Debriefing Your Sales Calls

Professional football teams watch the game films the day after the game.  They’re trying to determine what went right, what went wrong, and how they can improve for the next opportunity (game).

Professional salespeople always conduct a post-mortem of their sales calls as well.  This activity is just as important as call preparation.  Here is a partial list of some of the things that you might want to include in your debrief checklist:

  • Determine the behavioral style of your prospect (DISC).
  • Compare the call objectives to the call results.
  • What problems (pains) are they are trying to resolve?
  • Is the pain significant…do they have to do something?
  • Who are your competitors in this account, and how strong are they?
  • Does the prospect have adequate resources to address their challenges?
  • Do you understand their decision making/buying process?
  • What is their timing for making a decision or implementing a solution?
  • Are you confident you can provide an excellent solution?
  • Have you met the right people?
  • If not, what’s your strategy for getting access to the right people?
  • Does this appear to be a profitable account if you are able to win it?
  • Does this account fit in well with your overall business objectives?
  • What are some potential roadblocks to getting this business, and what is your plan to overcome them?
  • What are your strengths & weaknesses relative to this opportunity?
  • What is your next step with this prospect?

Often we are asked how we can develop our selling skills faster.  There are a number of ways, including listening to CDs, role playing with associates, attending training workshops, etc.  However, one overlooked area is debriefing after ever sales call. Every time you debrief using a checklist like the one above you will be forced to evaluate your performance.  You’ll learn what you did right, where you might have done something different, and what you forgot to do.  If you do this after every call, then make the necessary adjustments (including working on those skills that still need more refinement), you’ll find yourself moving up the sales ladder of success quite rapidly.

Self-Study Assignment:  Think back on some recent appointments.  How much time did you take afterwards to reflect on what happened?  Did you forget any important details?  Examine any call debriefing forms you are now using for content and completeness.  Insure you make call debriefing a regular part of your selling.