Sales calls can be pretty daunting when you’re first starting out. If you’ve got a brilliant product or service, but your sales calls just aren’t landing, there could be a key component that you’re missing.

You need a sales call plan.

If you’re fed up with just winging it, you can use my guide to figure out how to craft the best sales call possible. And if you need extra support, my team and I can work with you to help create and sell your offer.

Read on to find out everything you need to know about creating an incredible sales call plan.

What Is a Sales Call Plan?

Liam creating a sales call plan

The sales call plan to success

Have you ever tried to go into a sales call with no preparation? Most people will tell you it’s not a good idea.

A sales call is any kind of call made by a sales rep to sell something, whether that’s a product or a service. There are different types of sales calls, depending on whether you know the person beforehand or not.

And a sales call plan is all the prep work you need to do to make that call a success.

So essentially, a sales call plan is the outline that you need and the steps you need to follow before you even attempt a call.

Why You Need a Sales Call Plan

If you need to do a sales call – which is any kind of call made by a sales rep to a client, whether you’re selling a product or a service – you need to have a sales call plan.

Why do you need a plan in place before you pick up the phone?

The answer is simple.

Preparation gets better results.

A sales call plan allows you (or your sales reps) to personalize your call for each person. It arms you with everything you need before you call, including questions your potential client might have.

It also allows you to prepare yourself. Being in the right headspace and honestly assessing your own strengths and weaknesses will put you in the best place to connect with the person you’re calling.

Planning a sales call doesn’t have to be a huge headache, it just takes a little time. You can follow our guide on how to plan a sales call, and you’ll be ready to go.

Sales Call Planning in 9 Simple Steps

Nine steps sounds like a lot, I know. But bear with me – there’s a method here that is pretty straightforward and will have a solid sales plan in a short amount of time.

And the results will be worth it, of course, to make the sales process easier.

Step 1: Prospecting

This is the obvious first step in the sales call planning process – finding prospective clients.

You might already have someone in mind or you might be working with existing clients, in which case, you can skip this step. But if you’re looking for a potential new client and you’re running low on ideas, there are a few ways to do it.

The easiest way is to head to social media. You can find new connections on LinkedIn and Facebook quite easily, and it’s a good idea to keep making those new connections every single day.

The good thing about social media is that you can go directly to where your potential clients are. Whatever solution you’re offering, you can find your key audience hanging out on social media.

Once you’ve come up with a list of potential new clients, you can narrow it down to one particular person you want to call first.

Step 2: Research

Now is the time to research. Not just your potential lead, but your competitors, too.

When it comes to understanding your ideal client, you need as much information as possible. Not just because you can tailor your pitch towards them, but also because it will give you confidence.

And I know from experience that confidence is key.

The more work you put in now, the stronger your mindset will be going into it.

Some things to research about your client:

  • Their position within the company and what that entails
  • How long they’ve worked there for
  • Any recent changes within the company, like mergers, new product launches, etc
  • The types of clients this company serves
  • The company values and growth over the years
  • The prospect’s pain points and how you can help
  • The client’s professional journey
  • A few personal interests, or where they went to school (something that you can connect with them about on that first call)

On top of this, you need to research your competitors. You can follow this plan:

  • Who are my closest competitors in this area and what are they offering?
  • What is their market strategy?
  • What are any potential gaps in the market? What can you offer that nobody else is?

And, for bonus points, you can research your potential new client’s competitors.

  • How are your client’s competitors performing in comparison to your client?
  • In which areas are they outperforming your client?
  • How can your services help to plug that gap?

Remember, the more prepared you are, the more assured your new client will feel, knowing that you are thorough and you have taken the time to really understand their needs. This is why the research process is so important.

Don’t be afraid to invest time in this step. It will 100% be worth it. And if the sale doesn’t go through? At least you’ve practiced crucial research skills that will serve you well in the future.

Step 3: Assess your strengths and vulnerabilities

Alright, nobody really enjoys this step. At least most people don’t. There’s a reason why ‘tell me your strengths and weaknesses’ is such a dreaded question during job interviews.

But in my experience, the more honest you are about your own strengths and vulnerabilities, the better you will perform as a sales professional. If you really want to level up in work, this is the way to do it.

Firstly, you can assess your own strengths.

What are you good at? Is it your analytical skills? Your ability to research? Your problem-solving abilities?

You can also assess your sales call skills. Are you good at making people feel comfortable? Do you enjoy the discovery stage?

And now, the vulnerabilities.

What could you improve? What skills do you wish you could level up a little? What about your sales call techniques – do you find certain parts awkward? Are there areas you struggle with?

You can also run all these questions by your company, too. What are the good things about the products and services you offer, and what do you think is lacking and could use work?

This will help to build a successful sales call plan.

Step 4: Decide your goal

You’ve probably already got a goal in mind, but now you can commit it to paper.

What are your call objectives? Do you want a client to sign up for a particular service? Do you want to an existing client to renew?

Make your sales goals clear and specific. It will help you to stay focused.

Step 5: Initial contact

This initial contact can be done via email or through cold calling. The goal of this contact is to establish a future time to have a sales appointment.

You can send a friendly email. Make sure you get their direct email and make it as easy as possible for them to book a slot with you.

You can also do some cold calls. This has mixed results, but can be very successful if done well.

If you don’t hear back from them, don’t be afraid to do a timely follow-up. Most people don’t appreciate a bombardment of phone calls, but you can gently nudge after a few days.

Too many emails could put them off, so aim for a few, spread out every few days to give them time to respond.

Step 6: Write your pitch

Now is the time to refine your pitch!

The key thing to focus on when you’re writing a pitch is to think about what your client really needs. There may be multiple areas that you can help with, so outline each one.

