For Account Executives

Mastering the pre-call routine

Most sales calls are like job interviews—you wouldn’t go into one without some level of research about the company, industry, person, revenue, and so on.

If I had to wager, I think 99.9% of account executives (AEs) spent at least 3–5 minutes of their time researching a company before they jump on a customer call—even if it’s a cold call.

But preparing for a sales call isn’t limited to a cursory 5-minutes research on LinkedIn or CB Insights. That’s table stakes—every sales rep does that.

However, first things first—why do we need a predictable pre-call routine?

  • Predictable revenue comes from having a predictable pipeline.
  • Predictable pipeline happens when you have a predictable routine.
  • Predictable routine comes from predictable habits and practices.

If you really want to control the outcome of your sales call—be it discovery, demo, or follow-up—here are 7 things you need to do as part of your pre-call routine before you join a sales meeting.

1. Define possible outcomes

Different sales meetings have different outcomes—usually based on where your customers are in their buyer journey. This is to say that the outcomes you expect from a discovery call or demo meeting heavily influence your preparation going into the meeting.

So, after your discovery and demo, your prospects may still be either disqualified for being a poor fit or moved onto the next phase of the sales cycle. Both of them are valid meeting outcomes.

Considering the expected outcomes of a meeting helps you decide what kind of questions to ask, what are the potential next steps for you and the prospects, how to structure your meeting, and more.

Let’s suppose that you have qualified the prospects, given them a great walkthrough of a demo, and now you have a Zoom call scheduled to follow up on their decision. At this stage of the sales cycle, there can be two broad outcomes from the meeting:

1) The prospects are ready to buy your product

2) They defer buying your product

If you aren’t prepared for outcome #2, you will draw a blank when the prospects reject your product—especially if they had responded positively to your solution in previous calls.

But you would be in a much better position to probe their decision to not buy your product or handle objections if you had envisioned all potential outcomes from the meeting.

As our CEO, Aditya says, it helps to be curious to understand the prospect’s why before jumping in to respond.

The key, however, is to learn from your meetings and make your next conversation better. This is where Avoma helps. It lets you mark meeting Purposes and Outcomes.

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As you can see in the above screenshot, the purpose of the conversation is “Demo” and the opportunity is marked as “Qualified”.

You can also select or create meeting Outcomes such as:

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Avoma automatically syncs this information in your CRM so that you can filter through your past meetings based on specified outcomes or take relevant action to revive a potential sales conversation in the future.

2. Research the prospect

One of the biggest mistakes an AE can make before going into a sales call is to do zero homework about their prospects. Like I mentioned earlier, the majority of reps usually have a process to research the prospect before a meeting—be it by going through their LinkedIn profile, visiting their company website, checking out their company background in CB Insights, or looking at the CRM data to get a recap of previous engagements.

I have also come across the rare breed of sales reps who just show up for a sales call thinking they have spoken to enough customers and know enough about the product to “wing it”. That level of overconfidence is self-sabotaging and usually leads to failure.

The real deal to prepare for a sales call—however—is not just a casual 5-minutes research, but an analytical investigation of the prospects. Your homework should seek answers to several basic-to-critical questions such as:

  • Who is the person you are going to talk to?
  • What’s their company background? What do they do?
  • What’s their source of revenue?
  • Which industry do they operate in?
  • Who are their customers? Who are their competitors?
  • What tools do they use currently?
  • Do they use any tools that compete with your product?
  • What are the top-level trends in their industry that can impact their business?
  • What could be their high-level goals and objections?

The higher the deal potential, the deeper you should research. But no question is too small for researching a prospect.

Last week, I was researching one of the prospects on LinkedIn before our scheduled call the next day. I saw that one of the people who was supposed to join the call was from my hometown. When I brought it up during the call, we discovered that both of us went to the same high school!

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That small bit of information helped me build a rapport with them in no time. Needless to say, I would have not had the advantage to make a great first impression on my prospects had I not spent time researching them on LinkedIn.

To add a deeper dimension to your meeting prep, personalize your research based on the prospects. For instance, I always keep important collateral such as case studies relevant to a prospect’s domain handy before getting into the call. If you don’t have case studies, look for interesting industry trends or unique insights that can help you better advocate your product or can broaden your prospects’ understanding of their business landscape.

If you are sure of the usual workflows that prospects from a certain industry usually follow, structure your product demo around it and explain to them the value that they can get out of your solution to make the sales meeting relevant to them.

3. Anticipate objections

Sales objections are the other side of a successful deal—the odds of rejection versus winning depend on several different variables. But objections in sales aren’t always a deal-breaker.

More often than not, objections are opportunities for you to deeply understand your customer psychology and move them towards mutually beneficial outcomes. Everybody wins when you handle objections well.

The challenge is—you don’t always know what objections the prospects will raise during the sales process. And that’s why it’s twice as important to research your prospects well before getting into a call with them.

Once you run a detailed research on your prospects, put yourself in their shoes and imagine what could be the objections that they can raise. All sales objections essentially fall into one of the four categories:

1. Lack of budget

2. Lack of trust

3. Lack of need

4. Lack of urgency

The average salesperson responds to an objection by accepting it as a failure—they might update the status of a sales call as “rejected” and move on to the next call.

But the best reps respond to objections as momentary roadblocks that they can overcome by asking the right questions.

Here are some of the most common customer objections that sales teams face in the B2B world:

  • “Your product is too expensive.”
  • “[Your rival product] is cheaper.”
  • “We don’t have the budget right now.”
  • “I’m already using another software.”
  • “Now is not a good time for us.”
  • “This is not a top priority for us right now.”
  • “I have to run this past my team.”
  • “But you don’t provide [feature name].”
  • “Your product is too complex.”
  • “You have a bad review in [review site].”
  • “Just send me the proposal.”
  • “Can we circle back next quarter?”

If you can anticipate the right objections that a prospect will bring up during your sales call, you can counter their concerns with reasonable arguments. You will certainly win if you can articulate your product’s value to dwarf their objections.

Never take an objection at its face value. Objection handling usually means going through a series of “NOs” before getting to a “YES.” Here’s an example from our first-hand experience.

A real-time objection case story

A few months back, Aditya had a follow-up sales call with a prospect who had shown initial interest in buying Avoma for his company. But in between the demo and follow-up call, the prospect had discovered another similar product that had native integration with Slack. During the follow-up, he framed Avoma’s lack of integration with Slack as the reason to go with another vendor.

Since Aditya had been in similar situations before, he had already expected some kind of friction and responded by asking the prospect why the integration was so important for his business. The client explained the Slack integration would help them move customer conversations seamlessly across internal teams.

Aditya asked, “What would happen if you copy-pasted the conversation link (from Avoma) to the right Slack channel?”

The customer couldn’t think of a critical downside in doing so and was willing to reconsider buying Avoma—especially since he loved all other functionalities. He suddenly went from “I’m not so sure” to “that makes perfect sense” just because Aditya reasoned him with the right question. As you would guess, the prospect is now a happy Avoma customer.

Key takeaway: Objections are just temporary roadblocks that you can overcome if you ask the right questions to understand the customers’ needs better.

4. Prepare your questions

Researching your prospect’s company and background goes hand in hand with preparing the right kind of questions to ask during a sales meeting. But researching an account is one thing, coming up with the right questions for the conversation is an entirely different beast to deal with.

For instance, preparing for a sales meeting with a prospect doesn’t mean asking them basic questions like “who is your biggest competition?” or “how does your company make money currently?” These are questions that you can easily find answers to in Google search.

Instead, here’s how you ask meaningful questions:

  • “I see that your product competes against the likes of Salesforce and HubSpot. If my understanding is correct, how does your company differentiate from your rivals? And are there any challenges you are currently facing that are stopping you from achieving your business goals?”
  • “I did some digging and noticed that you are a SaaS company and you have a pretty impressive year-on-year growth rate in your space. But I want to know from you—what’s your strongest channel of growth that’s working for you? Is it new customer acquisitions, returning customers, outbound sales—or something else?”

The point is—don’t park all the questions for the sales call and don’t assume things. Try to have answers to elementary questions like the prospect’s background, the company’s funding, etc. For a deeper-level understanding of your prospects’ business environment, personalize your research and prepare to ask open-ended, probing questions.

I have noticed that the AEs who are driven by genuine curiosity about the prospects are generally great at preparing high-quality questions that impress the prospects. Most prospects appreciate that in sales reps. It shows them that the rep has spent enough time doing their homework in understanding their business.

If you are new at this and don’t know how to come up with good questions, that’s okay. It’s a skill that comes with intentional practice over time. One way to overcome this problem is to refer back to past sales conversations with prospects from similar industries to mine questions that got people to talk at length. Avoma’s search functionality is quite handy for this purpose.

Or, you can also visualize the problems the prospects might have in their lives for which they are evaluating your product and prepare questions to investigate further. This will also give you an opportunity to showcase how your solution naturally fits into their existing workflows.

Whatever you do—don’t assume too much.

There’s no point in demoing your product without understanding your prospect’s problems.

Always err on the side of curiosity. If something is not clear to you, bring it up as a question that you couldn’t find answers to during the meeting.

5. Rehearse the call

One of the most important things I have learned about preparing for sales calls is that the pros never wing it. The greatest salespeople that I have met and admire are professionals who prepare, rehearse, and over-practice their call prep umpteen times before it becomes a natural part of their sales speech.

The practicing part becomes even more critical if it’s a high-stake customer meeting, such as deals that can potentially bring hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue. Whenever I’m preparing for an important sales call, I remind myself of the following quote:

Amateurs practice till they get it right. Professionals practice till they never get it wrong.

Sales is a lot like doing stand-up comedy—you really need to know your audience, you have to set the stage to captivate their attention, your timing has to be impeccable, and your delivery has to resonate with time. Just get one of those things wrong and you will bomb your performance.

It might sound like I’m suggesting you learn your sales script by heart—but that’s not necessarily true. Rehearse the conversation, but don’t be overly scripted in your preparation. Just go over the main areas of your preparation—be it the talk tracks or the list of potential objections prospects might bring up—over and over again until you have it by the back of your hand.

Run mock drills with your sales colleagues or rehearse on your own if you have doubts about how the conversation with the customers will go. Things often pan out differently when you imagine them in your head versus when you actually apply them in real life.

Doing a dry run helps you fill the gaps that might be there in your preparation and improve your speech delivery. Personally, going over my preparation helps me declutter my thoughts and clearly articulate my points to the prospects.

6. Do the necessary housekeeping

Most sales reps are diligent about researching their prospects beforehand or preparing sales call talk tracks. But they stumble frequently when it comes to the administrative side of things such as having the right tools in place, preparing the right collaterals, testing their audiovisual setup, or inviting the right stakeholders on both sides of the negotiation table.

It’s easy to stumble over these things because they are less important operational activities that we tend to overlook. But they are equally important aspects of a pre-call routine that can make or break your sales negotiation.

Think of getting ready to go on a date at 5 pm Friday only to realize that you don’t have enough gas in your car. You probably had the best clothes sorted out, rehearsed everything you want to ask your date, and checked Google Maps five times to make sure you had the right address of the restaurant you are supposed to meet at.

But refueling your car at the last minute might mean that you now have to take a small detour, spend 5–10 minutes of your time filling the gas tank, and risk being late for a special first date. Imagine the impression you would make on the person.

It’s the same thing with a sales call—but the consequences are deadlier.

Before you go on a customer call, make sure you have your tech stack up and running, your slide decks fine and dandy, and all the data points ready within reach. Take every small detail into consideration so that you don’t have to make last-minute decisions.

For instance—if it’s a morning meeting, get to the office and spend at least 30 minutes going over your meeting materials. Oh, and grab coffee on the way to stay caffeinated. Got an afternoon meeting? Sweet! Eat a hearty lunch so that your appetite doesn’t interfere with your call preparation and you have plenty of buffer time to go through your meeting content.

Whatever you do—always show up on time (a few minutes earlier, if possible) because tardiness is disrespectful—to your date as well as your prospects.

7. Send them a reminder

In my seven years of experience working as an AE for several companies, I have come to realize that nothing stings as bad as a prospect who ghosts you on a scheduled meeting.

A salesperson’s time is valuable since every minute of your work hours is mapped and measured against the impact you are creating on the sales pipeline. It’s a colossal waste of time when you are psyched about talking to a prospect and preparing for it with all your might, only to have the prospect not show up at the last minute.

It also sucks to miss an opportunity that your colleagues from marketing or sales development have worked so hard to get for us.

To be fair, you can’t really blame prospects for not turning up for a meeting. Life happens, there are plenty of things that are more urgent in people’s lives than attending a sales call.

