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How do you prepare for a sales call?

Do you do an extensive research on the company or you just wing it?

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🔎 Prospecting
👑 Sales Strategy
43
looper1010
Celebrated Contributor
+13
Account Executive
Do some quick background research via LI or CB (5-10 min)
Have a Google docs ready to go with all their company's basic info and objections/ques if available.  

Take notes during the meeting.

Send them a follow up email and get them to sign.

If it's pure outbound and no info whatsoever, gotta probe and wing it ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
bamageorge
Celebrated Contributor
+9
International Sales Director
5-10 min seems reasonable, I used to spend lots and lots of time doing research. 
JC10X
Politicker
+8
Senior Sales Manager
I breathe, visualize, look for at least 3 connectors and dial.
bamageorge
Celebrated Contributor
+9
International Sales Director
''Visualize your success then take action.'' 
JC10X
Politicker
+8
Senior Sales Manager
indeed!
funcoupons
WR Officer
+11
up in Fiji, under paddy
Spend a few minutes checking them out online and looking at the contact's LI, write down any specific questions I want to ask that deviate from my norm, that's about it. 
bamageorge
Celebrated Contributor
+9
International Sales Director
My previous employer wanted me to call non-stop (over 120 calls/day) so I didn't get to spend a few minutes, you won't believe how frustrating it was. 
quokkadownunder
Catalyst
+4
SDR
holy crap - that sounds awful
Show 1 more replies
Jackywaky
Arsonist
+9
Master of Disaster
high lvl view research: name + role + tenure + relevant posts and then go for it
bamageorge
Celebrated Contributor
+9
International Sales Director
Love that approach!
Jackywaky
Arsonist
+9
Master of Disaster
necessary - gotta make it quick but specific enough to deliver a great msg
cifu
Opinionated
+1
SDR
on-point and clean
Jackywaky
Arsonist
+9
Master of Disaster
ty - the idea is to go for the score always
SlideDecksAreUseless
Fire Starter
+2
AE
1. Dunkin Cold Brew x2 

2. Take a walk or lap to get the mind sharpened 

3. Watch the call video w/ SDR and take notes on timeframe, budget, pain points and what company or process they are currently using 

4. Pump ACDC or hustle rap 
bamageorge
Celebrated Contributor
+9
International Sales Director
Fuck Yeah! Best answer/advice so far! 
RealEstateVeep
Politicker
+6
VP of Real Estate
I review my notes, check their LinkedIn for any relevant changes to them or their company.

More importantly during the meeting I take notes of things that seem to resonate with them or not, then send a follow up email to review what we did and when the finalist appointment is (I don't leave without getting one on the books).
bamageorge
Celebrated Contributor
+9
International Sales Director
Yes! Taking notes is crucial.
HappyGilmore
Politicker
+7
Account Executive
Spend some time researching the company/prospect, and write high level questions I want to ask throughout, otherwise go with the flow of the conversation.
bamageorge
Celebrated Contributor
+9
International Sales Director
How much time do you invest researching the company?
Kinonez
Celebrated Contributor
+9
WR Enthusiast
I check their website to see if they are in a fundraising stage, or anything we can help them with, they I look at their LI profile, to see their role, years of experience and areas of interest.

I wrote down what I need to know in order to see if my solution is the right fit and go for the call!
bamageorge
Celebrated Contributor
+9
International Sales Director
Great process! how much time do you invest n this? 
Kinonez
Celebrated Contributor
+9
WR Enthusiast
Not much, 5 minutes at average perhaps. 

How do you prepare for a call?
Show 3 more replies
NoSuperhero
Politicker
+7
BDR
practice questions, responses, read important info from LI, website and other sources, and simply nut up and shut up
bamageorge
Celebrated Contributor
+9
International Sales Director
Hell yeah! Nut up and shut up!
quokkadownunder
Catalyst
+4
SDR
I'd spend 3-4 min of Research (2-3 talking points about the prospect) -> Ask whether if a specific problem/pain is relevant to the prospect's day to day activity -> Then introduce your solution and ask if you can set a time to show how you can you do it. 
bamageorge
Celebrated Contributor
+9
International Sales Director
3-4 minutes of research sound reasonable, I used to spend at least 10-15 mins doing research ‘cause I didn’t want to sound unprepared, but that wasn’t sustainable.
picklerick
Opinionated
+3
Account Executive
Treat it like a job interview. Info about the company (size, growth, new hires etc. Research the role you are speaking to on LinkedIn. Show it on a quick slide and use it to probe. Shows you care about the company you are talking too. 
Palladium_Rog
Good Citizen
Business Development Manager
Besides all the good advice others have already mentioned, I'd add to look for something out of the ordinary that might be a good opener or a hook for later (either during that call or in follow-ups).

