and should help you plan what you will say, what information you need to give them, and what answer you want from them. This can also help in any future calls with the client, to know what has been done and what needs to be done next.
Here’s some things to consider:
- Is your goal to get them to understand what you offer?
- Is your goal to get them to demo the solution?
- Do you want them to have another meeting after considering your solution?
Most likely, you are not expecting them to buy today, as it’s generally better to give more time. However, what you want exactly will determine the call, and will change the questions you will ask them (more on that in a bit).
Have a script, but be flexible
Sales reps need a script, but they should never read, rather be adaptable and present in the conversation. No one wants to hear a robotic voice listing off information, so it should be treated as a guide to convey key information, while allowing communication to sound like it’s from a normal human being!
How to start a sales call
The moment has arrived, and the call needs to be made. So, how can calls get started to make sure the client doesn’t hang up or say no straight away? There are some sales call tips that should be followed:
1. Start with friendly small talk
“I know you’re based in Austin, I actually used to live there myself, how’s the weather?”
“What’s it like at your office today? Ours is pretty crazy”
“How do you like working from home? I enjoy it, but I miss social interactions”
“I saw you studied in Chicago, so did I, how did you find it?”
This sort of opener, which of course should be adopted to the relevant and true information, can help establish some natural rapport. This could be information about their company, talking about some recent work the company has done, or any info that can help establish some simple bond between the rep and the client.
Small talk is the best way to start any sales call. People say they often hate it, but when it’s done right, it’s a vital way to build a relationship, ease into the conversation, and learn about the client.
2. Explain the call
“I just want to explain what is on the agenda for us today. How does that sound?”
“So today I’m going to give you the chance to tell me a bit about your company’s challenges, and we will let you know how we can help. Does that work for you?”
“We are going to give you a chance to speak, and we will explain how we can help working from home be more productive for you. Is this alright with you?”
Explain what the call will be about so they know what they are listening for, and what they should expect. This way, they feel secure in the call and that you will not be tricking them with anything at the end.
Also, ask if the goal of the call is okay for them, because this makes them feel more involved in the conversation. This isn’t like a cold call, the sales call should have a conversation here between two people as it gives the rep the ability to learn more, and the client will feel more engaged. By having the interactivity the conversation will facilitate better and a sale is much more likely.
3. Be upfront
“What i want today is to know if you’re interested in having a further conversation about using our product and what we can arrange to help you”
“I’m hoping that by the end of this call, we can arrange something to help you with those problems you mentioned before”
“We want to be able to conduct another meeting later after today, based on what we discuss, and talk about having a free trial”
Don’t wait until the end to get the yes or no, get them thinking about it at the start, and they will listen more attentively, rather than wait just to give an answer. It makes them more comfortable knowing what to expect, and doesn’t put too much pressure on them. Honesty is a very effective thing and allows for reps to be more confident.
During the sales call
1. Speak the correct amount
In cold calls, reps will generally speak more and get a better rate of success, and reps need to communicate and convince them to keep listening. In a sales call, reps need more interaction. Give them the chance to speak, explain their thoughts, and have a more interactive conversation, and reps will get a more positive response.
2. Use the right language to be persuasive
The sales rep in this conversation needs to lead the conversation not follow it. If they are positive, the client will be more likely to be enthusiastic about going forward. Here are some sales call tricks to be more persuasive when speaking.
Try to use “I” more when building a personal relationship, but use “we” to build credibility.
“We have been working with (a competitor) lately and they had a lot of results. We were wondering if you would be interested in such a service?”
This gives a sense of professionalism, and shows the rep as part of a bigger whole. “We” will be more effective at the start of the conversation, to represent the company, but then switch towards “I” later on.
“But I am hoping that you will want to talk to me about this further”
This builds a connection between the rep, not the company, and the client. This can help foster better communication. It’s all about knowing when to use the right language.
Some other tips: control speech so as not to mimic the client, as this gives a sense of authoritativeness, and use downward intonation to sound more confident, otherwise everything will sound like a question! The client may not see the rep, so the voice is a vital tool to utilize well. Generally, using these kinds of things in speech will lead to greater results.
