, 2015 

Sales Managers: Five tips on preparing for the joint call
There's a ton of pressure on sales managers to help their teams sell more effectively, and a joint call to observe, coach and improve skills is the best tactic, provided you coach before and after the call.  

If you don't get this right, you've wasted two resources on one call. Copy, edit and send this email to your salespeople a week before you get in the car to call.

"Bill, I'm looking forward to joining you on your call next week to Zydex Industries, a great prospect. To help you prepare, let me give you five areas to focus on.

First, this is your call and you'll have the lead. I'll speak if you get stuck, but just enough so they don't think I'm a ventriloquist's dummy. My job is to observe and coach later. I know you'll do great.  You're good at this.

Second, I'm going to ask you when we get back in the car what the prospect learned from you that he didn't know before you walked in the door.  How much research will you need to do on the market, the industry and the company in order to differentiate yourself as a knowledgeable consultant? Check in with me about this if you need help.

Third, what are your objectives for the call? Please don't tell me it's to introduce ourselves, build rapport and find out if they need anything.  Let's have concrete outcomes.  At the least it should be agreement to the next call, a referral to someone else in the organization or a commitment to continue. I'll be listening for you to close for next steps.

Fourth, we need to do a good job of needs discovery.  Script out for me at least six useful open-ended questions you plan to ask, so we can talk them through.  If you give me "what keeps you up at night?" or "where are you feeling the pain?" I promise not to fire you, but I can't say I won't be visibly ill.  Prepare some strong questions in advance.

Fifth, you need to send out a strong agenda to the prospect right now. Please bcc me on it.

I'm looking forward to seeing you in action, as you're a strong, dynamic communicator.  Let's talk by phone the day before the call just to nail all this down."

Sales managers who don't call with their team and instead wait until the end of the month to scream about the results are not doing the job. Get out there and coach.

This month and next I'm focusing on coaching best practices on my blog. See the link at the top right of this page and join in.

Think Like Your Customer!

Gregory LaMothe

Gregory LaMothe

ActionSystems, Principal