For example: you found out that your prospect likes to do calisthenics? Ask him next time if he has a favourite spot or exercise, anything that shows you heard him the first time and remembered.
bamageorge
Celebrated Contributor
+9
International Sales Director
Love that! I’ll try that next time!
GDO
Politicker
+7
BDM
just website, linkedin financial info and go

bamageorge
Celebrated Contributor
+9
International Sales Director
🙌🏻
Lambda
Politicker
+6
Sales Consultant
I have a precall plan template that gives me a ton of info but i also have an RSS feed to all my clients i check daily to keep me informed of my clients whats happening 
bamageorge
Celebrated Contributor
+9
International Sales Director
Pretty good! I’ll take that one from you
sc
scumbaghawk
VP sales
I heard of https://intro.so - haven’t used it but looks promising to cut down research time.
sellingsellssold
Politicker
+7
SDR
Doing background research on LinkedIn about the person and looking up some major headlines for the company. You want to know what you are calling about so you do not sound stupid especially when calling high powered positions. 
bamageorge
Celebrated Contributor
+9
International Sales Director
Absolutely!
bareknuckles
Valued Contributor
+4
CEO of my kitchen table
Research the company, check prospect linkedin, call 
AnchorPoint
Politicker
+8
Business Coach
Role play, role play, and more role play.  Amateurs practice to get it right. Professionals practice until they cannot get it wrong. 
bamageorge
Celebrated Contributor
+9
International Sales Director
Love that! Role play is a must until you get it right!
AnchorPoint
Politicker
+8
Business Coach
NO.  Until you cannot get it wrong!
Show 2 more replies
Beasthouse
Opinionated
+5
Corporate trainer
knowing everything that is publicly available about the company is the starting line these days
PhillySales
Opinionated
+3
Director of Inside Sales
Lots of good comments, to add something to the conversation, I think it’s good to see how long that person has been at the company on LinkedIn. Gives you some perspective on their role. Are they brand new and shaking things up? Have they been there for 15 years? Gives you a chance to ask a more personal question without being creepy. ‘I see you’ve been there for 10 years, I bet you’ve seen a lot over the years, why do you think this is being prioritized now?’ ‘Have you tried to solve this problem before and how did that go?’ ‘Looks like you are new over there, what are the first things you want to get done in the new role?’
SaaSam
Politicker
+6
Account Executive
Punch myself in the balls
JustGonnaSendIt
Opinionated
+4
Burn Towns, Get Money
I would not say my research is extensive, but I think it's important to understand what the company does, how they make their money, and formulate an idea of what their key risks and priorities are.

This can be a quick, 15 minute exercise to prime you for the meeting. As I've mentioned in previous posts, this is easiest with public companies - Just review the 10-K and focus on the "About the Business" section, and a brief review of the key revenue buckets / distribution. Understanding this information can go a long way in helping you communicate the value of your solution.

Use this research to generate a list of questions you want to ask (NOT things you want to say).

Then build a roadmap for the meeting - How you want it to flow. Present this roadmap as the meeting opener following introductions and get buy in.

Take detailed notes during the meeting. Make sure to talk less and let the prospect / customer elaborate against open-ended questions.

Then as others have mentioned, follow up with a summary of notes, next steps, and a call to action to keep moving.

If the next step is far away, make sure to set reminders to drip relevant information to your contacts to ensure they stay engaged.
alexpe2294
Valued Contributor
+3
Sales Account Manager
Prospect and company research! Find a compelling event, if there's a need and their current situation. Also mindset preparation and going after human conversations and not specific call outcomes.
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