Use Sales Call Mapping to Create A Winning Call Structure

BY Jessica Helinski
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Following a sales call structure is key to outreach success, which is why sellers need to prioritize call mapping. Even if you think you will perform better by winging it, you'll be more successful if you follow a structured process. 

Each call, from discovery and on, should be mapped. Why? Sellers perform better when they are prepared and have guidelines to follow. “Fundamentally, you need to map out your call, the route you want it to take to get to the destination (your objective for a particular call), including the stops along the way (the crucial talking points),” explains Sujan Patel in an article for Mailshake​.com

Use mapping to create call structure

Another sales professional, Jay Fuchs of HubSpot, also discusses the topic of mapping sales calls. He shares a plan for doing so for an initial outreach. Each step lays the foundation for the next, ensuring sellers stay on topic and don’t miss key points. 

The first step before any call is always to do research. Despite the importance of this step, sellers are doing surprisingly little pre-​call research. SalesFuel’s Voice of the Sales Rep study found fewer than half of sellers review a lead’s website, check their social media feeds or research their competitors and target customers. 

Sellers are missing an opportunity to gain knowledge needed to truly connect with and appeal to a buyer. “Set yourself up to make a personalized, thoughtful appeal that will register with your prospect,” Fuchs advises. “The information you gather in this stage will play into the next ones. You need to capture your prospect's attention — speaking to them as an individual can make that process a whole lot easier.”

To kickstart this step, download a free copy of the e‑book “The 7 C’s of Pre-​Call Intelligence.” This resource offers guidance on how to effectively gather the best research prior to any call. As SalesFuel adds, “Salespeople who take a moment beforehand to find something of relevance to the buyer that they can share, instead of just winging it and trying to get by on personality, are perceived as more credible. They’re also more helpful and have a far greater chance of connecting the dots for the buyer.”

Create a goal

The next step in mapping call structure is deciding the goal of the outreach. What do you ultimately want to achieve? What do you want to accomplish by the time you hang up? Without having a clear intention, you may end the call with nothing to show for it. A goal will keep you focused and on task. 

Introduce, qualify and uncover pain points

Kick-​off the call with an introduction, if needed, or if you’ve already met, a quick refresher greeting. Once you exchange greetings, the next step in the call structure is qualifying the prospect. You should have already uncovered the potential from need during your pre-​call research. Now, it’s time to make sure you are speaking with the right person, ask preliminary qualifying questions and uncover issues. 

Try to ask questions that can give you a feel as to whether they're happy with their current solution and what they might be looking for in a new one,” Fuchs writes. “You should have a solid idea of their pain points, but it can't hurt to see if you can tease out a few more. Don't get too caught up here, but if you have some questions prepared to give you that much more context, you can guide the rest of the call a bit more thoughtfully.”

Pitch and meet objections

This next step is what Fuchs calls the “crescendo” of the call structure: the elevator speech. This is part of the plan where you deliver a concise, personalized pitch that shows how your solution can help eliminate their pain points. You don’t want to go on about benefits and features. Keep the focus on the value the prospect will get from you. And you’re not trying to close either; the call structure doesn’t end here. Instead, sell them on considering you. 

Likely, you’ll be met with an objection, especially if it’s a cold call. Call mapping prepares you for this by encouraging preparation for any objections that come your way. As Fuchs explains, “You should also apply some of the research you did in advance of this call to figure out issues the specific prospect might bring up — whether they be related to their industry, business size, structure, or any other factor that shapes how their company functions.”

Plan the next step

Now you’ve reached the final step in the call structure plan. You’ve put things in motion and established a solid foundation of rapport, credibility and interest. Use this final stage to ask for the next step, whether it’s confirming the next meeting, setting up a webinar or offering a demo. Close the call with a clear call to action

While sales mapping does offer guidance, it also leaves room for improvisation and segues. Setting up a call structure ensures you hit major points of the call and create a foundation that makes the buyer want to move forward.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska