As Henry Ford once said: nothing happens until someone sells something.
Cash flow is the lifeblood of every business, which is why the sales department often has the most significant impact on a company’s operations. As such, everything revolves around the sales forecast, including the company’s target goal attainment and, thus, your KPI.
The problem is selling is a hard skill to pin down. As with anything that entails human-to-human interactions, whether in-person or via calls, it requires a lot of context and comprehension to conduct. Moreover, you must tailor each conversation for each customer who needs different solutions for different problems.
While every sales situation is different, almost all follow a general pattern towards a conclusion. And when patterns arise, so does the opportunity for replication and scaling. Creating a sales playbook is an excellent step to replicate and scale your methods to achieve bigger goals, and every playbook starts with an understanding of the sales process.
The sales process is the invisible blueprint that most sales calls follow, and this infographic will provide a top-to-bottom guide on the steps of the sales call.
The 7 Steps of a Sales Call
The following steps serve as an outline of the structure that most sales calls should follow. The process starts before a call is made. That is, finding out whether a lead is sales qualified and tailoring your presentation for their specific needs.
Next is the actual call itself, where you present your case, handle objections, and, hopefully, close the deal. The last step is maintaining your relationship with the customer.
However, do not think of this as a script to follow to the letter. Since you will be presented with different situations for each call, some improvisation will be needed. With that said, it will be a lot easier to improvise if you know which step in the process your conversation is currently in and where it is heading next.
So, now, let us delve deeper into the steps of a sales call:
It may be helpful to create a buyer persona to help you narrow down your leads. A buyer persona is a semi-fictional character that represents an ideal member of your target market. It enables you to categorize people with similar goals and pain points. You can use this to standardize your playbook when encountering a customer with similar characteristics as your buyer persona.
Ideally, prospecting should happen before you make the call. However, on the off chance that the lead approached you first, ask the prospect leading questions about their pain points and listen carefully to their answers.
Now that you have identified a potential customer, it is time to acquire as much information as you can get before you approach them. Research about their company and industry, and do not forget to observe their competitors, as well. It is at this point that you will tailor your sales pitch for their needs.
Introduce yourself and your company well. You should have developed a sales script for your product and company by now. Start with rapport-building and try to segue into the sales presentation by asking pre-qualifying questions to the client.
While having a PowerPoint presentation is a no-brainer for business proposals, you would not have that luxury when presenting via a phone call. Instead, list down the benefits of your product or service that are most beneficial for the customer. Use the information you’ve gathered earlier to keep pressing the pain points of the client.
Again, while it is best to have a script, improvisation is key. Actively listen to your client’s questions and react accordingly.
- Handling Objections
After your main presentation, your customer may have more questions and hesitations before accepting your proposal. Try to prepare a script for the common customer objections and always handle these concerns politely and tactfully.
While it is possible to close the deal right there and then, what is most likely going to happen is that the customer will require more time to think about the purchase and discuss with other people if they should go through with it or not. Try not to push too hard. Instead, find out when you can get their decision and regularly communicate with them to follow up.
Send a thank-you note after the meeting and after the deal is closed. You should also answer their product concerns once they arise and ask for feedback.
How to Win More at Sales Calls
Now that you know the steps of the sales call, here are five tips to help you improve your sales call game:
- Be confident
An insecure salesperson will have a hard time appealing to a potential customer. Always maintain composure, assertively address their objections, and be firm when you give the big ask. Confidence often comes from knowledge of your product and service. So, study up!
- Take control of the situation
When you feel that the conversation is starting to stall, try to get the ball rolling again by asking leading questions and articulate why your product or service is essential for their situation. Knowing which stage your conversation is in the sales call will help you segue to the next one.
- Find a customer’s place in the buyer’s journey
Knowing where the customer is in the sales funnel will allow you to tailor your approach to their needs.
A prospect at the awareness stage needs more information about your product or service to advance to the next stage of the funnel. Meanwhile, those already farther along the funnel may only need a nudge (i.e., a special offer) to push them towards the purchase.
- Don’t hard sell
Nothing turns off a buyer quicker than a seller who is too aggressive. Using hard-selling techniques may backfire on you as the customer may opt to fight fire with fire.
Always remember that selling should work out a solution that works for the customer and not just closing the sale. Using aggressive selling techniques can win you sales in the short term, but good luck trying to retain these customers for the long haul.
- Listen and build a conversation
Another thing to always keep in mind is that you are dealing with humans. Don’t just rattle off about your product’s benefits or your company’s values. Active listening and giving an enthusiastic response will signal to the customer that you do indeed care about them and what they are saying.
Sales is Still the Most Important Part of a Business
The art of selling is hard to master because the variables are different every time. However, following the blueprint of the sales process can help you tame this wild beast and even systematize and replicate it. A way to have access to a high-performing sales team that can scale your business is by working with a call center provider.
If you want to work with a call center that can help you close deals with high potential, EB Call Center offers excellent and top-notch service. Head on over to the EB Call Center Contact Us page and drop a message!