Imagine being in the dating world and hitting brick walls everytime you asked a girl or guy on a second date. Rejection after rejection. Wouldn’t you want to get to the bottom of it? Maybe it’s your breath? Or maybe you talk about yourself too much. Well, you wouldn’t know why you’re coming up short unless you did a little digging and analyzed your dates and dating life.
Same goes for sales. If your sales numbers are suffering — or if you just want to knock it out of the park this year — then you have to analyze your sales calls. By analyzing your cold calls and other sales calls, you can identify points of friction, fix bad habits, and shore up your weaknesses. The top-performing salespeople are constantly analyzing and learning as they go. And you should be too!
Thankfully, the whole business of sales call analysis is incredibly simple. Just record your calls and play them back. That’s pretty much it. Of course, you’ll want to take notes as you listen to the sales call. Also, if you want to buy fancy AI software that tells you why you’re underperforming, you can do that. But for our purposes, let’s go the analog route (that’s right — old fashion paper and pen), as I don’t want ANYTHING standing in your way of sales mastery.
With that said, below are questions you must ask yourself to PROPERLY analyze your sales calls. If you’re a sales leader, send this around to your team, and print several of these so that your squad can reference it daily. Finally, I’m operating on the assumption that you’ve already qualified your prospect using B.A.N.T. or an equally effective pre-qual system.
Got it? Great. Let’s dive in.
Here are the eight questions to ask yourself to PROPERLY analyze a sales call.
1. Was the lead inbound, outbound, or referral?
Referrals convert the highest, of course, followed by inbound leads and lastly outbound leads. It’s important to know which type of lead you’re dealing with. For instance, if you’re having zero success on inbound leads, maybe the marketing team is filling the funnel with garbage leads. If you’re getting stonewalled by referrals, then you can learn referral-based selling tips and tricks. And so on. But the point is this — you have to gather the data if you want to improve.
2. How long did the call last?
On average, how long do your unsuccessful calls last? How about your successful ones? You need to know this, because the longer you keep your prospect on the phone, the more likely they are to eventually convert to a client or customer. In fact, according to Hubspot, successful sales calls last nearly twice as long as unsuccessful calls — that’s 5:50 compared to 3:14. So when analyzing and you find your calls are getting cut short, you need to find out why. Which brings me to my next point.
3. Did you build trust?
As you listen to your calls, keep an ear out for trust signals. At any point, does your prospect drop their guard and let you in? Do they offer up inside info like quarterly earnings or budget? Better yet, do they share about their latest vacation to Cabo? These are all signs that your prospect trusts you — and so, if you’re not getting these signals on your calls, you need to work on building trust. Listen to them (really listen), empathize with their situation, and let your personality shine through. Wash, rinse, repeat. And you’ll be building trust in no time.
4. How much did you LISTEN?
When analyzing your sales calls, actually use a stopwatch to compare your talk-time vs your prospect’s talk time. Did they talk 30% of the time, while you talked 70% of the time? If so, that’s your problem — you have it backwards! You should be listening 70% of the time, and letting your prospect get the lion’s share of the talking in. The more you listen, the more you learn about how to be most helpful. The more the prospect speaks, the more information they will share to help you help them. It’s a beautiful thing.
5. Did you identify and agitate pain points?
I sometimes refer to this as “the abdomen check.” When you see the doctor for stomach pain, your doc will press on your abdomen and agitate the pain. Yes it hurts, but it’s necessary to poke and prod to diagnose you. In the same way, you need to poke, prod, and press into your prospect’s pain points. By doing so, they’ll realize they really (really) need your help. So when you analyze your calls, ask yourself if you’re effectively identifying and agitating pain points.
6. Did you frame your offer as a solution to their problem?
Continuing on from the last point, remember to always offer a solution — never leave your prospect doubled over in pain without attempting to help. The best way to do this is to frame your offer as their “prescription.” Your product or service will cure their ailment — i.e. get their business back on track and healthier than ever. So as you play back your calls, ask yourself if you’re clearly framing your offer as the antidote to your prospects’ pain points. If not, there’s a huge opportunity here.
7. Did you handle objections well?
Are you fumbling and searching for words when handling objections? If so, this one is an easy one to train and improve. Search for the top 10-20 objections and drill the rebuttals over and over. Just remember that overcoming objections always starts with empathy and understanding. Thankfully, this is also an easy one to identify on sales calls. In your recordings, just listen for hesitation in your prospect’s voice.
8. Did you ASK for the deal?
Another simple one to identify and improve — not asking for the sale is like cutting the fishing line before you pull the big fish into the boat! You must ask for the sale during the close. You can learn how to do this in my article on 7 Ways to Ask for the Sale Without Being Pushy. But the idea is to not let anything go unsaid when it comes to closing the deal. It’s better to ask for the sale and getting rejected than it is to leave the call on ambiguous terms with no decision made. That’s a fate worse than death.
So those are the eight questions to ask when analyzing a sales call. After you listen to a few of your recorded calls, you’ll start to identify patterns and where you went wrong. You’ll notice other things, too, like nervous ticks and filler words that you use too much.
Don’t forget to analyze your wins, too! When you win the deal, pick it apart to see why it went so well and led to a “Yes”. You can then take those learnings and implement them moving forward. And that’s what sales is all about — incremental improvements over time… and having the courage to press on and crack the code, even when the odds seem stacked against you. After all, if you stick with it and learn from your mistakes, you WILL be counted among the upper-echelon of salespeople.