And although no-shows happen more often than one can imagine, we at Avoma have found a simple hack that reduces the chances of no-shows by 54%, i.e. send your prospects an email reminder about the upcoming meeting 24 hours before the sales call.

It’s one of the many thoughtful scheduling habits that can save you from a lot of time while ensuring accountability from your prospects. Plus, it doesn’t even have to be a manual process; you can use Avoma to automatically send the email reminder to prospects so they show up on time or request to reschedule.

While you are at it, send them a small note to personalize the reminder. If it’s a demo call, and assuming you have already sent them an agenda beforehand, ask them if there’s anything specific they want to see in the presentation. E.g.

“Hey John, just wanted to remind you of our meeting tomorrow at 5 pm. Hope you had a chance to go through the links I sent you earlier. If there’s anything else you want me to cover during tomorrow’s call, let me know. Talk soon!”

No-shows are a complex problem to solve, but the answer to some of the most complex questions in this world is oftentimes very simple.

But why 24 hours—why not 15 minutes before the call?

An email reminder 24 hours before the call gives your clients time to prepare for, reschedule, or cancel the meeting well ahead of time. Send the same reminder 30 or 15 minutes before the meeting and it might be too late for prospects to abandon everything else and attend the meeting.

If they are serious about evaluating your solution for their business requirement, the email will nudge them to prepare well for the meeting. If they have sudden or more important priorities that collide with the meeting, most prospects will inform you of their change in plans so that you can reschedule the call at a later date.

This is a much better alternative than wasting your time idly waiting for the prospects to show up—but they never do. In most cases, the prospects end up being incommunicado to your follow-up message because they dropped the ball.

Give your prospects a fabulous buying experience

The sales processes in the B2B Saas world are crazy-fast and highly competitive. Every product category is crowded with dozens of lookalike products that offer similar solutions with similar features and price range.

These days, the differentiation between products in the same category is massively blurred. If you want to stand out from the crowd, you can’t just bank on your product differentiation anymore—you have to provide an outstanding buying experience.

It’s important to remind yourself that the prospects that you talk to are usually also evaluating competing brands and products—and most of them follow the same cookie-cutter approach to running discovery or demo calls.

As an AE, your goal is to make a killer impression on your prospects so that buying your product becomes an obvious choice for them. To pull that off, you have to put up a show—turn your sales presentation into a memorable show and deliver a “wow” experience.

And preparing well for it is the key to helping you achieve that.

Don’t BANT your prospects to death because that’s what every other sales team does. Instead, give them something that they don’t expect.

Challenge their assumptions. Give them new perspectives.

Don’t include too many slides and don’t talk too much about your product features. Instead, wow them in three slides. Make the prospects the heroes of a story and position yourself as the sidekick buddy they can trust.

Put yourself in their shoes and ask them great questions. Even if they aren’t your ideal customers, give them a memorable buying experience that feels like a victory to them.


Building rapport in remote selling

We’re in a time where it is almost trite and cliche to talk about remote sales as the ‘new normal.’ Much before COVID, many of us were actively using online meeting tools like Zoom and Google Meet for our sales calls and customer success meetings. However, the key difference is —  in 2019 B.C (‘before COVID’ on a lighter note), although we already had great adoption for the online meeting tools, most sales meetings happened in a hybrid fashion, i.e., a combination of online meetings and in-person meetings.

Trust and relationships were built over lunch meetings, dinners, happy hours, etc. Zoom and Google Meet helped keep the relationship going but was never completely relied upon for end-to-end sales.

And let’s suppose you were involved in remote selling much before the world went remote. In that case, there’s still a lot of difference between the remote selling that happened via Zoom within your office space vs the remote selling that’s happening now from your home, with kids and other possible distractions in the background.

Regardless of whether you are selling to an enterprise or SMB, all your sales conversations will be completely online. So, building rapport online is the need of the hour.

What is rapport building?

Building rapport is at the heart of building relationships and trust with your prospects and customers. People like to do business with people they like and trust. So, if you, as a sales rep, are merely focused on driving your agenda or hitting your quota, you are possibly missing an opportunity to earn their trust.

When you work in an industry where your goal is to help your customers achieve their goals and objectives, your relationship needs to be more than hitting your numbers. There needs to be a genuine friendship. So, you need to be building rapport with your prospects by getting to know them and giving them a reason why they need to choose to work with you.

And building rapport results in:

  1. Establishing trust with your customer
  2. Exploring more opportunities within the account
  3. Becoming an extended team member and advisor for your customer
  4. Honing your skills to become more relevant

How does it impact online selling?

When you are building rapport online with your prospects, the fundamental challenge is that it’s hard to communicate clearly. There is always a possibility that the intended communication and the way it’s perceived are completely different. Robert J. Hanlon explains it well in the concept he coined, known as the Hanlon’s razor.

It states that when we communicate online, we can’t read the non-verbal signs used to communicate face-to-face. And because we are missing the opportunity to understand the intent and context, we assume the worst of people.

Putting that into the sales context — According to a study done by Marketo, 96% of visitors that come to your website are not ready to make a purchase. So, when they schedule a demo with you, it’s critical to make sure you understand their intent and context before you begin showcasing your product.

But selling online is always easier said than done. No one likes to be sold to, so people don’t open up to share their pain points unless a rapport is built. And you have 8 seconds before your prospect registers their first opinion about


While building rapport seems intuitive in sales, the skills and approach differ from one sales rep to another. And because of its personal nature, it’s hard to replicate.

I’m going to share some of our learnings in terms of building rapport and establishing trust during your online sales calls. We at Avoma like to think that online meetings have a life cycle: before the meeting, during the meeting, and after the sales meeting.

Before your meeting

No one wakes every day being excited about having 10-12 meetings on their calendar. So, as sales reps, we need to do our best to reduce the friction as much as possible from our end.

1. Have a preparation routine

For starters, it’s about the set of things you can do before the sales meeting to show that you value your prospect’s time. It could be things like defining the objective/goals, sharing a clear agenda and, more importantly, scheduling the meeting well ahead of time.

Do enough research

Always spend time researching your prospect before getting into the meeting. Suppose you can spend 15-20 mins scanning their LinkedIn updates, posts on Twitter, Instagram, and news updates/press releases related to their organization. In that case, you can get better context about the people who will be on the call. It helps you be more relevant and in building rapport.

There are tools available that help you understand people’s personality style, even before you meet them online. For example, using a tool like Crystalknows, a Chrome plugin that works on top of LinkedIn, helps a lot in your prospect research. It tells you your prospect’s communication style and some basic insights about their personality, thus giving you a headstart.

Schedule shorter meetings

And one of the most important aspects is the length of the sales meeting you schedule. The other day, I set up a call between my CEO and a prospect, and Aditya, our CEO, was very specific about not setting up the call for more than 30 minutes.

He said, “Yaag, as a practice it’s best to keep it for not more than 30 minutes, unless the prospect wants to extend the call.”

2. Improve your presence on the meeting

There is a famous quote that says 80% of success is ‘showing up. We want to tweak it a little and say it’s about ‘showing up professionally.’ And to add to that, if you want to be building rapport as a customer-facing professional, it’s even more important to be mindfully present.

Presence is the key to connect authentically and build relationships. But developing close and strong relationships can be challenging when you’re communicating virtually. By sharpening your remote presence, you can come across as likeable and confident and achieve the same effect as you would in an in-person sales meeting.

Keep your sales meeting professional
  • Stick to your daily routine regardless of whether you are going to the office or working remotely helps a lot in productivity. Having a list of to-do’s for your online sales meeting helps you stay focused during the conversation.
  • Wear appropriate professional clothing. While it’s tempting to wear a work shirt and athletic shorts when you work remotely, what you wear tends to set the tone of the conversation. How you appear on the video is even more crucial when your prospects aren’t physically engaging with you, as it sends out a sense of your energy.
  • Minimize or eliminate external interference. It helps to use a background noise cancellation app like to remove disturbance and echo, thus improving the overall conversation experience for your prospect.
Have your video on – always!

There is a direct correlation between having your video camera ‘switched on and the rapport built with the prospect, especially on sales calls. We see that keeping your camera switched on increases the odds of building rapport with the prospect by 90%.

And interestingly, we observed that 27% of the sales discovery calls that never progressed after the first call had at least one of the parties (either the sales rep or the prospect) who hadn’t turned their cameras on.

The impact of having the camera switched on is two-fold:

(a) You can pick up on both the verbal and non-verbal cues that contribute a lot in conveying the intent and pain point of a prospect. Interestingly, the former FBI lead hostage negotiator Chris Voss talks about it in his masterclass as the 7/38/55 rule. The rule says that trust is built on a combination of factors where 7% is about how much someone likes your content/product, 38% is about tonality, and the remaining 55% is about body language. Thus, 7+38+55=100.

(b) Another key advantage is that if both parties are on camera, there is no multitasking or distraction during the conversation.

sales meeting

And when you are on video, here are a few basics:

  1. Always place your webcam at the eye level
  2. Look into the camera and not at your screen (I’m guilty of not doing this enough)
  3. Rearrange your home office or workspace in such a way that the light source is in front of you (and not behind you)

One way to make it easier to look at the camera is to hide self-view. It helps because that’s how we talk to people in real life. So, it’s like you saving yourself from mirror fatigue, especially if you are on several calls every day.

If you want to try it out, please know that you’ll have to change the settings on Zoom at the start of every sales meeting (and hopefully, this is probably something they’ll fix on priority). And it always helps if you can invest in a green screen. It’s a small investment that could elevate the professionalism of the call.

During your meeting

Getting into a sales meeting with a clear structure makes a lot of difference. But, the real impact is what you do during the sales meeting. Given this brief window of opportunity, it is critical that you don’t leave anything to chance when you start the conversation with your prospects.

1. Have relevant small talk

For better or worse, we humans make judgments about a person in the first seven seconds of an initial encounter. Here are a few practices that can make your conversation experience better.

A bit of small talk is necessary to warm up the relationship between you and the prospect and set a friendly tone for the sales meeting. When you’re meeting someone for the first time, the first couple of minutes can be a little bit awkward.

But don’t go with the tried and tested conversations by asking about their weekend or weather. Instead, show them you care by asking them about something their company announced or their recent activity on LinkedIn. The point is to make them feel comfortable as soon as they join the call.

2. Listen actively to your prospects

There is no one right away to approach your sales meeting. But engaging your prospects in a way that matters to them does yield good results more often than not. So, have an agenda but don’t go by a call script. Here are a few things to keep in mind.

One of the biggest challenges of a remote sales call is that our mind tends to be caught up between qualifying the prospect, demoing your product in the best possible way, and handling objections they might have.

Active Listening is one of the most important skills in the salesperson’s repertoire to understand the buyers’ needs and deep-dive on what’s most relevant to them. For instance, by listening actively, you can pick up on subtle emotional signals of the prospect and realize the set of product features you want to show them, instead of overwhelming them with everything your platform does.

Looking at the data from our online meetings, we at Avoma have found that the ideal/recommended talk range is 40% – 60% for sales discovery calls. And if you are talking for more than 60% of the total time on the call, you are probably not listening enough.

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3. Make your demos relevant to your prospects

A sales demo is a valuable opportunity to showcase your product and build a relationship with your prospects. But you want to make sure that you show the set of features that solve for the prospect’s pain point and not be too excited to show them the product in its entirety unless asked. Stay as relevant as possible to your prospect.

4. Automate the low value tasks as much possible

A lot of reps get into a sales meeting with a note and pen. While it is good to take notes, you tend to get caught up between listening and taking notes (which goes back to not listening actively while on calls).

We recommend using AI-assisted note-taking for such scenarios, where you can focus on actively listening to your prospects and helping them out with their pain points and overcoming their objections.

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Source: Notes and Transcripts in Avoma

5. End your meetings on time

Many times, a sales meeting tends to fail achieving its desired objectives because people don’t plan the end properly. Ending your sales meeting on time not only shows your professionalism but also tells your prospects non-verbally that you truly value their time.

Here are a few things to keep in mind as you end your sales meeting:

  1. Let your prospects know in advance as you come up on time and ask them if you can answer anything specific before you end the meeting
  2. Check with them if the objective of the meeting was achieved
  3. Agree on the next steps and schedule a follow-up meeting if required

After your meeting

This phase is the most important one where a sales meeting can swing between losing complete value or becoming extremely useful. After all the effort you put into your meetings, you need to clarify the next steps. It’s about closing the loop of communication.

So, it’s important to capture the next steps and execute them. It helps in building rapport further because you have an opportunity to show that you stand by your words. Usually, the next steps tend to be —connecting the prospect to a domain expert in your organization, allowing extended access to your free trial, etc. And missing out on this step can be a make or break in terms of your deal progression.

