How to Ace that Initial Sales Call with Planning and Preparation

shutterstock 265460402 Converted How to Ace that Initial Sales Call with Planning and Preparation

There’s such a thing as being too eager in sales. An incredible prospect comes in, and the sales rep wastes no time calling them up or barraging them with emails without taking the time to research and understand the prospect and their needs, essentially pushing away a perfectly-good sales opportunity. Rather than jumping into the call, its best to plan and prepare ahead of time. Take a look at some insights into how to ace that initial sales call.

Collect and organize the appropriate information via CRM

The first and most quite possibly most important step in the pre-call sales investigation process is collecting essential contact information that will be vital to the call. This includes name, job title/position in company, company name, and a detailed list of any interactions the contact has had with your company.

Once collected, this information should be organized efficiently within your customer relationship management (CRM) software. Becoming organized immediately will give you a great starting point in terms of where and what to research further. Collecting and organizing general contact information is just that: a starting point. There’s a lot to be done between collecting initial information and the sales call.

Research the account

This one’s a given. If you’re not doing the proper research before a sales call, the conversation won’t get very far – you likely won’t get past surface-level discussions without really addressing any pain points or potential places for a solution. Research their website, prepare helpful resources in advance, investigate the industry (if you’re unfamiliar with it), and simply prepare, prepare, prepare. While you probably don’t need to spend an entire day researching one prospect, you do need to put in the time and effort to be as prepared as possible for that call.

Immerse yourself in the industry

For those sales reps who focus on one specific industry, it’s best to truly immerse yourself, rather than simply analyzing a company’s website. This can include attending industry events to network with potential prospects, joining associations within the field, or even connecting with various industry leaders in social networking groups such as LinkedIn. These potential prospects are out there interacting with each other, so it’s the perfect opportunity to introduce yourself, your business, and its products/services.

Make some assumptions, if able

A lot of the time, salespeople are tasked with selling to companies and decision-makers that share a lot of the similar challenges and pain points. If this is the case, take advantage of the scenario. Since you’re already familiar with handling a specific industry or communicating with a specific decision-maker, you’re able to make some assumptions regarding what they’re looking for in terms of a solution to their problem. By already having some sort of idea of the challenges or pain points that they’re going to bring up, you’re one step ahead and can be ready with questions, insights, or helpful resources to assist in the sales process.


As a sales rep, it’s your job to represent your company with energy and passion when selling your products/services to prospects. There’s no excuse for a lethargic or lackluster sales call.

In preparing for the call, do whatever it is that you need to do to get motivated and energized. Whether that’s a cup of coffee, a quick walk around the block, or some other helpful activity, ensure that you’re going to exude passion during the call. Sales reps who do this naturally build a level of trust and comfort among prospects; those that sound like they’d rather be elsewhere won’t see the results they’re expected to achieve.

Practice humility

Nobody’s expecting you to have a complete and total understanding of the needs of a prospect, their business, their, audience, etc. Not your VP of Sales, not even the prospect. Acknowledge this, and you’ll be much more confident during the call by accepting your own limitations.

Although you don’t need to know absolutely everything, you DO need to be highly knowledgeable, or at least well-researched and prepared. Do your homework so you can be as prepared as possible, but don’t think that you have to know everything. Impress the prospect with your preparedness, but avoid wasting countless hours investing in research and focus on the need-to-know information.

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