Sales calls can quickly degenerate into long ramblings by the salesperson and the prospect completely missing the point of the call. It can even happen after the salesperson spends considerable time preparing. Both beginners and seasoned experts are vulnerable to sales calls mistakes such as rushing into the pitch before gathering insights into the customer’s challenges.
Smart agents don’t rush into the call without talk tracks, which may contain questions to ask or a structure to follow. By going over all the important talking points and implementing all the best practices, they easily transition the prospect through all the important steps, moving them closer to closing the deal.
In this article, we will go over the definitions and share a sales track checklist that you can begin using for more productive sales calls.
What are Sales Talk Tracks?
A sales call talk track may be described as an outline or checklist, containing several steps that sales agents follow when meeting with prospective customers. Interactions may take place face to face or may involve a text or voice conversation over the phone.
The talk track breaks up the interaction with the customer into quadrants or segments. For instance, it will have an introduction or opener. Salespersons use this opportunity to introduce themselves and what the company does. If it’s a cold call they may ask for permission to continue with the interaction.
The immediate segment following the opener is the qualifying stage, where the salesperson asks a series of questions to find out more about the challenges the company is experiencing, solutions they’re utilizing, or any conflicts with vendors.
With insights gained from the qualifying phase, the salesperson moves on to the positioning. The call will then end with the closing, where the salesperson may ask for a follow-up meeting, order confirmation, or decision on a matter.
Reasons to Use a Sales Call Talk Track
A sales talk track may be handy for several uses including:
Enforcing sales compliance in customer calls;
Helping salespersons to close deals more efficiently;
Ensuring that all the important talking points are covered in the limited duration the call takes place;
Preparing salespersons to effectively handle objections;
Setting agendas and specific sales call outcomes;
Preparing well for the call.
How to Develop a Sales Talk Track
Talk tracks and sales enablement resources give salespersons the ability to steer the conversation in a defined direction, handle objections, respond faster, and ultimately, sell faster. Developing a sales track may seem complicated that's why it's important to approach it in the following quadrants:
Prior to call: A successful sales call begins with adequate preparation. Salespersons should perform some basic research into the contact person along with their company, with the aim of establishing any potential problems they may be experiencing. Company websites, press releases, and financial disclosures may be a goldmine of information. Prior to the call, the salesperson must also review the sales objectives and set an appropriate agenda.
Introductions and Greetings: Salespersons should also place careful thought in the way they introduce themselves and handle the initial objections, particularly if it's the first time calling. They can build initial trust and interest by showing interest in the company or building rapport with nonsales questions.
Qualifying: Successful salespersons focus on the prospect’s challenges and problems during the qualifying stage. However, they should remember that people may become reserved and not readily answer questions about their problems. So, it’s important to structure the conversation in a way that encourages prospects to share their problems willingly, without a lot of probing, which often feels intrusive. For instance, they may say, “I know a lot of companies in your industry have been having issues with…” rather than asking point blank “Which challenges are you having with this and that?”
Positioning: The overall goal of positioning is to have customers associate your products or services as a solution to their problems. So, in the sales track, you may plan to introduce various solutions with as few details as possible to pique interest and to avoid dragging the call for too long.
Presentation: The right presentation matters and using certain terms or words may create objections in the buyer. When developing the sales track, the presentation is more of asking if you followed all the recommended steps and best practices such as focusing on the prospect’s problems.
Closing: During the closing, salespersons focus on the action they want the prospect to take such as putting in a new order. It may be necessary to reestablish rapport or get feedback from the customer if they understood how your services can solve their problems.
Sales Call Track Example and Sample
Here is a sample sales talk track that you can use to ensure that you have covered all the important areas heading into the call and post-call:
Prior to call – Have I:
Reviewed the prospect’s website or social media pages to learn something new about them
Set an objective for the call (New purchase order, the decision on…, etc.)
Prepared and gathered necessary sales enablement resources
Set out an outline and prepared an agenda
Opening – Have I:
Properly introduced myself and stated the reason for calling
Reached out to the right person
Properly handled any objections that may stop the call from proceeding
Transitioned smoothly from the introduction to the main point of discussion.
Qualifying- Have I:
Asked about the company’s priorities and key initiatives
Inquired about the challenges the company is currently facing
Asked about solutions they are currently using to address the said problems
Inquired about challenges they are having with their current vendors
Listened more than I have spoken
Focused on their needs and challenges instead of talking too much about my company
Encouraged the client to think deeply about their problems
Positioning - Have I
Properly understood the client’s concerns challenges, risks, and future goals
Addressed the client’s concerns by presenting better solutions (faster, cheaper, more reliable, safer, etc.)
Created interest in our company's products and services
Mentioned past clients who have experienced similar challenges and successfully resolved them with our company’s solutions
Presentation - Have I
Covered all the major issues that the client may be experiencing
Handled objections carefully by listening to them and not going on the defensive
Come across as a knowledgeable and reliable source of information
Avoided unnecessary industry jargon
Represented the organization in the best light
Closing – Have I
Moved the sales conversation through all the necessary steps to arrive at the closing stage
Gathered all the information about the economic buyer and any budget allocations
Unlocked access to key stakeholders that will be involved in the purchase decision
Inquired about the procedures for verifying new vendors or when the company will be in the market again
Asked if we can proceed to the next step (order confirmation, in-person meeting, product demonstration, etc).
Following a successful sales call, you may need to perform some post-call activities or customer maintenance tasks such as sending thank you letters or following up on scheduled appointments.