Here are a set of steps that can translate your valuable sales meeting into a potential revenue outcome:

To sum up…

The list of suggestions outlined above are by no means exhaustive or best practices but a set of practices that we have discovered based on what has worked for us so far. But, we believe that our experience can help you and many others in the ecosystem.

And if you think we have missed out on anything or would like to share your experience/learnings with us —  please do feel free to reach out to any of us at Avoma, and we would be happy to keep the conversation going.

Stay productive, build trust and keep the wheels moving!


How to do a sales discovery call

A discovery call sets the tone for your entire sales process. With every interaction with your brand, you are either building trust and relationship with your prospect or you are pushing them away unintentionally.

Done well, a discovery call can not only help you build a trustworthy relationship with your prospect, but they can also bring in new referrals and probably a fat sales commission. Flub it and you will waste precious time for both you and your prospects.

A 30-minute discovery call can make all the difference—you can either be the one who hard-pitches their product, or the one that tries to be helpful to the prospect.

What is a discovery call?

discovery call is your first chance to have a 1:1 chat with a prospect and explore a fit between your product and your prospect’s pain points and goals. These calls typically happen after you have piqued your prospect’s interest in your product,  through a cold email or an inbound request.

You can either dread a discovery call or use it as your golden ticket to wedge the door open into your prospects’ minds (and their wallets). At Avoma, we take every discovery call very seriously. To ensure we don’t waste anyone’s time—if during the call, we realize that our product is not a good fit for a prospect, we will say so upfront. It’s best to have long-term trust over short-term gains, any day!

That said, a discovery call is as much an opportunity for you to qualify your potential clients as it is the other way around.

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So how to have a productive discovery call that won’t let your buyers down?

Steps to make your discovery call effective

From our experience, we see that mostly, a discovery call tends to be a 1:1 call, compared to the ones in the later stages of the sales cycle. However, we also notice that 43% of the ones that closed faster had the prospects inviting their team members for the exploratory meeting.

Through this post, we put together our best tips—curated based on our experience of running countless discovery calls and earning a decent amount of goodwill from our clients (even from those who didn’t convert).

1. Preparing for the discovery call

Preparation is key to nail a discovery call. But preparation doesn’t just mean having a mental script of talking points ready in your head.

It’s a discovery call—not a public speaking competition. It doesn’t matter if you won a Toastmasters International championship in high school—a discovery call requires a lot more than just waxing eloquent about your products.

Research well to establish relevance

The golden rule for conducting effective meetings is—research and relevance. Always spend time researching your prospect before getting into the meeting. Spend 15-20 minutes scanning their activities on LinkedIn and Twitter or news updates/press releases related to their organization.

The idea is to figure out answers to a few fundamental questions such as:

  • Who are you going to talk to?
  • What authority does he/she hold in their company?
  • How does their department impact the overall business?
  • What is it they are trying to solve with your product?
  • What’s one definitive factor that will make them buy your product?
  • Do you have existing clients from their industry you can showcase?
  • Who will benefit from this solution—their team, managers, or customers?

There are several online tools that can help you understand people’s personality style, even before you meet them online. For example, you can use a tool like Crystalknows, a Chrome plugin that works on top of LinkedIn, to research your prospects. It tells you your prospect’s communication style and some basic insights about their personality, thus giving you a head start.

Schedule shorter meetings with purpose

If you don’t put it in the calendar, it doesn’t happen. So calendaring is an obvious place to start—send meeting invites to prospects on an agreed-upon time and copy all other stakeholders from their team and yours.

Sending generic invite links are passé. Personalizing your clients’ experience with your brand starts before you even meet them and sending customized meeting links are the perfect place to leverage it. Keeping the subject short and purposeful helps a lot.


“Discovery: Avoma // Acme”

Another key aspect is the length of the discovery call you schedule. Keep it to 30 minutes or less. If the prospect wants to extend, that’s great. But as a rule of thumb, shorter meetings are more effective.

Set a clear agenda

You don’t have to go all out and type a 300-word essay—keep it short, simple, and outcome-driven. Setting the right expectations communicates your professionalism to your prospects.



As discussed, scheduling a Video Call with the below agenda:

• Purpose: Learn your teams’ workflows, challenges, and initiatives planned

• About Avoma: Overview about our solution

• Next steps: Discuss whether to schedule a personalized demo

Take steps to minimize no-shows

If you have the discovery call scheduled weeks in advance, send your prospects a heads-up email a day or two before the meeting day. It’s easy for most of us to forget about one-off meetings that happen outside of our day-to-day work. Sending a reminder makes you look thoughtful and organized.

With Avoma, you can automatically send email reminders to participants so they show up on time or request to reschedule. It saves you a lot of time.

discovery call

Finally, make sure you have everything and everyone ready for the meeting day. Most sales teams overlook the importance of good lighting, camera quality, or a water bottle next to them until the last minute. These are equally important props to help you run smooth meetings.

You should invest more time in preparing for the call if you are new to discovery calls or nervous about talking to a particular prospect. A couple of ways to manage your discovery call related heebie-jeebies is to do mock discovery calls internally (within your organization) and listen to the best discovery calls of the past by other reps on your team.

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2. Making an impact during the call

You win half the battle by just showing up well-prepared, and the other half depends on if your prospect shows up and has a clear need that your product can solve. Start with a little warm-up exercise before the call commences—crack your fingers, keep distractions at bay, and put yourself at ease. Rehydrate yourself and be in the moment. Also, run a basic hygiene check to see if your tech tools are set properly.

Stick to your agenda

Once the meeting is on, start with the small talk but keep it short and casual. As a courtesy, run the table of contents by your prospects to remind them of the meeting’s agenda. To keep the meeting interactive and to avoid it from being a pitching session about your product—ask questions to understand the prospect’s needs better and encourage them to ask questions whenever possible.

Have a template for yourself based on the points you want to cover as part of your discovery call. Your template needs to help you answer the following:

  • Understanding the pain point of your buyer
  • What’s the business need they are trying to solve with a product like yours?
  • Who else are they evaluating alongside your product?
  • Is there a timeline for implementation?
  • What’s the next course of action after the call, etc.
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Practice Active Listening

Now on to the most important part of conducting a discovery call—listen more, talk less. Often our mind tends to be caught up between qualifying the prospect, demoing the product in the best way possible, and handling objections prospects might have. Active listening is a difficult skill to master—research data says that it’s usually the salespeople who talk more than 70% of the time in any sales call. And that is no bueno.

Looking at the data from our online meetings, we at Avoma have found that the recommended sales:customer talk ratio is 40%–60%. And if you are talking for more than 60% of the total time on the call, you are probably not listening enough.

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The next time you see that you are doing most of the talking, stop and remind yourself of the WAIT framework—Why AI Talking? Steer the conversation back to focus on the prospects by asking them open-ended questions.

When it comes to answering your prospects’ questions, take the consultative selling approach. Think of yourself as a consultant doing pro bono work rather than a salesperson who represents a brand. Instead of hard-selling your product’s features, guide them to the right solution even if it means promoting your competitors’ brand.

But it’s easier said than done. It’s become a norm for sales teams to be unnecessarily gung-ho about their products. They take their jobs too seriously and will shove their products down their customers’ throats at any cost.

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Get rid of all distractions

Most salespeople are caught up between taking notes and managing the conversation. In such cases, it makes more sense to use an AI-assisted note-taking software. Instead of you typing out the notes and having those awkward pauses during a conversation, you can automate such labor intensive/time consuming tasks and focus on the conversation.

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ALWAYS have your camera turned on

Having your camera on, during your discovery call makes a huge difference to the engagement. We have observed that 27% of the time, a sales discovery call that never progressed after the first call had at least one of the parties (either the sales rep or the prospect) who hadn’t turned their cameras on.

You can’t force all your clients to turn on their videos. But you can certainly send an implicit message by keeping your video on.

Since you’re doing a video meeting, don’t forget to record the session with your client’s permission. Notifying your meeting participants in advance that ‘the conversation will be recorded for analysis purposes’–is not only a good practice but also falls under the compliance requirements.

Once you send your clients the recording, they can share it internally to make a collective decision. Your team can also use the recording to review the meeting’s outcome.

Ensure you check all boxes

Always wrap up the meeting by asking if you have addressed all their concerns satisfactorily. Discuss the next steps before you hang up and let them know that you will send an email recap of the meeting after the call.

Conventional wisdom tells us that you must get prospects to commit on a sign-up, demo, or product trial. It’s great if you can get them to do so. If you can’t, don’t push it too hard. There will be plenty of opportunities for you to do that later. After all, the real art of sales is in following up.

3. Learning from your call and collaborating to drive outcomes

It’s still not very common for sales teams to reflect on their meetings—at least not as a thought-through system. What you do after the call can be the difference between losing the value of the conversation completely or making it extremely useful.

After all the effort you put into your meetings:

  1. You need to learn from it for improving yourself for future calls
  2. You need clarity on your next steps to move the deal forward
  3. Collaborate across functions such as product, marketing and customer success to enable the prospect further (based on the call)

Learn from your calls

Always review your discovery call. If you don’t have the time to listen to the entire conversation, listen to specific parts of the conversation such as demo, pricing conversation, etc.

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When you listen to your discovery call, you will know right off the bat what you could have done better. And you start becoming more aware and your improvements have a compounding effect over time.

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Sometimes, it’s not just about asking the right questions or listening to what the prospect said – it could be the overall experience. For example, it could be that you are using a lot of filler words, and that’s something that you can definitely improve upon.

Follow up and keep your promise

The majority of B2B customers need an average of five follow-ups in order to close a deal. Sadly, 94% of salespeople don’t follow up with prospects after the fourth time. Following up is what makes you different from other salespeople—or even your rivals.

Once you have an understanding of how the meeting went, incorporate the insights into an email and send it to the prospects as a recap of your call. If there’s a possible match between the prospects and your product, reiterate the high points of the call.

If they seemed to be still on the fence or not convinced—let them know you are just a mouse-click away. If you had promised to send them any supporting marketing collaterals that would help them champion your product within their organization—remember to share it promptly. Always keep your word.

Collaborate to get things done

Usually, the next steps after the call tends to be—connecting the prospect to a product expert in your organization, allowing extended access to your free trial, getting back to them with an answer to a technical question, etc. And missing out on this step can be a make or break in terms of your deal progression.

The easiest way to collaborate with your team on such occasions is to share a snippet from your prospect’s conversation, so that your team has enough context about their question. That helps them supply you with a contextual answer.

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Also it’s good practice if people across your organization can listen to your calls. It either helps them in their work context (example: a product person gets to know which features to prioritize), or you get feedback from your team on how you could have handled an objection better.

Running an effective discovery call

Finally, running an effective discovery call is as good as closing a deal even if it doesn’t earn you a sales opportunity immediately. That’s because a helpful exploratory conversation makes everyone feel like they won when they walk out of the room. A good discovery call usually boils down to asking the right questions, helping your prospects and positioning your product as a solution. Try applying the above tips in your next sales meeting and see what difference they make to your sales processes.

And finally, forget the old adage ‘Always be closing.’ Sales is about trust and relationships. Instead, remember this Zen mantra—‘always be compounding.’


Tips to nail your discovery and demo

As an engineer who turned into a salesperson, I was forced to learn the ropes of selling during the initial years of launching Avoma. I have made enough mistakes along the way to know that running an effective demo or discovery call can make or break your chances of closing a deal.

Luckily, we at Avoma extensively use our conversation intelligence capabilities more than anyone—which helps us continuously refine how we conduct sales meetings.

Every time a new sales recruit joins Avoma, they get the following tips as part of their sales training. And applying these seemingly small behavioral changes has done wonders for us in offering a delightful buying experience to our prospects.

Through this post, I’ll be sharing some of my learnings and observations, hoping it’ll help salespeople in SaaS, be it first-time founders or experienced sales reps—improve their sales performance and deliver a better customer experience.

Make your small talk worthwhile

Almost every sales call begins with a small talk—usually about the weather, sports, the place you are dialing in from, or even the virtual Zoom background you use.

Small talk is important because it helps you build rapport with strangers. They help you understand the other person’s mood or personality:

  • Who they are
  • How do they feel on this particular day
  • What they care about outside work

The small chitchat often helps you kill time while waiting for other people to join in.

But it grinds my gear when people—especially if they are sellers—start their small talk by asking, “where are you located?”

It’s a poor question to lead a conversation because it clearly shows that you didn’t do your basic preparation. It’s such basic information that you can find easily by looking up the person on Google or LinkedIn.

It’s expected—especially in the B2B world—that you, as a seller, do some research about your prospects before showing up for a demo or discovery call. It’s a subtle etiquette that helps you make a good first impression.