3. Get the most from objections (and rejection)
When hearing an objection, the client should be able to voice their concern, and have it repeated back to them in a different way. The rep needs to show some understanding and sympathize with the client, so they can build that rapport again.
“Do I understand that for you, it’s important to make sure this is worth the expenses?”
And use this opportunity to ask questions back. Keeping the flow of the conversation
“Why do you think this solution isn’t useful for you?”
Remember, if the client has an objection, this means they were paying attention.
If flatly rejected this should be used as an opportunity to learn. The rep should try to find out why they don’t think you can help them, and you and your team can use this in the future to improve.
4. Get your questions right
Questions are a vital tool in business. A call needs to have both the right amount of questions and the right type of questions. Around 11-14 questions is optimal per sales call, too many are overwhelming and annoying, too few fail to get enough information and don’t facilitate conversation sufficiently. Remember, this is a conversation not a monologue.
But what sort of questions? The rep needs to find out:
- what problems the client are having
- what the client as a person thinks can be improved for them, their company, their work etc.
- what they think about your company
- their short term and long goals
- what support they need from your company
and then finally, when the next call will be!
How to ask these questions? Start with phrases such as
- “Can you help me understand”
- “Can you explain to me”
- “Lead me through”
These types of phrasing will make the client go into much more detail in their answers, so the rep will find out the most information.
So putting this all together, consider these type of questions:
“Can you help me understand, what issues are you facing with productivity at the moment?”
“Walk me through a day at the office, what challenges do you face for example?”
“Can you explain to me what your current long and short term goals are?”
“Lead me through your thoughts on what needs improving at your company”
How to close the sales call
1. Verify that the client understood the call
“So today, I asked you what you think about the challenges you’re facing, and you told me sometimes there’s problems with communication between management. And I explained how I think we can help you?”
“So, just to recap today, you explained how sometimes your customers are complaining a lot about service. Do you agree this is a problem? And you see how we can help you?”
Use the final moments to check if the client understands how your solution can help solve their problems, and why these problems need to be addressed. This will help them reflect on the conversation and see the necessity of what the rep is offering to help them reach their goals. Summarization is very important in the customer experience, and will help keep things clear and focused.
2. Explain the next steps
“So next, we will arrange a further call, and we will talk about how trialing our service will work for you”
“After today, based on your feedback, we will go ahead and provide you with more information, and then we can have another call talk about implementation”
Once the call has been summarized, the rep then needs to spend some time explaining to them the next steps. Outline each step from here on, and ask when it is good for them to have another call. Among reps who spend more time explaining what’s next, you will find a higher rate of success in these calls, than by those who rush to the end or try to nail the sale then and there.
It is worth recording your meetings, and keeping everything logged properly. This process doesn’t need to be complicated, or slow, you can use software to automate this process.
Ideally you will be able to review all the information, and go forward with confidence with the knowledge of the key takeaways of the meeting. Review notes, make a plan for the next step, and keep an eye out for how calls can be improved in the future.
Sales call reporting (How to do it effectively in 2021)
Without a record of your important decisions and action items, you, your team, and your client can leave the meeting with different expectations and misalignment on next steps, causing confusion and disputes.
This is why you should record your interactions, transcribe them, and keep track of all the key information. This can then help in any future meetings with the client, and you can confirm with them prior to any meetings any important information, to make sure you’re all on the same page. Also, digital records are a great way to check your sales team performance and progress.
Notiv solves this issue, ensuring clarity with a meeting summary that can be shared with your client and team members.
Notiv also turns your meetings into searchable digital notes that can be quickly reviewed to get the full context behind a decision. By recording, transcribing, and identifying the key extracts and action items from meetings, every meeting is now immeasurably more useful, and nothing is lost.
This guide provided steps for before, during and after sales calls, so you and/or your team can get better results. In addition to knowing how to conduct the calls, ensure the conversation is recorded, so that nothing is lost, and there is no misunderstanding between the rep and the client. Notiv can help with this. For those who want to know more about how Notiv works read more here.
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