The three bastions of Sales Execution are Account Planning, Pre Call Planning and Post Call Reporting.
In this article I am focusing on how to create great sales insights from Post Call Reporting.
Why do we need Post Call Reports?
Post Call Reports are used to summarise, analyse and outline how the Sales Professional will move the sale forward. They offer both the Sales Professional and their Sales Manager real information that can be used to:
- Identify skill and behavioural issues where the manager can step in to coach.
- Spot opportunities where the manager can offer specific help in identifying and addressing prospect needs.
- Highlight accounts where the salesperson is investing too much (or not enough) time and energy.
- Capture buyer, competitor, and product trends within the local market.
So whats the issue?
I have spoken to 100’s of Sales Professionals over my 30 years in B2B sales about the value they receive by completing Post Call Reporting step of a sales process.
The answer may surprise you but they see completing them as a total waste of time!
Thinking back to those conversations and what they told me about Post Call Reporting I’ve summarised into these no punches pulled responses:
👊🏼 Sales Professionals haven’t been taught how to complete a useful call report.
👊🏼 Sales Professionals believe its real purpose is to keep a close eye on them.
👊🏼 Sales Professionals fill them with information just to keep the eager Sales Manager off their back.
But it doesn’t have to be this way!
Post Call Reports should be a value adding part of the sales process that Sales Managers use for driving more sales, identifying coaching opportunities, capturing competitor intelligence, and managing internal priorities.
A typical call report will identify who the sales professional met with, if and when the company plans to make a purchase, an estimate of the size of the purchase, and any information the buyer wants from the salesperson. The report may even give an approximation of the likelihood of securing the business. Sounds useful doesn’t it?
Therefore, the problem with Post Call Reports isn’t with the concept, it’s with the execution.
Salespeople must be taught how to construct a meaningful Post Call Report and Sales Managers must be competent in using the report for driving sales, coaching, building competitor intelligence & managing internal priorities.
Remember a Post Call Report does not have to be a massive document & to help keep it that way.
I suggest break it down into three specific sections:
1️⃣ Overview of the call:
- Who, what, when & bullet points of key information from the call.
2️⃣ An analysis of the call:
- Who the decision makers are and where the sale stands with each?
- What issues must be dealt with before the sale can be closed?
- Who the competition is & what you learnt?
- Your best estimate of the probability of closing the sale?
3️⃣ Looking forward:
- What specific steps the salesperson intends to take and when they will take them to move the sale forward.
A Post Call Report that follows this format can be used to help a Sales Professional close more sales. This is because it sets out in one place for the Sales Professional and the Sales Manager:
- What happened.
- Where the opportunity is in the Sales Pipeline.
- What is expected to happen next.
- What the Sales Professional is going to do moving forward.
Using the above structure you can turn Post Call Reports from being seen as wasted effort that only keeps over eager Sales Manager off the Sales Professional back into real value adding insight to improve your sales performance.