Granted—with remote work, maybe the information about my location on LinkedIn isn’t my real location. But even so, it’s a good reference point to break the ice when you say, “I saw that you’re located in the Bay Area. Are you still there?” vs. asking them, “where are you based out of?” The former still shows that you spend time researching your prospects; the latter shows you spend zero minutes doing homework.

The same applies to point-blank questions like “what does your company do?” It is even worse because how can you even come to a discovery or demo call without having a context of your customers’ company background?

For the sake of argument, let’s assume that you visited the prospect’s website and didn’t understand what exactly the company does. That’s fine—nobody expects you to understand everything about a business by skimming it for 5-10 minutes. But if you reference your understanding of the prospect’s business during the small talk, it will give them an opportunity to talk about their business environment in more elaborate terms.

The bottomline is—do the basic research and open the conversation with something that shows that you understand them. Leverage publicly available information about your prospect to kick off a sales conversation because it makes a good first impression on them.

Seek commitment early on

Every sales manager encourages their sales reps to book the next steps or get commitment from their prospects from every sales meeting. It could be scheduling the next meeting with additional stakeholders or discussing the pricing or setup-related stuff.

The implication is that if there’s no agreement on the next steps from the prospects, i.e., some kind of commitment to engage again in the future, the deal might not move further.

By norm, most reps keep aside the part about asking for a commitment for the end. For them, it’s logical to park it on the side because they first want to communicate their product’s value—show them all the possibilities the prospects can unlock with it—and then ask for a commitment.

But based on my experience of running discovery and demo calls, the best time to ask the customers to commit to the next step is in the first 4-5 minutes—not towards the end. So here’s how you can go about doing that.

When you are done with the small talk, set an agenda for the conversation that’s about to happen. It’s where you give your prospect an overview of the discovery or demo call—and it’s also a perfect place for you to ask them to commit to the next steps. I usually give them a couple of options to choose from right at the beginning.

Here’s an example of what I usually say when I’m demoing Avoma to prospects:

“Here’s how I’m going to walk you through this demo session today.

First, I’m going to learn a few things about you and the current workflows in your organization. Then I will give you a snapshot of the product and its functionalities as they apply to your use cases. It’s not going to be a comprehensive demo, but the things that apply to you the most.

And finally, if you like what you see today, I’d love for you to tell me how you would want to proceed—be it scheduling another deep-dive session with other stakeholders in your team or discussing the number of seats you want to get started with.”

Communicating this upfront helps you set the right expectations with the prospects right out of the gates. And when you get around to wrapping up the demo and ask the customers for the next steps, they already see it coming. It completes the story that you opened with.

If you believe that you can’t ask for commitment before delivering something valuable—that’s a fair point too. However, the key clause here is to ask for a commitment “only if” the prospect has seen value in the demo.

That way, you are not asking more than what you are giving but expecting prospects to reciprocate the value they will receive.

I’m usually honest with most prospects about this topic because I know that they will have a hundred other priorities after they hang up the call and get on with their lives. So when I say that things can derail if we don’t agree on the next steps, they usually agree and respond with an option that’s convenient for both sides.

Of course, you shouldn’t ask for a commitment for the sake of it if the prospects indicate that they are not interested in moving forward. But it would certainly help if you offered your prospects the next-step options early to qualify them and set the right expectations for the demo call.

Discovery and demo can go hand in hand

If you look at it from the prospects’ point of view, qualification-only calls offer a bad experience for them.

Think of it from the lens of a modern SaaS perspective—the prospect just expressed their interest and is eager to know about your product. They probably clicked on a call-to-action button that said: “Schedule a Demo.” I have never seen a website with a button that says they first want to qualify their prospects.

Little do the prospects know that after they hit that button, they will end up in the call where the sales development rep (SDR) will interrogate them with a series of questions. And at the end of the call, the SDRs might slap the prospects with, “we will soon send you an email about scheduling another meeting with our AE.”

There are different schools of thought around how to do discovery and demo better. Some companies like to run those sessions separately, which is great. It does make sense for a company to separate the discovery process from the demo if they get too many poor-quality leads in their sales funnel. It’s certainly a good idea to have either an automated or manual filtering process to sort out good-quality leads from bad ones if you are flooded with junk leads.

But I think it’s better to combine them for reasons I’ll discuss below.

Most SaaS companies struggle with the opposite problem, i.e., not having enough leads in their pipeline. If you are already facing problems generating leads, separating your discovery and demo only adds another level of friction in the customer’s buying journey. It’s a self-sabotaging move that hurts your lead pipeline and your conversions.

When you don’t have enough leads—and if you are a growing company trying to expand its revenue potential—it’s better to talk to as many prospects as possible. Combine your demo and discovery processes to identify who these people are—other than your ideal customer persona (ICP)—that are interested in your product. It will help you understand the market better and discover new customer pain points that your product might be able to solve.

Coming to the demo part, it’s a false notion to believe that the demo should be run like a training session for your product. A demo is a preview of what your product can do—a glimpse into a world of possibilities that the prospects can unearth if they decide to use it.

Simply put, a demo session should be designed like a movie teaser instead of running it like a 120-minutes-movie.

I have observed that many sales teams sequence customer discovery for the first 15-20 minutes of a one-hour call they have scheduled with a prospect. Unfortunately, that’s also a bad experience to offer customers because you are grilling them with questions while they wait to see your product in action.

When you spend the first half of the call only on the discovery, it usually leads to multiple back and forths with the prospects, and you end up rushing through the demo for the rest of the call. The best way to avoid this is to give a little, and take a little.

Instead of running discovery and demo calls in sharp dichotomies, blend them in natural cohesion so that you make it feel more like a conversation than an interrogation. At Avoma, we suggest our sales team the SPIN selling framework.

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Most SDRs ask basic discovery questions like “what conferencing tool do you use?” or “how many team members do you have?” Instead, they can tweak these situational questions a little to elicit better answers.

For instance, we tell our prospects:

“Avoma integrates with 8 conferencing platforms. Chances are, your favorite conferencing tool might already be on the list. May I know which one you use?”

It helps you break the demo monologue and contextualize your discovery process simultaneously with the demo. It doesn’t feel like you’re probing, but trying to have a genuine conversation and make the demo relevant to them.


To tease out what pains they are suffering from, you need to ask intelligent open-ended questions that encourage them to share more. For instance, instead of asking binary yes/no questions, ask them questions like:

  • “Can you tell me more about what your current workflows look like?”
  • “What happens when you share a piece of information internally in your existing workflow?”
  • “What does your team do when they don’t have information available to them?”

To be honest, it’s very difficult for reps to break their existing habits and start asking questions that nudge the prospects to talk about their pain points.

Asking such questions doesn’t come naturally to most of us, which is why you have to keep practicing to get better at it. It’s also the reason why most sales reps choose the path of least resistance, i.e. to ask run-of-the-mill situational questions that don’t yield quality responses.

What boggles my mind is that this isn’t even a new concept. There are tons of sales literature written on this topic. And yet, most sales orgs don’t apply this to their sales practice.

There’s a smart way to overcome this problem: identify relevant capabilities that your product offers and rephrase them as questions so that your product comes across as the right tool to solve them.

Here’s an example. When we ask our prospects, “what happens when you share a piece of information internally in your existing workflow?” nearly 98% of prospects say that it gets lost in disparate tools or vanishes in thin air because there’s no process to capture it in one place.

Bingo! That’s actually Avoma’s unique value prop which we reframe as a question to smartly talk about our product capabilities because Avoma acts as a single source of truth that holds information from across all communication channels.


Next up in the SPIN technique is the “Implication” question, which is even harder to crack. But it’s nothing more than taking the pain points that your prospects mention and reiterating them as a follow-up question so that they can see the value of your product without demonstrating them.

Let’s take another example to understand this better. It usually takes B2B sales organizations about four months to onboard and ramp up their new sales reps. So when I’m running a discovery call for sales leaders, I’ll usually ask them the following IMPLICATION question:

“How do you think your revenue targets or hiring plans would be impacted if you could reduce that ramp-up time by half?”


It gets them excited about the prospect of saving a lot of time and money, and that’s when we demonstrate Avoma’s capabilities to help them achieve that. It also allows you to ask the need-payoff question in the same breath and help prospects see the solution in your product on their own.

If you intentionally uncover your prospects’ problems and motivations, you will automatically find the best way to run these sales meetings effectively.

Leverage your curiosity to improve your demos

Most salespeople suck at selling because they are not curious to learn about the prospects. Curiosity is all about knowing the prospects, their business environment, their current problems, and the goals that they want to achieve.

Many reps go into a demo with a primary mindset of selling—they want to sell the product features, get a commitment from the customers, ask for a sale at the end of the call, and so on. While there’s nothing wrong with doing all of that, they can be in a much better position to sell if they are genuinely interested in the prospects and channel their curiosity to help them.

You will go through a massive paradigm shift if you start thinking of yourself like an advisor instead of a salesperson. Here’s an example of how we use curiosity to our advantage when talking to prospects during demo or discovery calls.

Avoma operates in a pretty well-defined category of conversation (and revenue) intelligence which is not an overly commodified category—yet. When prospects schedule a demo with us to see Avoma’s capabilities in action, most of them have a strong need to record their meetings.

And yet, most prospects have unique workflows that look nothing like the workflows we see in other prospects’ orgs. The way they manage their sales motion, the processes they follow to facilitate sales-to-customer success handoff, and the tools they use across these workflows are completely different from other players in the same domain.

Therefore, it’s foolish to assume that all customers fall into the same bucket or try to sell them your product based on what it offers. Instead, we have learned to be curious about our prospects which makes a world of difference for us. We might ask questions like:

  • “What happens when a customer starts trialing your product?”
  • “How long does your sales cycle typically last?”
  • “Why do you think the process takes that long?”
  • “Who is involved in the product implementation stage?”

The more you ask such questions, the better you understand the pain points that your customers have in their workflows. Eventually, such conversations will unearth nuances you can leverage while demoing your product. You are essentially taking cues from those earlier conversations and pitching your product in a way that fits their use cases.

For instance, here’s how we might circle back to their response to the above questions and say:

“Earlier, you mentioned that you don’t have a formal handoff process between sales and customer success. And I understand that it needs some serious thinking and investment for you to standardize that process.

Avoma makes it easier to establish your handover process by automatically recording, transcribing, and updating notes in the CRM for every account so that your CS team can leverage it to contextually onboard new customers. You can also curate key parts of the conversation in a playlist and make it easier for your team members to subscribe to it and be abreast of what’s happening.”

But most salespeople don’t ask great questions—they don’t pause to reflect on their prospects’ answers—because not everyone is curious enough.

When you ask a question and the prospect gives you information, don’t jump to the next question right away. Better take your time to process that and acknowledge their response. Think about it and let your prospects know that you are giving time to think about it deeply.

It allows your prospects to open up and talk about their world, how unique their processes are compared to other players in their space, and so on. When you make people feel that their world is unique, they will feel heard. It immediately creates a delightful customer experience that they might not have experienced elsewhere before.

Without a doubt, curiosity is one of the best skills that salespeople can bring to the sales table.

Set the stage for a show

There are multiple ways to run a demo—you can either use a presentation tool like PowerPoint or Google Slides to walk your prospects through the session, or you can dive right in and give them a tour of the product.

While using slide decks is a great practice, I don’t think sales reps should waste any real estate on talking about their biggest customers, how much funding their company raised recently, or who their investors are. The thing is—customers don’t care about these things.

Look at it from the prospects’ point of view. As a customer who has shown up for the demo, I might already know about those things because I thoroughly researched the company I’m considering buying from. It’s okay if you can bring up these topics as part of the spoken conversation, but you shouldn’t waste prime real estate talking about these things.

As a rule of thumb, your presentation deck shouldn’t be more than three slides that talk about:

  • The status quo in the industry
  • How you are different from the rest
  • A takeaway summary about your product

You can dive into the actual demo once you first cover these slides.

Design the first slide to discuss the industry’s current problems and how your competitors are solving them. Make no mistake; the customers have evaluated other vendors along with you. Therefore, they already have some perceptions about each of them. Use this as an opportunity to educate your prospects about the harsh reality of the current market.

In the second slide, talk about the strongest differentiation that your product offers so that it contrasts you from the rest of the competition. Every product exists for a reason—find that unique reason and map it to your prospects’ relevant requirements.

If you can challenge their preconceived notions and offer a new angle of thinking, most prospects’ eyes will light up and they will appreciate the refreshing perspective. You can pull this off if you are familiar with the Challenger sale approach.

