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How to Prepare for a Sales Call in 10 minutes with Business Acumen

Business Acumen: Sales Training

Recently, there was a @LinkedIn poll that showed that sales reps were spending more time than ever before preparing for a sales call. In fact, some reps were reporting that they spend four or more hours preparing for a single call.

In the world of enterprise selling, we can understand that this type of preparation is warranted, and arguably just as important as your empathy and your consultative selling skills. It's very important that you come to customer calls with some situational understanding - which is what this preparation is meant for.

Let’s be honest though, we often find ourselves in a situation where we don't have four hours. So, what do we do when we have limited time? How do we prepare for that call? Here are four quick steps that we recommend when you have ten minutes or less to prepare for the call.

First - it's important to get a pulse on the company by answering some basic questions:

  • What industry are they in?

  • How many employees do they have?

  • What is their top-line revenue growth?

The answer to all of these questions can be found by visiting sites like @Yahoo Finance , @Glassdoor , or LinkedIn. Next, spend some time exploring the company’s investor relations page. Find this by checking out the company's website. If there's not a link there, you can google Investor Relations and the Company name. On the investor relations page, you should see an announcement for the company's next earnings release. Knowing when the earnings release is taking place can potentially provide you with all sorts of information, such as what their potential budget cycle could be and what they are focusing on over the next few months - just knowing when the call is taking place is a great piece of insight. You can also spend some time reviewing the slide deck from their last earnings release - this will give you some feedback on what they've been working on internally, and where they were looking to head. You should also review their press releases, and look for any big news. Examples include a recent acquisition, a new product launch, or a new executive. These are definitely things you need to know before you join a call with a company.

Once you've got a good feel for the organization, it's important that you also spend some time understanding the person you'll be speaking with. First, explore their LinkedIn page - review their job title, job description, career experience, what they've done within the organization, and explore any commonalities we might have.

Commonalities include:

  • People that we mutually know

  • Companies that we’ve interacted with

  • Or schools that we’ve interacted with

Finally, spend a few minutes getting really curious.

  • What would it be like if you were in the position of your contact?

  • What would it be like if you had their role and have experienced everything going on at that company?

  • What would you be focused on?

  • What would be your priorities?

  • What would you want to accomplish?

Get curious around those things, and solution aside, what would you want to accomplish if you were in that role? Happy selling!

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