In an ideal world, a successful sales meeting would be a piece of cake. You go swinging with a strong pitch, handle prospects’ objections effortlessly, and close the deal – all in the same call.
But in reality, most sales meetings are uphill battles. You walk in barely prepared (and often enough, unprepared) and fail to answer prospects’ questions – at least to their expectations. Then you watch the opportunity slip through your fingers. So close, yet so far. Yet another lead lost.
If this sounds familiar, you need to level up your meeting preparedness to be in control of your sales calls, build rapport, and move them further down the sales funnel.
Thankfully, you don’t have to look any further to up your game. We’ve compiled an ultimate sales meeting preparation checklist to make every call feel like you’re cruising down the highway instead of a rollercoaster ride.
Different facets of sales meeting prep
Be fully aware of who you’re pitching to
First order of business—know who you’re selling to. This might seem a no-brainer, but it’s unbelievable how often this can get overlooked.
Zero in on your prospects with a research memo covering details like:
- Sale size
- Company size
- Primary offering(s)
- Vendor relationships
- Ideal customer profiles
- Pain points (most important)
The exercise of putting together a research memo will also enlighten you on whether a deal is worth chasing in the first place. What if you need 50 HR professionals in a team for this to be a viable opportunity and you find out there’s only 13?
In an ideal case scenario, you will go into the discovery call to confirm your suspicions rather than to interrogate a blank page.
Don’t go into a sales call with the intent of winging it. Instead, do your homework to show prospects your efforts to understand their company and challenges.
Know more about the space they operate in
The next best step is to understand the industry your prospects belong to. Learn more about the target market, their customers, the competitors—the whole nine yards. This will help understand how they fare in the industry and identify the gaps they’re trying to fill.
Use this information to contextualize their pain points and create a compelling offer to take them to the promised land.
Here’s a checklist by Kyle Coleman to help you prepare for a sales call:
Set a structured agenda and respect their time
Let’s face it: poorly planned sales calls create friction for your prospects and hurt your sales performance. So, once you’ve done the legwork to know your prospects fully, it’s time to make a meeting agenda.
By sharing a meeting agenda before the actual call, you can show prospects that you respect their time and will stick to a defined schedule. More importantly, an agenda can keep you on the right track, making the call meaningful for both parties.
Here’s a handy list of items to include in your meeting agenda:
- Main points of discussion
- Next steps
- Slot for Q&A
An agenda creates guardrails to keep you in control of your sales meetings. It also shows prospects your approach to sales calls, making a good impression.
Learn more about the decision-makers
Sales reps often drop the ball when it comes to knowing the actual decision-makers for a potential account. Doing your research about the company is great, but it’s not enough.
That’s because 95% of buying decisions are made by the subconscious mind. People buy based on emotions and justify these decisions using logic. So, you have to go a step further to understand the company’s decision-makers—your main buyers—and deliver an emotionally-driven and personalized pitch.
No two buyers think alike. So, to win their buy-in and convince them of the next steps, you have to be aware of their:
- Decision drivers
- Thought process
- Communication style
- Decision-making parameters
Put simply, you have to understand their personality to know how to nudge them toward a purchase decision. This is where Humantic AI can do all the heavy lifting for you.
With the Humantic Personality AI Assistant, you can learn more about a prospect in just 30 seconds. Go to a decision-maker’s LinkedIn profile, and the tool will create a detailed report revealing their personality traits and decision-making style.
Here’s a snippet of the Humantic Personality AI Assistant’s report.
The best part? With Humantic AI’s all-new calendar integration, you’ll automatically get a prospect’s personality analysis before an upcoming meeting.
Designate time and workflows for follow-up actions
It takes an average of eight touches to book an initial sales meeting. But this discovery call is just the first step. The overall sales cycle includes three main stages:
To take your leads from a place of interest to that of commitment, you have to consistently follow up with them and reiterate the value you can deliver—until they’re ready to seal the deal.
So, set up automated workflows to check in with your leads regularly. Dylan Bridger shares some actionable tips to follow up after a call.
Ultimate sales meeting preparation checklist
- Be fully aware of who you’re pitching to
- Know more about the space they operate in
- Set a structured agenda and respect their time
- Learn more about the decision-makers
- Designate time and workflows for follow-up actions
Ace your sales meetings with the right approach
That’s a wrap on sales meeting prep essentials. Use this checklist to make your sales preparation as airtight as possible and ramp up your sales performance.
Remember: if you want to appeal to your buyers’ emotions, you have to know their personality traits well enough and understand how they make decisions. Try Humantic AI (and particularly, its calendar integration) to get an in-depth view of your prospects’ personality and tailor your pitch to their preferred style. You’ll be one step closer to making the sale!