The third slide should ideally have a bulleted summary of three things that will etch strongly in your prospects’ minds. It can be about the status quo, the differentiation that your product offers, or other value props that make your product memorable for the prospects. These things are important because—believe it or not—most people will forget everything that you show them once the demo is over.

But the three things that you tell them at the beginning of the demo will stick out if you articulate them in a way that sticks out. It’s like giving a psychological anchor for their brains to absorb so that it stays long after the demo is over.

Once the presentation is over, jump directly to the show-and-tell part of the demo to actually showcase the product. I like to run the show-and-tell session like I’m about to give the prospects a big show, where I use every other sentence to set the stage.

First, I’ll announce the meeting agenda and say something like:

“There are three primary personas that use Avoma the most—the manager, the admin, and the end-user. In this demo, I’ll show how managers can make the most out of Avoma because you are a manager.”

This way, you don’t have to drill down all product functionalities as they apply to the different buyer personas you cater to. Instead, you can be relatable to the persona in front of you and who can resonate with what you’re about to show.

Of course, you can always talk about the other personas and how your product solves their use cases if the prospects show interest.

In the next stage, tell them that you will use the next 10 minutes talking about so-and-so topics. For example, at Avoma, we usually spend those precious 10 minutes telling them about our product’s application before, during, and after a meeting.

It helps them prepare mentally and understand how they will navigate through the rest of the call. You are essentially setting the stage for every single step that’s coming next in a customer’s buying experience.

Finally, close the demo by discussing your product’s benefits as they apply to your customers’ lives.

Sell your product features as customer-centric benefits

Most salespeople make the mistake of spelling out the list of features that their product offers right after the initial small talk. That’s the wrong way to do it.

Customers don’t care about your product’s features and greatness if they don’t speak to them personally. Therefore, you will need to reverse the features and translate them into benefits that the customers will enjoy if they buy from you.

Mix your discovery with a demo wherever possible so that you can understand the gaps in their business and communicate your product’s benefits in filling those gaps.

Parting thoughts

Sales teams across most SaaS orgs suffer from a fundamental mistake: we focus so much on executing the processes that we forget about the journey and the experience the customers like.

Despite being a small team, we at Avoma have built efficient sales processes and grown rapidly over the years because of the attention to details we have put into our customers’ buying experience. We believe that our focus on making the buyer experience priority #1 in all our processes has brought us where we are today.


7 things top performing AEs do

Account executives (AEs) are a special breed of sales professionals. As part of the sales team, AEs are the first people to interact with prospective customers—right after-sales development reps (SDRs).

And it’s a taxing job—an AE typically is on Zoom doing product demos, a dozen times every day, following up prospects on emails, updating the CRM, collaborating with other functions such as customer success, marketing and product teams in the organization, and—most importantly—achieving the sales targets set out for them.

In many ways, AEs own a deal from the cradle to the grave—ranging from qualifying the leads, running discovery calls, to closing a deal. Since their work performance is tied directly to their company’s revenue, AEs can never afford to slack on their job.

The kind of responsibilities that AEs shoulder daily requires them to exhibit a high degree of discipline, pragmatic thinking, and creative negotiation skills to be good in their trade. Moreover, there are a few things that high-flying AEs do that set them apart from their average counterparts.

Based on our interactions with hundreds of account executives who use Avoma to make the most out of their sales meetings, we have found that good AEs do the following 7 things every day to stay ahead of the curve.

1. They are great at managing their time

Nobody understands the gravity of “time is money” maxim more than a sales executive worth their salt. Unlike other professions—where your job is more or less evaluated based on effort and output—an account executive’s job is evaluated based on specific deal outcomes.

But because an AE’s job requires them to diverge their attention across all sales cycle stages, it can easily lead them to lose their focus. To ensure that they don’t let deals slip through the cracks, top-performing AEs manage their time like their life depends on it.​​

For instance, a competent Account Executive has a knack for saying “no” to meetings that add don’t value to their schedule. Instead, they have workarounds to manage their meeting in a way that saves them time while still giving them the desired outcome.

For the meetings that do require their presence—demo meetings, for example—they go armed with full ammunition. A diligent Account Executive knows that the time booked for a sales meeting is precious (and irrecoverable), not just for them but also for the prospects.

Therefore, they often have a smart system to build meeting agenda templates for each sales conversation to ensure the interaction is outcome-driven. Setting a clear agenda for a sales call sets the right expectations for everyone, gives the meeting a clear direction, and avoids the likelihood of derailing the conversation in unwanted directions.

2. A top Account Executive collaborates closely with others

A successful Account Executive realizes that the modern sales process is not a single-player game, especially in the B2B context. It’s a multiplayer universe where collaboration is the key to unlocking the next level of growth. Attributing the success of closing complex B2B deals solely to the sales team is a gross miscalculation—and great AEs know that.

Instead, a good Account Executive places a high value on collaborative selling—an evolved state of solution selling which demands that other teams such as product, marketing, customer success, customer service, and even the prospects be made equal stakeholders across all stages of the sales process.

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They perceive sales closure as a level playing field for everyone—including the prospects. Great AEs don’t just sell—they work with internal stakeholders and prospects at a partner level to identify the optimal solution for both parties.

The collaborative nature of a skillful Account Executive is evident long after a deal is closed. For instance, great AEs know that their job doesn’t stop at closing a deal but making sure a customer account stays loyal to their brand. Therefore, they go the extra mile to ensure a smooth account hand-off between sales and customer success to transfer the account intelligence and facilitate customer retention.

Similarly, a well-rounded Account Executive works alongside the marketing to run personalized ABM (account-based marketing) campaigns or warm up the prospects before engaging them in a sales conversation. During a demo call, they might have experts from the product engineering team to give prospects a complete picture of the product’s capabilities. Good AEs leverage collaboration tools to democratize the sales process for everyone and improve sales conversion rates.

3. They are meticulous with their discovery calls

A great Account Executive understands that it’s not just about meeting their OTEs (On Target Earnings), although OTEs are a critical component of sales compensation. They realize that selling to wrong customer accounts is a problem that will come back to bite them later—often in the form of customer churn.

Contrary to the old-school mindset of always-be-closing, successful account executives focus on ensuring the right customer-product fit. That’s because they know that the buck rarely stops at sales conversions—especially in SaaS. The real magic happens when customers decide to stay loyal to the brand.

In other words, great AEs understand that they are equally accountable for improving customer retention metrics—just like the customer success team. Therefore, they make sure that the customers they sell to truly see value in their product. They offer a high-touch customer experience once they identify a fit and also do not hesitate to disqualify opportunities that aren’t a fit.

A sales discovery call is usually where the filtering happens. After all, a discovery call is a perfect opportunity for the sales team to explore a fit between the product and its prospects. Depending on the demand generation process of an organization (outbound, inbound, or a combination of both), it often comes down to the Account Executive to take a call on whether to disqualify a prospect account during the discovery stage or nurture them for a deeper level of engagement.

4. A top Account Executive handles objections like a champ

Most AEs are empathetic listeners—they can feel the pulse of the customers by listening intently to what they are saying or not saying explicitly. Good AEs keep their ears to the ground so that they can handle customer objections before they turn into full-blown rejections.

Objection handling is an inevitable part of a sales process. But handling objections is not always about magically convincing your customers to say “yes” to an offer. In sales, handling objections is a subtle art of accepting a series of “nos” before getting the customers to a “yes.”

Thoughtful AEs see objection handling as an opportunity to understand customer psychology from close proximity, identify the customers’ real concerns, and navigate them to an agreeable solution. Smart AEs use customer objections to peel multiple layers of their psychology to help them see value in the sales offer.

Most AEs leverage conversation intelligence to proactively prepare themselves for the common objections in sales conversations across the organization. And they plan their objection handling as part of their demo. They show and tell.

For example, in the image below, you can see how the best Account Executive first gets an understanding of the prospect’s company and their problems (hear first) and then begins to address them in their demo by bringing in the right topics such as pain-points and pricing at the right time.

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5. The best Account Executive listens way more than they talk

An account executive’s job is like that of a therapist—both professions need a lot of patience, courage, and training to listen with an open mind rather than listening to respond. In sales, listening well to the prospects is almost like a growth hack that helps AEs build trust with customers, open interesting conversation loops, and engage in meaningful conversations.

We at Avoma have repeatedly found that AEs who are well-trained in active listening tend to have a significant upper hand in building rapport, carrying out effective sales negotiation techniques, and handling customer objections. In layman terms, an AE’s active listening skill is directly proportional to their ability to close more deals or drive desired outcomes during a conversation.

But it can be a slippery slope—some AEs falsely assume that they are letting the prospects do the talking while the fact is a majority of salespeople, by default, control the conversation. To tackle this problem, good AEs depend on tools like Avoma to track their talk time ratio.

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Avoma’s talk time analytics gives AEs an insight after every sales call on how long each speaker spoke for, who spoke the longest, and who spoke the least. Typically, we have found that a good sales conversation maintains a 40:60 ratio—the salesperson talks for 40% of the time while the prospect speaks for 60%.

With practice, everyone can get better at active listening. You need a tool like Avoma to track your conversation patterns, analyze the talk time ratio, and train yourself to curb the temptation to interrupt the prospects.

6. They take a consultative sales approach

Selling to mature B2B accounts takes a considerable amount of professional experience and the ability to read each situation carefully. B2B sales is strategic—and strategic sales is often consultative in nature because you need to map your prospects’ unique business requirements to the most suitable solution.

Unfortunately, that’s not what happens in the real world. It’s common for many salespeople to take control of a sales conversation from the get-go and educate the prospects as if they don’t know what they want. You might say educating is great when done well—sure—but it is not the right approach for every customer.

Take the Challenge Sale approach as an example. It claims that a salesperson knows (or should know) better than the customer—which is, of course, not always true. Buyers today come to the negotiation table more prepared than ever.

Good AEs don’t fall for hypes, and they know it’s always horses for courses. The best ones tend to play the role of a consultant, which is a key part of the discovery process to ensure a mutual fit between the prospect and their product. Rather than hard-selling their product, the best AEs guide the prospects to the right solution, even if it means letting go of an opportunity to promote their company’s brand.

All in all, taking a consultative sales approach is a win-win deal for both the customers and the AEs. The customers find the right solution to their problems while the Account Executive often builds a trustworthy relationship with the prospects, earns word-of-mouth marketing for their brand, and hones their ethical selling skills.

7. They proactively seek feedback and coaching

Good AEs know that sales coaching can help them master their craft and meet their revenue goals. This is backed up by research that suggests B2B sales reps who achieve their quota 75% of the time had more proficient sales coaching initiatives in their organizations than others.

And although it’s the responsibility of sales leaders to facilitate a good training and development program for the sales team, top AEs don’t depend on others to level up their game. They are self-starters who will take the initiative to learn and apply new techniques in their sales process.

For instance, it’s a norm in most B2B companies to have the new or less experienced salespeople shadow senior reps on sales calls during the training period. While shadowing experts is certainly helpful in many cases—it’s not always a practical solution due to constraints in time, the difference in working styles, or several other factors.

A smart Account Executive accelerates their learning curve by taking an asynchronous approach to improving productivity. Instead of shadowing others and sitting through an entire sales meeting, they use sales coaching software to listen to specific parts of the call at their preferred speed and time. Suppose they are eager to understand how others in the organization are handling product demos. In that case, they can curate a playlist of aspects such as objection handling, pricing discussions, and demos and listen to them on the go.

Final thoughts

An Account Executive most of the time has a lot of things on their plate, and they always have to have their eyes on the prize to stay financially afloat, close their sales targets, and progress their careers. Good AEs have a long-term vision about their job performance, the domain they operate in, and the changing norms in customer behavior.

Therefore, they continuously upskill themselves with the latest tools and knowledge to succeed in their jobs and help their company hit the revenue targets. And a conversation intelligence tool like Avoma for Account Executives is often their ally in helping them improve their sales skills by 1% every day, which massively compounds over time.


8 Objection handling tips

Objections are everywhere around us—from anti-vaxxers objecting to being vaccinated to the prospects having objections while buying your product. And as a sales rep or an Account Executive, objection handling is pretty much at the core of your everyday conversations.

Sales objections come in many forms, and handling them isn’t easy for sure. According to data from Hubspot, 35% of sales leaders believe that objection handling is one of the biggest challenges reps and AEs face.

At the same time, objections are key to deeply understand your customer psychology and move them towards mutually beneficial goals. If you handle  objections well, it feels like both the prospect as well as the salesperson won.

We’ve put together a set of tips from our experience and observation —  and we hope it helps improve your objection handling as immediately as your next sales call.

Let’s start with the basics.

What is objection handling?

Objection handling is not converting your customers from “NO” to a “YES.” That’s a superpower you can achieve only if you are a psychic or a hypnotist. In reality, all sales teams go through a series of “NOs” before getting to a “YES.”

