By Alice Heiman
How many of us have had this conversation?
Manager: “How did that sales call go?”
Manager: “Did you close the deal?”
Salesperson: “No, but they love me, and they want the product.”
Manager: “When will it close?”
Salesperson: “Probably this quarter.”
Sound familiar? What does this sales manager know about the sales call his salesperson just finished? The answer: not much.
Coaching salespeople when they return from a sales call is important business. It needs to be done routinely and consistently. Salespeople will do a much better job if they know they may be asked for very specific information after a sales call. Having a post-call report format is a good idea, but a quick email or phone call with the right information can tell you exactly where the salesperson stands with that sales objective. Post-call assessments can be quick and painless. Here are some questions you could ask:
- How did you prepare for the call?
- What was your objective for the call?
- How did you make good use of the customer’s time?
- What questions did you get answered that tell you where the customer is in the sales process?
- What are the next steps?
- What action did the customer commit to taking?
- What action did you commit to taking?
- Did the customer give you a close date?
- How will you follow up this sales call?
Managers will have fewer surprises if they make these questions a part of their daily coaching routine. Benefits include a shorter sales cycle, more effective selling and better close ratios. In the long run, this will lead to more accurate forecasting.
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Alice Heiman is a sales expert and networking guru with more than 20 years of experience coaching and training sales teams and entrepreneurs to get connected and build relationships that close the deal. Connect with her or read her blog at aliceheiman.com.