How to Prepare for a Sales Call Through Effective Research

Prepare Sales CallsThe world of sales is based upon the idea that intelligent representatives with a thorough knowledge of their products and services can effectively sell customers on the notion that they need these specific assets to help their companies.

A sales management team can set up every aspect of the deal for a representative, but they must rely on these salespeople to do the final research about the customer and make the actual call to the respective company.

Managers should tell their representatives exactly what to research so that the onus of preparation is on the salesperson. This can help to create a sense of responsibility.

A representative should first go to the company’s website and get all of the background information that may be useful in the sales call. The next step should be to go to the annual report and the 10k, as the salesperson can read how the client is doing historically and see how they are handling the management structure along with what trends have developed, according to Barrett Riddleberger, the chief executive officer (CEO) of Resolution Systems, Inc., a sales training and consulting firm.

While getting the basic company information down is the first priority, it is necessary to utilize the new social media tools that have enabled representatives to learn about the individual clients, the executive noted.

“From an individual standpoint, LinkedIn has changed everything,” said Riddleberger. “It’s one of the greatest business tools ever created, because it’s specific to the employee and not the company.”

If the individual leaves the company, they will update their profile, allowing representatives to track people’s careers and see the connections that they make in the business world. Personal information like where they attended college and what degree was received are all right on the internet, according to the executive.

“It’s transformational, in helping you find that golden nugget to connect with someone, or a person in your network who knows them,” noted Riddleberger. “If you’re in sales and you’re not using LinkedIn, you are so missing out when it comes to research.”

While it can certainly benefit a representative to know many things about the specific client that they will be talking to, it is important to not open with personal information. Timing is everything, and weaving an anecdote into the conversation may serve a salesperson better than opening with a fact about the individual, Inc.com reported.