Objection handling in sales is identifying the root cause(s) of concern in your customers and navigating them to a solution that is agreeable to both you and them. Sometimes, it’s taking them from a flat “NO” to “let me think about it”, while other times it’s having them say “I can work with that” when they originally said, “I’m not sure about it.”

Simply put, objection handling is peeling multiple layers of your customer psychology and helping them see the value in your offer. Some of the common objections you might come across are —  your prospect’s take on your product features compared to a competitor, pricing, return on investment (ROI), whether your product is the right fit to what they are trying to achieve, etc.

Successful objection handling moves the deal negotiation to closure. Bad handling of objections will either end the negotiation halfway, ruffle up your prospects, and result in a bad brand reputation.

All said, handling objections is a balancing act —you don’t need to agree to everything a prospect asks for. For example, there’s no point in giving a deep discount to a prospect who doesn’t see value in your product and is just focused on squeezing you to a pulp.

If both parties aren’t winning —it’s a bad deal. Simple as that.

Why is objection handling important?

Objections help build relationships because —prospects come with an opinion about what your product can do for them, even before they get on the discovery call. And there’s nothing more dangerous than letting those opinions and objections go unaddressed.

The longer a prospect holds an opinion, the stronger that opinion becomes — and the harder you’ll have to fight to overcome it. Done well, handling objections can lead you to great possibilities that can help you tighten your go-to-market (GTM) strategy.

Helps customers understand you better

Objections can be strong signals that tell you the gaps in your product or its positioning. Without a customer raising a flag on your product’s capability to integrate with other CRM software—for instance—you wouldn’t know that’s a need your product has to fill.

At the same time, it’s also an opportunity for you to share the ideology behind why a feature is built in a certain way.

For example, at Avoma, we have all our customer-facing conversations accessible to the entire organization and because we believe in transparency and cross-functional collaboration. And since that’s our belief system, the default setting for all meetings is “Available organization-wide”, and 1:1 calls within the organization are private by default.

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When you explain the thought process and the ‘whys’ —the prospects start seeing the merit in your offering.

Helps you better understand the competitive landscape

One of the common objections that the sales team across all product companies face is —getting compared to the alternatives available. Suppose customers bring up the name of an incumbent or a new entrant in your niche; they will also tell you the reasons why they are evaluating your product despite having taken up trials or demos of the competing products.

It helps you understand what’s unique about your product compared to the competition, and at the same time, the kind of customers that are better suited for your product.

Refine your GTM strategy

When you handle customer objections regularly, it forces you to articulate your product capabilities in a way that explains your offerings best. It creates a direct feedback loop with your prospects to understand what makes them tick vs what makes them click.

You can share the insights and feedback internally with your team members so that the learning across the board is faster.

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Handling objections will help you develop a hunch for a pattern of concerns customers come up with frequently. You can take the feedback and create social proof around your brand to help them overcome their concerns.

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Manage churn before it snowballs

It’s good to have prospects who voice their objections. Objections that go undressed during the initial stages of a customer journey can create a chasm in customer experience only for them to churn later.

On the other hand, communicating your brand’s stance on pricing, features, or competition can help you set the right expectations upfront. If your prospects say no during the deal stage—it will save you a lot of time and headache. But if you are outspoken about your capabilities, customers will appreciate that and likely form a supportive outlook for your brand.

Types of sales objections

Objections can broadly fall into three categories:

1. Problem sales objection

The prospect has a real problem that your product can’t solve.

This is the most difficult objection to overcome, because the prospect is genuinely unhappy with their current situation and doesn’t see your product solving their problem. In this case, you need to determine if your product can truly help them or not. If not, it’s best to be honest with the customer and tell them that your product can’t help them for their use case. Better to prioritize ‘building trust’ over a short term transaction. But if you see that your product can solve what they are looking for, you need to show-and-tell how can solve their problem and why your approach to solving their problem is in their best interest.

2. Solution sales objection

The prospect has a problem, but your product can solve it.

This is the most common type of sales objection. In this case, the prospect has a problem that your product can solve, but they’re not sure if your product is the right solution for them. In this case, you need to convince the customer that your product is the best solution for them. You can do this by explaining how your product solves their problem, how different your approach is in comparison to your competition, your philosophy behind the approach, and of course by also answering any questions the prospect might have.

3. No-Problem sales objection

The prospect doesn’t see a problem.

This is more of an educational play. The prospect might not see it to be a pain enough to buy your solution. This happens when you rush to showcase all the features in your product, without understanding or actively listening to what the prospect wants to solve for. Here’s a podcast episode where our CEO explains the SPIN Selling model which helps you build relevance during your discovery and demo to ensure better resonance.

Top 8 objection handling techniques

If you are into sales, you might already be dealing with objections regularly and handling them in your way. Here are some practical tips to refine your technique next time you are handling your prospect’s objections during a sales call.

1. Anticipate sales objections

The best time to handle objections is not during a sales call—but before your prospects come up with it. Good sales reps wait for prospects to voice their objections so that they can respond to them. Great sales teams proactively seek objections so that they can address them during the discovery call.

But how can you pre-empt objections without psychic powers, right? Thankfully, you can rely on data. Look at the behavioral patterns across all previous sales conversations, not just your calls but the calls of your peers as well.

For example, you can Avoma’s powerful conversation intelligence platform, where it automatically categories conversations under specific topics. And so, you can click on ‘objection’ and listen to the objection raised by the prospect on that particular conversation.

objection handling

2. Listen intently

I would be Captain Obvious if I stated that you need to practice active listening to be a good salesperson. But it’s a reminder worth repeating so that you don’t fall into the trap of your cognitive biases over and again.

Active listening is probably the most important skill you need as a salesperson—especially in today’s largely remote sales environment. That means you don’t have the luxury of “reading the room” or picking up on your customers’ micro-expressions unless you have telepathic powers. It’s critical to keep an eye on your customers’ body language because the non-verbal language makes up for 55% of all our communication.

To compensate for the lack of physical rendezvous with your clients, hone your active listening skills. For example, whenever a customer objects—listen to it intently instead of interrupting them with your response. Don’t be upset that customers have objections. Instead, be curious about what they have to say.

Looking at the data from our online meetings, we at Avoma have found that the recommended sales: customer talk ratio is 40%–60%. And if you are talking for more than 60% of the total time on the call, you are probably not listening enough.

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On the flip side, don’t take everything your customers say at face value. Sometimes, what they say is not how they feel. Steve Jobs famously said, “people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.”

For instance, most customers who have objections about a product will disguise them behind the common excuses—”it’s too costly for us” or “we don’t need it.” In such scenarios, patiently listen to your customers, process it objectively, and analyze the objection from the standpoint of solving it.

3. Validate your prospect’s concerns

More often than not, salespeople jump the gun by offering a solution in direct response to a customer’s objection. That’s a hasty and crude way to approach objection handling. To make your customers feel heard, you have to create a cushioning layer between listening to their concerns and articulating your response. It would be best if you first acknowledged their cause of complaint.

There are several ways to validate a prospect’s concern. Nod your head to show that you understand and agree with their point of view even if you have a good rebuttal for it. Mirror their body language and the tone of voice to sympathize with them (but don’t do it if it feels unnatural).

Chris Voss, former FBI negotiator and author of Never Split the Difference, talks about the importance of repeating back a person’s statement if you want to gain their trust at a negotiation table. While sales is far away from the realm of a criminal investigation or hostage negotiation, the technique of unravelling human psychology during a negotiation still applies to the objection handling situations in sales.

Never brush off a prospect’s concerns as a non-issue—even if it sounds trivial to you. Instead, acknowledge their concern to confirm that you understood how they are feeling. Validating your prospect’s concern is an opportunity for you to establish empathy with your customers and handle objections with maturity.

4. Ask open-ended questions

Asking the right questions is a treasured communication skill in all situations, especially if they involve a conflict of interest between two parties. When handling objections in sales, don’t settle with mere “yes” and “no” questions because they aren’t deep enough to probe customers’ true feelings.

Instead, combine the above-mentioned techniques of listening actively and acknowledging their concern and follow-up with specific, open-ended questions. Here a few examples of open-ended questions that will get you elaborate answers from your prospects:

“You make a fair point. Can you tell us more about what specifically you are worried about?”

“I want to understand more about what you just said, and what your top priorities are at the moment?”

“I’ll be happy to help you understand our pricing structure — and for that, can you please share a little bit about your use cases?

And if you are still not convinced that you have gotten to the root problem, continue probing them with follow-up questions that dig deeper —but make sure it feels like a conversation and not an interrogation.

5. Reframe the problem

In design thinking, there is a framework known as “How Might We” (HMW) questions—a technique that helps professional teams reframe a problem to arrive at new possibilities and better solutions. It helps people break out of their rational thinking patterns and look at a problem from a fresh pair of eyes. Salespeople can apply this technique to adjust the customers’ perceptions about a problem.

Here’s how the HMW framework works: take the problem that a prospect is expressing and fit it into a template question of HMW…? For instance, if the customer says that your product doesn’t check all the boxes for them, ask them—”HMW make our product better to meet your requirements?”

The answer will encourage your prospects to be specific about their expectations and see the problem in a new light. It’s simple behavioral economics that helps both parties arrive at a more logical agreement.

In response, you can either offer them neutral solutions (e.g., “May I suggest that you look at X and Y products to achieve those goals?“) or come back with a counter-offer to satisfy their concern.

But I would suggest always focusing on building long term trust over short term gains. And to that effect, it’s ok to even suggest your competitor’s product if you feel that’s a better fit in the customer’s interest.

By the way—you don’t always have to give them your response right away. Help prospects shift their perception while buying yourself time to make a better offer.

6. Show them the social proof

Most sales objections are rooted in the prospect’s perceptions. But when you make marginal tweaks to your negotiation, the customers are often quick to change their minds. Social proof is often a great frame of reference to help you do that.

Think of social proof as something that you might encounter when you are travelling abroad. After a full day of touring the city’s landmarks, you decide to break for a good meal at a local restaurant. You stand at a busy crossroad looking at two restaurants in the same block. The first one looks good but aloof, while the second one is brimming with patrons queuing outside for their turn.

Which restaurant will you choose?

Unless you are a rebel by nature, you will most likely choose the second one, even if it means you have to curb your appetite for some time. That’s the power of social proof—people buy from brands that draw crowds.

Remember what we discussed about taking customers’ feedback to create social proof around your brand? Social proof not only helps you address objections before they arise but also convinces on-the-fence customers to make up their minds. And if the proof happens to come from a set of people and logos they already know, it doubles their trust in your brand.

For example, if someone was buying your product for the customer success use case —wouldn’t they love to see a testimonial like this?

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And more importantly, make sure your social proofs don’t feel like something your marketing team put up. Prospects trust customers. So keep it real.

7. Give them alternatives

Objection handling extends beyond the techniques of asking questions and shifting perceptions. Sometimes, it’s about giving your customers choices to help them make informed decisions.

For example, if a prospect has objections about the limitations of your product, give them the alternative to schedule a demo session with a product expert. If they have questions about regulatory compliances, bring in experts from the legal team to clarify their doubts. If they think a subscription plan is too pricey, give them a discount on the annual subscription.

However, don’t give in to price negotiations—unless you have a good reason for it. People need to see value in your product — that’s primary.

Customers who expect too much of a bargain for your product are often not a good fit in the long term. Haggling on your product prices also sets the wrong precedent for others in your team. Instead of lowballing your offer, give your customers viable alternatives as a chance to see things differently without diminishing the value of your product.

8. Follow up on objections

There is a good chance that the B2B prospects you are dealing with have a buying group to consult with before committing to a contract. A diligent follow-up can work wonders in such cases—given that you have addressed all their objections effectively.

So it’s best if you use an automated note taking software that not only transcribes your meeting but also takes notes with action items to follow up on.

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Following up with prospects also shows that you were genuine about addressing their objections and are professional enough to reach out for another round of discussion. Check with them to understand if there are other areas they still have questions about or schedule a call to talk to other stakeholders in their team.

Remember that sales is a series of NOs before getting to a YES. Most B2B sales teams follow up on an average of five times to successfully close a deal.

Unfortunately, 94% of salespeople don’t follow up with prospects after the fourth time. You can easily be in the top 6% if you follow up with customers with a legitimate need for your product.

Final thoughts

The idea of handling objections is to transform a conflicting situation into a joint problem-solution exercise. However, objection handling doesn’t always result in an amicable resolution. In such cases, it’s ok to take NO for an answer.

Alternatively, you must be confident to say NO to a certain set of prospects who don’t fit your bill. Handling objections is an opportunity to set a standard for qualifying good prospects and filtering out bad customer fit.


