Systemizing The Moments Before The Call

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Systemizing The Moments Before The Call

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The most stressful moments for most salespeople don’t happen when they’re engaging with a prospect.

Instead, they happen in the moments right before the salesperson hops on the phone.

Why? It’s because few salespeople do anything to prepare in the moments before the call. It’s surprising how many don’t even look at the name of the person they’re calling until the phone begins to wring.

Dropping a bunch of troops into Fallujah with no preparation isn’t a recipe for success in combat, and it doesn’t work on the battlefield of business.

The results of this type of haphazard sales preparation are salespeople having to re-confirm things they may have already covered with the prospect, pry out information to find a need for what they sell, and finally convince the prospect that they’ve solved problems for others in their industry.

All those challenges can be eliminated with a simple pre-call preparation process that even salespeople who are required to make dozens of calls a day use to quickly prep before each dial.

To learn how it’s done, we sat down with Niraj Kapur, managing director of Everyone Works In Sales. He showed us how even simple steps can prepare us for better conversations, faster pipeline velocity and more opportunities to help our customers win.

Since we’re trimming hope from our sales strategy, we’ll use the acronym TRIM to guide us through creating a system with a trigger, ensuring it’s repeatable, building in ways to improve it, and of course, ensuring it’s measurable and getting us results.

T – Trigger: To trigger a system that’s designed to get you prepped just before a sales call, Niraj recommends not waiting until a few minutes before the scheduled call or visit. Instead, review your calendar at least a day ahead of time to block out your call objectives or customize any materials. Trying to remember what needs to be accomplished when you’re in the moment with a prospect means you’re focused on your goals and not helping your customers win.

R – Repeatable: Whether you’re in a sales cycle where there’s weeks between each sales meeting or whether you’re in sales conversations every day, Niraj says to first check their website for any information they’ve shared that could add context to your call, look for any articles others have written about them or their company, and also understand what changes are likely coming up in their industry.

These are all talking points that ensure your prospects know you’re interested in more than making a sale.

Once you’ve done research, Niraj says to write down the questions you want to ensure you cover in your next conversation. These could include both the industry-wide questions that allow you to set context to the discovery items you need for qualification and to determine next steps.


If you’re required to make dozens of calls a day, you’re likely calling into similar industries or at the very least, solving a problem that all your prospects share. If you can’t dial in your prepping systems to each individual company, at the very least, identify the general challenges folks have that your product/service solves and review where this prospect is in the pipeline to determine what success looks like on the next call.

I – Improvable: To improve the system you use immediately before your sales calls; Niraj recommends carving out time for self-reflection to determine the things you’re doing well and the areas you could improve in. There’s a fair chance that something you identify as an area of improvement needs to be worked into your pre-call prep, such as fine-tuning your discovery questions, practicing your objection turnarounds, or ensuring you never hang up without setting next steps.

Another way to improve is to review your calls with a supervisor or a peer and instead of simply focusing on areas of improvement, it’s critical to point out the areas where your pre-call prep came into play. Maybe it was an industry-specific question, or that you qualified the prospect further. Only then should you look at what items you should have discussed that you didn’t.

Those items you left out can be built into your updated pre-call prep system to ensure they’re not missed in the future.

M – Measurable: To measure the effectiveness of your pre-call prep, Niraj recommends looking at the areas that aren’t as obvious as closed deals. Instead, he advocates looking at pipeline velocity. If you’re preparing for your sales calls and reviewing the proper items beforehand, you should see more engagement, higher trust, and faster relationship development.

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