Here's how you REALLY know if a sales call went well

by Steli Efti
sales-call-1.jpg

You hang up the phone… An hour long sales call is now in the books. It was a quality lead you’ve been trying to get time with for a while.

The next call is already scheduled and you had some great conversation throughout the entire call. This calls for a celebration, right?

Not so fast...

Before you can celebrate, you’ve got to evaluate the call. After all, do you really want to pop a fresh bottle of champagne for a so-so sales call?

Sure you had a lovely conversation and they laughed at your jokes, but last time I checked you can’t cash jokes at the bank. If you want to TRULY evaluate the call, you need to dig a bit deeper

So now we’re left with one pretty big question…

How do you know if a sales call REALLY went well?

Once you can answer that question, it’s not too difficult of a process. If you just got off a 10/10 call, the champagne may be within reach…

Well that’s the question we’re going to answer today. Once you’re finished reading this post, you’ll know exactly whether or not your calls are a success or not.

So let’s dig in...

What DOES NOT define a successful call

Before you can start to think about what DOES define a successful sales call, you need to make sure you know what DOES NOT directly mean it was a success. There’s one common mistake that I see far too many salespeople make when they’re evaluating their sales calls…

Just because you liked each other doesn’t mean the call was a success.

If you and the person on the other end had great rapport, really liked each other, and had a fantastic conversation, that’s definitely not a bad thing, but it’s not the deciding factor in whether or not your call was a success.

Can it help? Absolutely. If they like you, it’s going to make the rest of the process far smoother and easier to navigate, but you can’t just stop there and give yourself a gold star.

So what DOES make a sales call a true success?

Let’s break the call down a little bit first...

Each sales call has two key stages

Sales calls can be lengthy. It’s not uncommon for a high quality sales call to last an hour or longer. Of course, there’s going to be A LOT said throughout an hour long phone call.

To keep it simple, every sales call can be broken into two primary stages:

1. The beginning & middle of the call

The bulk of the call is going to fall under this section.

This is your introductions, friendly conversation, stage setting, talking through what it is they’re looking for, what exactly you have to offer, how the two fit together, and more. It’s where you get to truly evaluate if there’s a fit between you and the potential customer.

During this stage, there are two key pieces you should be paying close attention to:

  1. The quality of answers they’re giving you.
  2. The quality of questions they’re asking you.

When I say quality, I’m talking about how they’re delivering these questions and answers.

Are they giving you well-detailed information?

Are they doing it in an authentic and trustworthy way?

Are they willing to share information?

Do you have to fight for answers and info from them?

From these two ideas, you’ll be able to see if they’re genuinely interested in what you’re offering, and if they truly think there’s a fit or not. If they’re giving you half-ass answers and asking half-ass questions, that probably means they’re not too interested in you.

2. The end of the call

This stage is usually going to be a lot shorter than the first, but this is where the real money is made. This is where you’ll REALLY start to see if the call went well or not. If you’re looking for a most important part of the call, you found it.

Success here is based on two things:

  1. How clearly defined are the next steps?

When you’re talking about next steps, it can go one of two ways. You’re either breaking them out in great detail, or they’re just rushed through so the call can finally be over. You want it to be the first one.

If the next step in the process is for the potential customer to evaluate something with their team, what’s the timeline? What comes after that? What’s the timeline on that next NEXT step? What about after that?

The more detail here the better. If they’re willing to lay out the next 10 steps in the process in detail with solid timelines, you’re more likely for them to actually follow through.

  1. How excited are they to take them?

This one’s going to be all about the feel. If they’re truly excited about the potential of working with you, they’re going to let it show.

Are they making these next steps a true priority?

Are they ready to get the ball rolling right away?

Do they truly want to take these next steps?

Are they giddy about what’s up next?

Keep these two key questions top of mind during the end of the call and you’ll be able to tell a lot about whether you’re truly on to something or not.

You want to take all of the information from the first part of the call and convert it into action and true next steps.

The #1 way to tell if your call was a 10/10

That brings us back to the primary question…

How do you REALLY know if the sales call went well or not?

To answer that question, you just need to listen closely to the end of the call.

Are the next steps clearly defined?

Are they beyond excited to take those steps?

If the answer is to both is yes, congratulations, the call was a 10/10!

Anything less and you’ve got a subpar sales call on your hands, no matter how much you think they liked you. These calls aren’t just measured based on how nice of a chat you had, they’re measured based on the business you’re bringing through the door. Always keep that conversion mentality in mind.

Wrapping it up

Remember, it’s all about the next steps...

Are they clearly defined?

Are they excited to get rolling?

Focus your attention on that phase during your post-call evaluations and you’ll be scoring calls like the best of ‘em. One of the best ways to improve your cold calling skills is to regularly listen to recordings of your own sales calls and take note where you missed opportunities and could have done things differently.

With Close.io, you can enable call recording to automatically have record every call and store it in our inside sales CRM so you can access the recordings anytime. That's the beauty of a CRM with integrated calling.

Cold calling still works, and we have the perfect guide for you. It’ll teach you how to qualify and close prospects, deal with sales objections, and more…

Download Your Free Cold Calling Guide Now