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Sandler Training | Chicago & Northbrook, IL

As a sales manager, I'm sure you've experienced going on a joint call with a salesperson and having it not really planned out like it could have been. Or debriefing a call that you weren't on but still realizing that just the planning didn't go in place like it should.

In a previous article I talked about pre-call process meaning two parts, planning and practice. The practice part is role playing and practicing what can happen on the call.

The first part though is planning, and a planning tool.

The pre-call planner tool. [Download Here]

The pre-call planner tool is really meant to be a thinking tool before the call, before the meeting, to get your head in the place where you can anticipate some things that are probably going to happen or potentially could happen. With veteran salespeople, even newer salespeople, we kind of know where we should take a meeting, but when we're there, without the right prep, we're always going to be in a place where it's like, "Ah, I wish I would have thought of that."

That's the purpose of this tool, but the key things to remember are, you got the obvious stuff at the top such as: who's the contact, and what's their role.

But then things like: have we met them before, are we connected on LinkedIn, what's their DISC profile, do we know already that they're an enemy, (do they not want us there, or are they neutral, or do they really not have a feeling either way, or are they a friend or raving fan?)

But then we get into some of the other parts to the tool:

What do we know about this category?
What are the typical pains in this industry (if you’ve sold to it before)?
What are we bringing with us? ‘
What kinds of questions can we anticipate them asking?
What should we be ready for as far as the objections they might bring up?
What should we be prepared to talk about?
What's our opening five minutes going to be?
If we get into some kind of capabilities, what do we want to talk about?
What do we not want to talk about?

Those are the kinds of things that a really good pre-call planning tool are meant to uncover so we're not blindsided in the call. Most sports have a game plan before the game. They figure out, "Okay. Here's our opponent. Here's what's going on. Let's plan it out knowing what we know about them. What do we need to prepare for?"

This is no different.

And without this tool, even the smartest sales people will forget something. I guarantee it. So, what can you do (knowing that you are maybe using this tool already) to make this part of your sales management process so your people are way better prepared for their upcoming meetings?

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