Clear the Hurdles Preventing Pre-call Planning By Your Reps
Top Global Sales Executives Rate Pre-call Planning
In a mid-2009 study of global sales executives with "consultative sales processes," we asked:
"Please rate the importance of effective pre-call planning to successful completion of your sales process."
100% of the study participants told us that pre-call planning is "important to extremely important" to successful completion of their sales process.
Top Global Sales Representatives Rate Pre-call Preparation
In another mid-2009 study of several hundred top global sales representatives with "consultative sales processes," we uncovered these facts:
- 97% of top producers said that pre-call preparation is a major key to their success
- 100% said their customers appreciate it when they are prepared
- 3 out of 4 said they use pre-call planning more effectively than their underperforming peers
The Key Questions Are, "If This Data Is Correct, What Prevents Top Sales Reps From Doing More Pre-call Planning?" AND "Why Don't The More Marginal Producers Pre-call Plan?"
As a result of these global studies, our research revealed there are two key hurdles that keep salespeople from writing pre-call plans.
1. The time it takes to complete this task
Over 75% of the global top producers say it takes at a minimum of 10 -15 minutes to prepare for each call. Of that group, 18% say they spend over 20 minutes in pre-call preparation for each consultative call.
Based upon these figures, do you really feel that the marginal producers will spend that kind of time planning for call success?
2. Inability of field sales management to provide constructive, timely coaching before an important call
Over the past two years, due to budget cuts, the span of control for field sales managers has increased significantly. This has had an adverse affect on field sales management's ability to spend quality time coaching sales reps before key calls, especially those geographically dispersed. In fact, this is a problem even when times are good.
The net affect is that many sales reps are on their own when it comes to call preparation. They do not have the ability to receive pre-call coaching or best practices from their peers.
- Create an enterprise-wide, uniform pre-call planning process leveraging the "best practices" of your top producers.
- Take out time-consuming busy work and isolate your reps' thought process so that it takes less than 5 minutes to create a pre-call plan, customized to your methodology and sales process.
Are three to five minutes per call too much to expect...
...from a professional salesperson to prepare for a successful sales call?
...for a field sales manager to review the plan and make coaching suggestions for call success?
...for your entire sales team to implement the best practices of the top producers in your company?
- Provide flexibility that allows your professional salespeople to select options for different call scenarios.
- Realize that pre-call plans are best utilized for prospective customer calls and calls on key accounts. Do not mandate for every customer encounter.
- Allows managers to the ability to provide feedback and coaching before the call.
- Regardless of experience, require it of all new hires. This will shorten ramp-up time significantly and get them in the habit of planning for success.
Remember Our Aforementioned Study of Top Global Sales Representatives?
92%! Yes, 92% said they could sell even more, if they could improve the effectiveness of their pre-call planning process!
Click here for your free Guide to Pre-call Planning.
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photo credit: mstorz