What Should Be Said on the Sales Call?If you are like me, no matter how many years of sales experience you have, the first time running a call at a new company requires a game-plan such as a sales call framework (aka guide, not a script). That game-plan tends to evolve over time and change with the needs as you gain experience. You start asking better questions and get better answers as a result; in parallel, you become more successful with time and experience. I would argue that no matter what, every salesperson has an idea of how a call should go, what the key questions are, and what the outcome should be. If you don’t have this, you are probably missing a big opportunity (and you probably won’t be in sales long). Sales, ultimately, is uncovering needs for a buyer that you can help solve, if you don’t have a repeatable and successful process for uncovering those needs, your success will be slim and random at best.
Sales Call FrameworksSome of the best sales people combine “what works” from several different sales methodologies. It works, because it’s rooted in psychology and how people will react when presented with specific situations. To that end, sales is more of a science. Pick your favorite sales methodology and think through how they recommend you set up the call. These frameworks are not scripts, but they are guides to how to successfully navigate the call and ultimately how to achieve the desired next steps. Frameworks provide consistency, help with best practices, and help reps avoid errors or missing segments of the call. Personally, I try to have a short framework ready to go for every call with different segments that serve to guide the call.
Upfront ContractOne example that I use frequently is Sandler’s “upfront contract”. Usually sounds something like: “Hi Mr/Ms. Prospect, my hope is that we can figure out if we are a fit in 10-minutes, if we are then we can do a demo and set up next steps, if not, then we can part friends – does that work for you?”. Hint- they say yes, every time. If they say yes every time, then that means I’m getting permission to set next steps ahead of the end of the call every time. Therefore, why wouldn’t I want to repeat that success on every call I’m on? As a line in my framework, this allows me to repeat this every time. Another example of a framework is one that is less structured around the call flow and more on how to answer a specific question. For example, when asked about a competitor I have often said “Competitor X does great at _______, and if you asked them they would say we are small, don’t do custom work, and won’t interact with your clients for you – and you know what, they are right. We actually ______(then I explain we are small, and don’t do the things they say because it doesn’t make sense to do as a best practice)”. This ensures that I get into what makes us different and better than the competition without laying into a competitor and looking like the shark. The examples could go on, but these frameworks are really a talk-track (think guide, not script) that can tell you how to effectively navigate that part of a sales conversation.
Why it Matters for Your TeamThere are a few reasons why your team should be on some type of framework, but the most obvious ones are
- Best Practice
- Error Avoidance