The first sales call is where the magic is supposed to happen! As a salesperson, this is your opportunity to put your customer first, deepen your relationships, uncover and address vulnerabilities and progress your opportunity forward.
It’s an opportunity to demonstrate credibility — bringing insight to the conversation —creating and delivering — not just communicating — value. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. In the absence of a plan, many sales interactions stumble, where they should stride. In fact, according to our research, 40% of sales meetings don’t have a clear plan for success (2019 Customer Revenue Optimization Benchmark Study) and 62% of all sales calls do not progress past the first meeting or call.
A simple Sales Call Plan (or meeting plan) can go a long way to save time and money for both you and your customer. For many salespeople, the very act of planning the call – Why should the customer meet me? What unique business value can I bring? What is going on in the customer’s business that I can help them with? – either highlights the fact that the meeting is not worth having, or, having determined that it is a worthwhile use of time, will make the call more productive.
Most buyers believe that only 49% of the meetings with sellers are valuable. The harsh truth is that from the buyer’s perspective most sellers are not adequately prepared for sales calls. The consequences go further than you might think; and the likelihood of progressing the opportunity is in jeopardy.
So, why would you subject your treasured relationships to an INEFFECTIVE SALES CALL?
The more common scenario is where there are multiple people from the customer’s side involved in the meeting, along with multiple people on your team — this is when the risk of the call going off the rails multiplies exponentially. If one person on your team underperforms in a meeting, then that is a reflection on the entire team.
On the other hand, you could have a good, well-planned call that delivers on everything you wished for. Having a well thought out plan will help you and your team focus on making each event count, moving the decision in your favor. Without a plan there is an increased likelihood that some of the people on your team will inadvertently say and do things that create awkward situations that make the buyer uneasy. Having a game plan that outlines the desired outcomes and everyone’s role on a sales call yields a stronger result.
As a modern seller on the revenue team, your goal is to deliver value to your customer with every interaction. Delivering value starts with having a plan – Don’t get caught without one!