Effective ways to follow up

In my career that now spans more than 10 years of experience in sales, one thing that I’ve learned is that prospects don’t like loose ends. Actually, nobody does. And it’s probably the reason why we love follow-up stories so much.

Why do you think we are drawn to high school reunions or the conspiracy theories around the missing flight MH370? What else could have led a record-breaking 19.3 million people to have their eyes glued to the TV screens when the final episode of Game Of Thrones aired on HBO?

And trust me—I’m an account executive (AE)—nobody hates cliffhangers as much as salespeople. Everyone loves a good follow-up and, in the context of B2B sales, it’s a key to bagging lucrative deals.

If you stop to think about it, all things that help you grow your business—marketing, customer service, and sales—require great follow-ups.

As a senior AE at Avoma, I have been selling the value of Avoma to businesses of all sizes across the globe. And thanks to Avoma’s capabilities that allow you to look back at your customer conversations and constantly improve, I have learned a thing or two about leveraging follow-up as a sales technique to meet my quotas.

In this blog, I’ll be sharing some tips based on my first-hand experience on how to effectively follow up with prospects. If you are a fellow AE looking for ways to revive sales conversations with potential customers, I hope these tips will help you.

First, here is a quick breakdown of why you should follow up with prospects more times than you feel comfortable.

The importance of follow-ups in sales

Keeping up with prospects is pretty challenging for most AEs. If you look at insights across the industries, sales reps (on average) usually have about 8 touches with a prospect before they can close a deal.

And as if that weren’t tricky enough, most prospects usually turn down the sales rep 8/8 times when they reach out to them. Statistically speaking, most clients say “no” four times before saying “yes” to your offer.

It’s probably the reason why 44% of sales reps give up on following up with a prospect after just one instance of follow-up.

My suggestion—don’t give up so easily. If you want to advance in your sales career as a pro salesperson, go the extra mile and make that dreadful follow-up call with a great attitude.

Do you know the percentage of sales reps who follow up with prospects six or more times? It’s just 8%. If you want to be in the league of top performers, you have to do what the average 92% of professionals in your line of work don’t do—won’t do or can’t do. It’s what will set you apart from the mediocre.

In my experience, the ninth or tenth follow-up holds the treasure you seek. Everybody appreciates a good follow-up—especially the mature B2B buyers who know the value of thoughtful persistence. And research backs up too: 42% of prospects say that they might make a purchase if the sales rep called back at an agreed-upon time.

Follow-ups work because it’s a way for you to reconnect with customers who have already crossed paths with you in the past. In sales, using that historical context to follow up with prospects always gives you an upper hand in closing more deals. Follow-up is an underrated sales technique that can help you unlock new revenue opportunities hidden in plain sight.

But be warned, there are some complex nuances to following up effectively. Let’s go over them thoroughly in the next section.

Tips for following up effectively with your prospects

An effective follow-up has two main goals to it:

1. It has to offer value with each step

2. It takes the conversation to the next stage

#1 usually contributes to #2. But if your follow-up fails to achieve none of them, it’s not a good follow-up. The next steps usually include scheduling another meeting with the prospects, getting introduced to another stakeholder in their company, getting a trial set up, or agreeing on a timeline to purchase.

In our lingo, we call these crucial follow-up touchpoints “scheduled nest events” or SNEs. It’s a shorthand for making sure you get a follow-up scheduled for each meeting you have and move the deal along.

Can you have a template system or checklist for following up with each prospect? Of course, you can—and the tips in this blog are an attempt to help you do exactly that.

But how to follow up with a prospect, what kind of value to offer, and what the next-step conversation looks like vary from one client to another. Therefore, a lot of things in your follow-up strategy depend on different factors such as the prospect, their use cases, how the initial meeting went, etc.

The good news is—some principles are applicable to all of your follow-ups no matter who the prospect is. For instance, to be really good at being an AE, you have to familiarize yourself with some basic knowledge about human psychology. Buyers are driven by emotions, incentives, and reciprocity. If you can incorporate these things in your sales follow-up template, you win half the battle.

With that, let’s dig into an intriguing psychological hack that can help you improve your follow-up strategy.

Leverage the Zeigarnik effect

The seeds of an effective follow-up are sown much before the follow-up call or email, i.e., during the demo.

Do you find to-do lists helpful in striking through your house chores? Do you toss and turn in bed sleeplessly because you have a big day tomorrow? It might be triggered by the Zeigarnik effect—the psychological tendency that makes you remember tasks or events that are incomplete more easily than tasks that you have completed.

In sales, you can use this to tease prospects to pique their interest in your product or offer. You might have experienced this many times over in your own life. Production houses release captivating teasers of an upcoming movie strategically a few weeks before the movie launch and deliberately leave out critical clues in the promo.

You should design your demos like a movie teaser—thorough enough to give your prospects a good idea about your product and short enough to intrigue them further. That’s how everyone runs a demo at Avoma, including our CEO. Here’s what he has to say about running product demos:

…it’s a false notion to believe that the demo should be run like a training session for your product. A demo is a preview of what your product can do—a glimpse into a world of possibilities that the prospects can unearth if they decide to use it. Simply put, a demo session should be designed like a movie teaser instead of running it like a 120-minutes-movie.

– Aditya Kothadiya, CEO, Avoma

So what’s the benefit of not giving your prospects the full story? There are many benefits—the first being the ability to personalize the demo for the person in front of you.

Most salespeople start to wax eloquent about what their product can accomplish to every prospect that signs up for a demo. In reality, every person/business has a unique set of problems that they want to solve. As an AE, your job is to be able to understand their business use cases and tell them exactly how your product will help them.

A more important benefit of keeping your demo selective is that you can purposely give your prospects an itch to know more about your product—just like how not completing the tasks on your to-do list comes back to haunt you mentally. Remember, the Zeigarnik effect kicks in when you are restless to finish something that’s left undone.

Deliberately leaving out critical details about your product can also help you follow up with prospects more meaningfully after the initial interaction. It gives you a solid reason for you to email them and say:

There’s more to the product than what you saw. I’d love to share them with you. Can we schedule a follow-up sometime soon?

Come to think of it, that’s how most book blurbs, webinars, and events are designed—detailed enough to give your prospects a good idea about your product and short enough to intrigue them further for a later engagement.

Follow up meaningfully

Right after I say my farewell to a prospect, my immediate top priority is to come up with collateral that I think will help them in their research to find a perfect solution to their problem. It can be a link to a blog, an industry whitepaper, an intro to an expert in my network, or something else that can help them further in their exploration.

There’s no hard and fast rule on when you should share the collateral, but it’s important to be timely. For instance, if you mentioned that you would share a content asset with the prospect, you should come through with the promise as soon as possible.

But if it’s a collateral that the prospect isn’t expecting, send it after a few days after your meeting to strategically remind them of your conversation. The more valuable the collateral, the higher their chances of being delighted with it.

If the collateral promotes your product, that’s great. But don’t hold yourself back even if it’s not related to your product—your goal is to be valuable, not promotional. Giving your prospects valuable information is good karma that will pay you back handsomely, even if not immediately.

In our case, it’s easy: I often send my prospects a recording of our meeting immediately after the call. What better way to demonstrate Avoma’s value to prospects than to let them experience it first-hand, right?

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Sometimes, I  take a short snippet out of the meeting—usually, a question they had about Avoma—and email it to the prospects with a reply to their query. It almost always works—prospects email me back to thank me for clarifying their concern while being able to experience Avoma’s collaborative features. And that gives me more reason to advance the conversation further.

The point here is that you should provide value with each follow-up. Don’t ever send an email or leave a voicemail saying you are “just checking in” with them. You want to establish yourself as a trusted advisor, not a sly salesperson who “checks in” with all of their prospects with the same boilerplate message.

Reaching out to touch base with clients for the sake of it is like eating empty calories—it might make you feel good that you had it in your process but it offers absolutely no value.

What if your prospects don’t respond to follow-ups?

No matter what’s the outcome of your follow-ups, always be respectful to your prospects. Sales is one of the few professions where the odds of winning are really tough—no matter how hard you try. You can be the best salesperson in the world, you might have the best sales pitch or a great product and you might still lose a deal because selling to B2B customers is a long and complicated process.

If you start taking every customer rejection or no-show personally, you will soon be out of your sales job. The fun part about being in sales is accepting the fact that every customer prospecting and follow-up needs more (and probably, a different kind of) effort than the one before that.

And respect doesn’t just mean being polite in the email copy or stuffing “thank yous” and “sorrys” when you call them. I have a personal rule of thumb about calling my prospects only at appropriate times—depending on what time zone they are in.

For instance, I like to call prospects early in the day because it’s the time when most of us aren’t distracted by a dozen things on our calendar. It also gives me enough time later in the day to call again if they don’t answer my earlier call.

I try not to leave a voicemail the first time I call—it’s best to talk to people in real-time and hear from them directly than leave a secondhand message that doesn’t guarantee a response. I leave them a voicemail and send a follow-up email simultaneously as the last resort if I don’t get an answer the second time around.

And if I still don’t hear from them in a day or two, that’s a sign that I need to move on. After exhausting all the steps above, I send a “break up email” to a prospect letting them know that I won’t be reaching out to them again (at least not in the foreseeable future). Usually, it’s an email and the copy reads something like this:

Hi Sarah,

I haven’t heard back from you since my last email and I don’t want you to feel like I’m wasting your time.

Is Avoma still something you’re interested in? If not, I want to be respectful of your time and inbox so that I can stop reaching out.

Senior AE, Avoma

Emails can bring the worst of our biases without us realizing it—especially when we are expecting the desired response from a person. It’s easy to come across as passive-aggressive in your breakup email, so you have to be doubly careful in how you phrase your words.

For example: never, ever write an email like this:

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If a prospect doesn’t respond to your messages, it could mean one or all of the above things from A through E. It’s understandably frustrating not to know what the exact reason is—but it’s more important that you give the benefit of doubt to your prospects and move on.

In any case, it’s a good thing for you to not waste your time on dud deals and instead pursue prospects that present better opportunities for your business.

Build a habit to analyze your sales calls

One of the tricks that has helped me and my fellow AEs at Avoma improve our follow-up is to look back and analyze previous sales calls and finetune our outreach. And we are lucky that we have an in-house product that lets us do that.

Avoma makes it incredibly easy for you to review your past sales conversations with a prospect and derive valuable insights into what might appeal to them. The revenue intelligence capability in Avoma gives you the complete overview of your pipeline health, helps you identify gaps, and lets you improve your sales efficiency—including follow-ups.

We have already discussed how sharing the meeting recording and Snippets allows the prospects to experience Avoma’s capabilities in a hands-on manner. The transcripts and AI-generated notes are my other favorites because they make it a breeze for you to review your meetings and pick up on small details that you might have missed during the live conversation.

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Those details help you understand your prospects better and customize your follow-up to make it more appealing for them to agree to the next course of action.

At Avoma, we have our own version of the ABC framework that we use in our sales follow-ups—it stands for “Always Be Curious.” And listening to recorded conversations allows us to follow our curiosity—sometimes, down to insightful rabbit holes.

Here’s a first-hand example from one of my recent experiences. I had demoed Avoma to a SaaS prospect who was positively intrigued with what our product was capable of doing. She had asked a bunch of questions (generally a good sign) and I had answered all of them diligently—or I thought I did.

But when I sat down to go through the call transcript a few days after the said call, I noticed that she had expressed concerns about the extent of collaboration that was possible in Avoma when her company shared the recordings with external stakeholders (e.g., consultants).

The way she said it…wasn’t phrased like a question, which is why I missed it during the live interaction. But the newfound insight now gave me a valid reason to snip the part where she had mentioned that use case and reach out to her over email with an elaborate answer.

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(As a side note, external stakeholders can absolutely view and listen to all of the recordings that you share with them. They just can’t record their own meetings as free users.)

Make your follow-ups count

Let me conclude by reminding you that follow-up is not every AE’s cup of tea. It takes a lot of planning, research, and discipline to pick up the phone or write a great follow-up email. Not every AE follows up with their prospects—and the ones that do, don’t do it as diligently.

Because the average salespeople neglect follow-up as a sales technique, it’s an opportunity for ambitious AEs to use it to improve their sales conversions and level up as A-players. Fortune favors the bold—get over the fear of failure and make fanatical follow-up a non-negotiable part of your sales process. All the best!


Mastering the post call routine

Despite the growing adoption of conversation intelligence and revenue intelligence, analyzing and learning from sales calls gets very little attention in contrast to preparing before the call.

Every sales rep worth their salt has some sort of a pre-call routine—but what do they do once the call is over?

