Once you have booked the sales call, you must prepare for the sales call. Preparation involves five steps:
The stakeholder management chart is a table that helps you organize key stakeholder information. It enables you to manage and plan the steps in the sales process.
A Sales Call Talk Track is a tool used in technology sales processes to help you navigate through a sales call. It takes you through a systematic question-and-answer session that will help you and the stakeholder understand how your product provides value to the target customer’s organization.
Use the stakeholder management chart and the Sales Call Talk Track to guide your research. At a minimum, visit the customer’s website to build an understanding of their business. The website will usually yield relevant information, especially if it is a public company that must disclose information about their organization and financial situation to investors. Other sources of information can be found through search engines. Contact past employees, suppliers or customers of the organization for additional information.
When preparing for a sales call, you must develop and practice the delivery of two statements that are geared toward this specific opportunity:
When properly written and delivered, the value proposition and positioning statement can greatly influence the early stages of the sales process. They subconsciously compel the target customer to develop a language around your offering.
The language you choose will help the customer make sense of your technology as it applies to their organization. Therefore, make the language as relevant as possible to the target customer.
The content of these statements must also meet the overall goal of setting the potential customer’s expectations, which should influence them to purchase your technology.
In some cases, you must also prepare a sales presentation. Although it has the same fundamental purpose as the value proposition and positioning statement, the sales presentation is usually longer and accompanied by visuals.
Remember that to effectively convey your message to the prospect, you must practice your delivery.
Anticipate and plan for these practical issues when preparing for a sales call:
Heiman, S. & Sanchez, D. (1998). The New Strategic Selling. New York: Warner Books, Inc.