The recent CCS® Index showed that 53% of sellers are guilty of “winging” sales calls. Most everyone had been guilty of not doing their due diligence before going to make a sales call.
Activities that should be done as part of pre-call planning would be:
- Visit to the prospect’s website to get a sense for what type of company it is.
- If calling on an executive, check his or her bio on the website to understand their background and areas of responsibility.
- Check social media channels to learn more about the buyer.
When calling on a prospect for the first time, I believe a seller can set themselves apart by having done some research as I believe the person appreciates that effort being made.
What I’ve described above is almost expected of a salesperson and doesn’t require a great deal of time or effort.
A more experienced salesperson would be looking for triggering events on a prospect’s website so they could make some intelligent decisions about business challenges buyers may fact that the seller’s offering can address.
For example, if you were selling a CRM offering and saw that a prospect had just acquired one of their competitors, you may want to leads with a Success Story about having to merge milestones and seller pipelines to be able to forecast more accurately post-acquisition.
As you would expect, triggering events are likely to have different implications to various Key Players within an organization.
A seller’s ability to personalize the potential issues to specific titles they call on can go a long way toward:
- Establishing credibility early on
- Having buyers conclude you are competent
- Having a buyer share a goal, problem or need that your offering can help them achieve of address
Anyone that has been selling for awhile has had occasions where they have “winged it.” I hope you agree:
Key Players you’re calling on can tell when sellers are winging it and that will reduce the chances of good outcomes of sales calls.
By John Holland, Chief Content Officer, CustomerCentric Selling®