I looked up the topic on the internet and there isn’t much written on the subject. I scoured the sales communities on RedditSales Hacker, and Bravado—but couldn’t find anything significant except a lot of chatter around the best tips to follow up with prospects.

So I turned inward and interviewed our internal sales champions at Avoma—Nathan Hymas, our VP of Sales, and Thomas Minturn, one of our Senior Account Executives.

To be clear, we aren’t necessarily talking about “sales postmortem”—although it does feature in a big way under this topic.

But what are the essential things that a successful AE does in their individual capacity immediately after the call is over? What’s the routine they follow as a non-negotiable protocol? We asked our sales experts and I have some great answers you can apply to your own post-call routine.

Do you really need a post-call routine?

At Avoma, we look at all meetings as a lifecycle that you can divide into three parts: there are things you do before, during, and after the meeting.

Preparing for a sales meeting is like the takeoff procedure that airline crews follow—you have to make sure all the nuts and bolts are tightly screwed so that the flight doesn’t fall apart even before the takeoff.

Once the meeting is on, you have to dodge the obstacles and navigate the call to your desired destination—much like maneuvering the plane’s controls to ensure a smooth mid-air journey.

The landing comes last, but it’s in no way any less important than the previous two exercises.

There are a series of complex workflows the flight crew follows as part of their standard operating procedures like checking all the moving parts from a safety standpoint, vacuuming the flight, wiping down the restrooms, refilling supplies, refueling the tank, and preparing for the next flight.

Phew! For the flight crew, landing can be as exhausting as taking off or flying.

It’s not much different in sales, although not all AEs might have a standard post-call practice. And that’s what sets a major-league AE from the average Joe/Jane.

Analyzing your sales call by looking at the conversation insights is a great way to organize your thoughts around the conversation, reflect back on it, and prepare for the next stage of the sales process.

If you don’t regularly examine your sales call after it’s over, you are missing out on powerful customer insights that can help you understand the buyers’ psychology and improve your sales performance.

A post-call routine can be an enlightening experience for you to evaluate your interaction with customers, where you continuously learn from the experience, and get a new level of clarity about your customers. It’s like developing a new sales muscle every time you look back at your sales calls.

Set up your post-call routine

To develop a solid post-call routine, both the sales experts I interviewed suggest that it’s best if you divide the routine into three sub-categories: organize, reflect, and plan. Think of it like a workflow that appears in a chronological order.

1. Organize

Arrange your notes

Note-taking is an integral part of every sales call. The idea is to note down the important details that a prospect mentioned during the call, retain the information for future reference, and share the data with others (if necessary).

If you are not a diligent note-taker, you probably hate taking manual notes and wasting time in data entry. Some reps barely take notes in order to focus on the call and lose the important information.

But you need notes for context. If a colleague asks you for last-minute context before their calls, it can be damaging to the sales process. It can also ruin the prospect’s experience if they need to provide the same information multiple times to different team members.

This is where Avoma helps with its automatic note-taking and CRM updates.

Avoma’s AI-powered note-taking capabilities go beyond the basic transcription functionality of typical conversation intelligence solutions by taking notes automatically during your calls and  updating them to your CRM.

This lets you actively focus on your conversations and do what you do best.

Update your CRM

Right after you hang up the call—or leave the Zoom meeting—the first thing you should do is update your meeting Purpose and Outcomes in your CRM.

Why? Because, at a glance, you need to know—what was the outcome of the call? Did you agree on the next step? What’s the potential deal value you’re looking at?

Many AEs procrastinate this step or don’t follow through it as diligently because they have other customer calls lined up back-to-back calls. Or, perhaps they don’t realize the importance of updating the CRM thoroughly.

This is where Avoma makes your job easier. As you read above, the meeting notes get automatically synced to your CRM. In addition to that, you can also update your meeting outcomes and deal values from Avoma, without having to go to your CRM.

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The screenshot above shows that the purpose of the sales meeting was a “demo” and the outcome was that the prospect was qualified for the next level of discussion.

Similarly, the screenshot below showcases how you can update the deal values.

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2. Reflect

Analyze the meeting

The aftermath of a sales call is your chance to look back and reflect on it. The storm is over—what remains now is for you to take stock of the debris scattered all over the place, discard the useless stuff, and gather the things that you can use for the future.

Here’s what Nathan has to say about this part of the sales routine.

Take a minute to reflect what went well and what could have gone better and apply it to your next call.

This is solid advice because it forces you to derive insights that you can apply to your next meeting immediately after. If you skip this step, you would just be running from one sales call to another without anything to improve your performance.

Our brain is wired to learn from our daily experiences—even when we aren’t paying full attention. But when you do it with intention and focus, the learning process becomes fast,  hyper-focused, and sustainable for a long time.

Also, take an inventory of the meeting highlights. What were the key highlights during the conversation? What made the prospect smile, excited, or curious?

Similarly, think of the low points—what topics made them quiet, dismissive, or snappish?

Analyzing the high points helps you double down on certain topics to increase the likelihood of a positive outcome. The low points help you understand their concerns better and handle objections at a later point. These analyses help you understand your prospects better and prepare you well for the next steps.

Rate your call

You are used to dialing and smiling day in and day out—but have you ever reviewed your sales call against cold hard questions?

Granted, it might not be practical to apply this technique to every call because some prospects are poor-fit customers, some don’t show up, or many are relatively low in deal value and impact.

But if you can develop a habit of rating your calls—at least the ones that you think can contribute handsomely to your pipeline—you will get a slight edge on each one of your next call.

If you can rate each of your Uber rides every time you hail a cab, you can certainly make this a practice for your high-stake prospect meetings.

Here is a list of questions to help you rate and review your sales call:

  • On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate the interaction?
  • Were you able to achieve your objective?
  • Was the call a success, failure, or somewhere in between?
  • What went well?
  • What didn’t go well?
  • What could you have done differently?
  • What information did you gather?
  • Did you advance the sale to the next stage?
  • Does the client meet your pipeline expectations?
  • Does the call/prospect qualify as a good sales opportunity?
  • What else can you do to progress to the next step?
  • Who else should you involve in the next step?
  • What’s my objective for the next meeting?
  • What is going to be your next move?

At first, the answer to many of these questions might not be obvious to you—which is why Avoma exists.

Avoma lets you go over the call recording, analyze the talk-listen ratio of you and your prospect, track specific keywords or topics, and get actionable insights about the conversation.

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The key is to learn from  your past calls and also from the calls of your peers. Check out the average time you and the prospect spent on specific topics, similarly the time spent on those topics by the best performing AEs on your team, and you’ll know your areas of improvement.

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Share important insights with othersAt Avoma, we have a culture of sharing important insights about meetings every time someone gets off a call with a customer. This helps our sales team a lot more than you can imagine.

What we do is—we quickly create a snippet capturing a key part of the conversation and share it on Slack with the rest of the team.

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The insights they share can be positive (e.g., praise for the product), neutral (e.g., questions about integrations, roadmap), or negative (e.g., negative comments about the product, praise for a rival product). We have created different Slack channels to push these insights for everyone in the organization to see or talk about.

The practice of sharing relevant meeting data helps us spark a healthy debate around a certain topic—which eventually ends up making a tangible difference in sales or product development.

Here’s an example from Coleman Schleifer, one of our star AEs, posting a customer query on an internal Slack channel:

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Notice how Coleman’s thread elicited an immediate response from others in the team—mostly the product experts who are qualified to answer his question. This helps the sales team get clarity on certain issues, respond to the prospects on time, and improve the likelihood of closing a deal successfully.

Thankfully, we built the perfect tool for this use case. If you take a closer look at the above thread, you will notice that Coleman has shared the meeting link for people to click and listen to the entire conversation so that they have the full context of customer concerns.

Start sharing important meeting insights with internal experts and you will start seeing its immediate impact on your sales conversations. The more urgently you share, the better your likelihood of getting specific and contextual comments from your peers. After all, sales is too important to leave it just to AEs—which is why collaborative selling is taking over traditional sales practices.

If you are dealing with high-ticket clients, this is where running a sales postmortem becomes massively helpful. You basically huddle together with others in your sales team, analyze the meeting from all angles, and devise an effective strategy to win the deal.

(By the way, the answer to Coleman’s questions is: no, you can’t recover a meeting once you delete it in Avoma.)

Another area to get insights is to get feedback on your calls from your peers and sales leaders. With Avoma, your team can contextually comment on specific parts of your sales conversations, thus helping you improve continuously with every call.

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3. Plan

Close the conversation loop

From a customer standpoint, it’s always a nice feeling to have someone send a thoughtful message after a meeting. Besides helping you offer a delightful buying experience, it’s a habit that will pay you high dividends when you send customers a round-up of the meeting.

Here’s Thomas Minturn’s on the importance of this routine:

After the meeting, I always send a follow-up email with relevant collateral that ties back to the customer discussion. For example, I include a one-pager description of Avoma for different sales roles…depending on who I was chatting with. I then try to get a follow-up meeting scheduled.

There are three great things about this post-call routine:

  • You have an opportunity to thank and acknowledge the prospect for taking out the time to join the meeting.
  • You give them a quick recap of everything that you discussed in the call—including reiterating the value that they will get out of your product.
  • You can close any gaps that were there in the conversation by sending them relevant content collateral.

If you can bundle this routine into a wholesome experience for the prospects, there is a good chance that they will be eager to set up another call in the future.

Be on your customers’ radar

Most AEs overlook the part about being in the prospects’ proximity once the meeting is over. Several AEs email their prospects or call them multiple times, sending the wrong signal or irking them by being too frequent.

A better way to hang around your customers’ orbit—without bothering them too much—is to leverage your social media presence. Send your prospects a connection request on LinkedIn or follow them closely on social media right after the call. People are more likely to accept a new connection request from people they have just met or had good interactions with.

Assuming you and the prospects are moderately active on LinkedIn, now you can get your prospects’ attention and engage with them frequently on social to improve your rapport further. The intent is to build trust, hang around their social sphere, and develop familiarity.

For instance, you can DM your prospects contextual links about their business domain or a light-hearted meme something you had discussed during the call to improve your social interaction.

After all, there’s a good reason why the top 10% of sales reps close more deals simply by being active on social media. It’s also the reason why we suggest every salesperson should have a good LinkedIn content strategy.

The science behind this is simple: people buy from people they like and trust. The more people see content that reminds them of your product, the higher the chances they will buy from you.

According to behavioral psychology, that’s exactly how “familiarity bias” works—people invest in products that they are more familiar with because it’s a natural choice over buying products that they aren’t sure about. Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t—right?

Prepare for your next call

This is one of the most important systems you can develop to make your post-call routine better. Based on the outcome of a meeting, prepare yourself for the next step in the sales process.

Did the customer ask for more information about your product? Send them the right collateral over the email. Did they agree on a time or date? Mark your calendar and send them an invite before you forget.

Did they ask for more time? Set up a reminder on your CRM to follow up after a few days. Did they ask for a deep-dive demo session? Prepare the slide decks or talk tracks that will help you give them a personalized walkthrough of your product.

You are essentially looking for action items to follow depending on the meeting’s direction. For instance, let’s assume that the meeting was so-so because your prospect had a few objections about your product that you couldn’t counter immediately.

In such a situation, list down all the objections that your prospects brought up during the call and start preparing strong answers for each of them. For instance, most objections revolve around four topics: budget, trust, need, and timing.

Rank the objections from highest to lowest on the scale of their impact so that you can allocate the right amount of time and resources to answering your prospects’ concerns about them.

Many times, handling customer objections is as simple as asking your prospects a thoughtful counter-question. But you will have to tap deep into your curiosity about the prospects’ business environment to come up with such questions.

Once you are confident about the responses to the prospects’ objections, rehearse them a few times to make sure you have them down pat in your natural speech. If you need help, ask your manager or peers to give you feedback about your preparation.

Pull in experts from the product or engineering team if it means getting down to the core of an issue. Use the time between this call and the next customer interaction to prepare yourself in all manners possible.

Make use of the break between your sales calls

Sales is like a big league sport—you either go big or go home depending on how well you handle the ball in the arena.

And all big league sports have some sort of post-game routine—sports pundits gather around in front of a TV camera to break down a team’s strategy, team coaches run a locker room debriefing, and players discuss their performance with each other after a big match.

Selling is no different—developing a systematic post-call routine gives you an edge in your sales performance. It allows you to look back at your performance while you are still immersed in the inertia of the customer call. You can take notes of the valuable insights for the next round of the game before they evaporate in thin air.

If you don’t already have a post-call routine, let this blog be a primer for you to build one for yourself. We are rooting for you for your next big-ticket sales call!

And if you liked this article, give us a shoutout on LinkedIn.