Don’t forget sales call fundamentals – a sales tip

Sales Tip

Recently we had a sales training project where we had the opportunity to observe a 50 rep sales team making a series of sales calls.  One overall observation stood out …  As a group, the sales reps didn’t do as good job on the fundamentals as one might have expected.   Three points desire highlighting:

  • Establishing a meaningful objective for the call. Pre-call planning is important and the first step is to set an objective for the call that makes sense.  Too often no objective was established or the objective was so vague, for example – “to get information,” that it was not helpful for planning the call.
  • Asking, listening, then talking. In successful calls buyers talk more than the sellers and the sellers ask more questions.  But too often we observed the sales rep reversed the sequence.  They started talking at the beginning of the call and never got around to engaging the customer.
  • Summarizing the call. At the end of the call it is useful if the sales rep summarizes what happened on the call to check whether there is a common vision of what went on and if there are any remaining issues the customer wants to discuss.  Often this step was just omitted – the calls just ended with thanks and see you next time.

Whether you are a sales rep or a sales manager coach it always important to revisit the fundamentals – sometimes we just forget and sometimes we think we are doing them skillfully and we’re not.

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©2012 Sales Horizons, LLC

About Janet Spirer

For more than 30 years Dr. Richard Ruff and Dr. Janet Spirer - the founders of Sales Horizons - have worked with the Fortune 1000 - such as UPS, Canon USA, Smith & Nephew, Boston Scientific, Owens & Minor, Textron - to design and develop sales training programs. Janet has followed two different, yet complimentary paths. First, as a B-School Professor she taught marketing, sales, and business strategy courses. She also managed a consulting practice focusing on sales productivity and marketing – working with a variety of clients ranging from Xerox to IBM. She translated those experiences into a book – “Parlez-Vous Business” – that helps sales people develop the business savvy to sell successfully. Since co-founding Sales Momentum® in 2000 with Richard Dr. Spirer received her Ph.D. from The Ohio State University, an M.P.A. from The University of Texas at Austin, and a B.A. in Economics from Brooklyn College. She holds the appointment of Professor Emeritus at Marymount University.
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