Ultimately the client wants to know what’s in it for them. So that is the main point you need to get to quickly. Be succinct but make sure to include all the relevant information.

What can help is writing out what your products or services can offer, and highlighting the key terms. Those are the words that you need to make sure you include.

Your client will naturally want to know how much it will cost them. You need all of this information at hand so you can provide detailed responses.

Also, you should think about whether or not there is wriggle room for negotiation. If so, you need to know what your limits are. This is key for effective sales calls to get the desired outcome.

Step 7: Prepare questions and answers

You should also try to anticipate any questions that your client might have as part of your pre call planning, and have answers ready prepared.

These might be more specific details about your services and any extra costs, and some common objections. It can be tricky but try to anticipate as many of these pain points as you can.

The more prepared you are for follow up questions, the more confident you’ll sound. And the more confident you sound, the more your client will trust that you are capable and that you are on the same page.

Your client may have some objections or things that they feel a bit tentative about. Think about what these might be, and see if you can come up with creative solutions.

Step 8: The sales call conversation

We won’t go into the sales pitch in too much detail – we have more info on how to make a sales call and how to close a sales call that goes into this in more detail. But you don’t have to worry, because all your preparation will help you to sound more confident and professional over the phone.

But there are a few things in the plan that can happen post-call that I want to cover now.

Step 9: Post-call analysis and follow-up

Ask yourself some honest questions:

  • Was it an effective sales call?
  • What were the areas that you found more difficult?
  • Which parts of your pitch worked really well?
  • What were some unexpected questions or issues that you had to face?

I’m including this here because this feedback can feed directly into the planning stage of your next pitch for more sales. These are valuable insights.

Your client may not have an answer right away. There may be follow-up calls involved.

As a courtesy, it’s always a good idea to send an email or message to thank them.

Sales Call Plan Example

Let me show you an example of how this works in practice. Here’s an example of a sales call plan using an imaginary business owner (let’s call him Greg).

1: Prospecting

Greg’s company offers social media marketing services for new, fledgling businesses. So he spends some time researching small business start-ups on X and LinkedIn.

He finds some local businesses that have some apparent weaknesses in their social media strategy.

2: Research

Greg spends some time researching one of these companies (let’s say it’s a bakery) for his sales call planning he wants to know:

  • The target client base for the business
  • How many followers they have on all social media platforms
  • The posting pattern as well as some gaps in their marketing plan
  • Who are the decision makers in the company and their contact details
  • General company research of the prospective client

This gives him a good base to work from before his initial call.

3: Assess your strengths and vulnerabilities

Greg can identify some of his strengths. He’s analytical and detail-oriented. But he’s not so good at making the prospect feel at ease, so he needs to find something he has in common with the person he is about to contact.

The company Greg owns is very good at establishing a strong social media presence. He is nailing the pre call sales planning.

The downside is that Greg’s business doesn’t have any existing clients in this niche, so he will need to get creative with sharing relevant case studies.

4: Decide your goal

Greg’s goal is to link the bakery with one of their social media consultants, to sell them a package of services tailored for fledgling businesses.

5: Initial contact

Greg decides against a cold call in this case. He sends a friendly email to the owner of the bakery, making sure to include some details about the bakery, and asking when is a good time for a sales appointment call. Greg positions this call as a free initial audit.

The prospective client shows interest and agrees to Greg’s offer of an audit.

6: Write your pitch

Having secured a warm call, Greg completes the audit and writes a pitch. The pitch gets right to the point about the services Greg’s business can offer, why their package will work for the bakery, and all the potential benefits.

7: Prepare questions and answers

Greg has anticipated some questions the business owner might have, and has spent some time preparing for a sales call by putting together some solutions.

8: The sales call conversation

Greg goes ahead with the call following his script. The client is impressed, and the deal is closed, because Greg took the time to prepare.

Everyone’s happy. Go Greg!

9: Post-call analysis

Greg notes a couple of questions he hadn’t prepared for, but he also takes the time to note down what worked well about the call, to improve his skill and ready for planning the next opportunity.

Sales Call Plan Template

If you’re ready to get started on your own plan, here’s a handy sales call planning template you can use. Or, you can just use it as a sales call checklist.

It doesn’t include the pitch itself, which I think can benefit from a separate planning document.

About them

Potential Client

Contact Name:
Position in Company/Time at Company:
Job Role/Responsibilities:

Client’s Company:

Company’s Target Audience:

Company’s Signature Offer:
Company Values:
Recent Changes Within Company:
Company’s Closest Competitors:

About you

Your Strengths:
Your Company’s Strengths:
Your Vulnerabilities:
Your Company’s Vulnerabilities:

Goal / desired outcome

Desired Outcome:

Record of contacts

First Contact Date:
Second Contact Date:
Third Contact Date:

Potential questions and answers

Question 1:
Question 2:
Question 3:
Question 4:

Post-call analysis

What was the outcome?
What went well?
What could be improved?
What were the unexpected questions or roadblocks?
Do you need to follow up with another call or do you need to book a follow up meeting?

Creating a Sales Plan – Key Takeaways

Remember that the more time you spend planning, the better. When it comes to sales calls, preparation is key to improving your sales efforts.

The more time you spend planning, the more likely you’ll be to have a successful sales phone call. Plus, your potential new client will feel that they are in safe hands with you.

Does it take a little while? Yes. But is it worth it? Absolutely.

It could make the difference between you getting a successful outcome or not. I know this after hundreds of successful sales calls. Planning is the key!

If you need help creating your sales call plan and selling your offer, I can help. My experienced team can help to craft the perfect offer and help you to sell it, too. You can contact us to find out more – we can help you get started right away.