Predictable University Day 8: Mapping Calls aka Detective Work

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In the previous lesson, we learned how to prepare ourselves to pick up the phone and make prospect calls. Today’s lesson helps us add a bit more strategy to our outbound efforts with mapping calls. The goal of a mapping call is purely to learn and the gather information that can help you sell in the future. i.e. doing some sales detective work to map out what’s happening internally.

Key Concepts to Learn:

  1. Don’t Sell — This is not a sales call so avoid pitching. The goal is to conduct research and learn.
  2. Call High — Call the 800 number and ask for the President’s office or senior executive. Ideally you’ll get the persons assistant, and since their job is to be helpful, they will likely route you to the appropriate person. Also, they are generally well known in the company and have a lot of useful info.
  3. Ask Permission to Talk — Be respectful of their time, and say something like “Did I catch you at a bad time” or “Do you have a few minutes to chat?”
  4. Tell Them Why You’re Calling —Your tone and approach really matters here. Focus on being a lost lamb, where you’re struggling to find your way. You could say something like “I’m a bit lost and not sure who the right person is for …”
  5. Let THEM Ask You What You Do — When you don’t tell them what you do, they will ask. Keep your response super short, with no jargon explaining how your help your clients.
  6. Ask ‘Are We A Fit’ Questions — The goal is to quickly figure out if this account is a waste of time, so have a few relevant questions ready. For example you may ask something like “I don’t want to waste anyone’s time. We only work with companies with more than 50 engineers. Could you guess how many you have today?”
  7. Get an Internal Referral — Ask who the appropriate person would be to speak to, the best way to reach them, and confirm contact details. If you’ve been friendly and authentic, more than likely the assistant will be willing to help you. Once you’ve obtained this information, when you reach out to your new contact, you can reference this conversation with the assistant as an internal referral.
  8. Keep Asking Questions — By being grateful and respectful, you’ll earn the right to continue asking more questions. You can use phrases like: “oh and one more thing…” or “also, I was just curious to know…”. Ask more questions to obtain additional names, contacts and insights on your target account.
  9. The Transfer — If you get voicemail, feel free to leave one but be sure to reference the conversation you just had with assistant. If someone does pick up, consider using the same lost lamb approach and conduct another mapping call (as it’s likely you’ll still need to be redirected to the person you really want to talk to). Continue the scavenger hunt until you actually get connected to your ideal contact.
  10. Follow Up and Update CRM — Enter any new information you obtain (contacts, notes, etc) during the mapping call into your CRM. Also, be sure to send follow up emails to the people that were kind enough to hep redirect you. This helps build your credibility over time.

Recommendations or Exercises:

The exercises to help with this lesson all involve setting some targets, getting on the phones and making a few mapping calls. Here are a few additional exercises to help get started:

  1. Mapping Roleplay — Start by conducting a few mapping calls via internal team role play sessions.
  2. Practice Live Calls — Consider practicing live mapping calls with your prospects in front of the entire team. Turn on your telephone’s speaker phone, and ask for specific feedback.
  3. Host Team Calling Sessions — Help instil some competitive spirit within your team, by having a group session for mapping calls. How many mapping calls or “call connects” can people complete in 30minute? See what that number is and define some stretch targets to help incentivize the team to keep going.
  4. Record Calls & Have Your Team Critique Them—Use your CRM or any other tool to record the mapping call conversations. Then get together as a group/team and start critiquing each other on how to improve specific parts of your call. This will help new reps with their initial on boarding, as well as more experienced sellers gain objective feedback on how they can improve their sales acumen.

Benefits of this Lesson to Startups & Modern Sellers:

  1. Generate More Conversations — Having real conversations with buyers and influencers help with learning more about your customers and nailing your niche.
  2. Get Access to Decision Makers — Mapping calls help us get connected to the people we want to talk to faster. Instead of a shotgun approach to getting a hold of decision makers, we can be more tactical in learning about their routines to optimize our outreach.
  3. Build and Clean Your Lead List — Lead lists need to be updated based on changes within an account. Mapping calls help us ensure we are working with quality data.
  4. Great Approach to Training New Reps — Mapping calls enable us to get get on the phone with new reps almost immediately. This allows us to practice our product training while also getting rid of any telephone fears.
  5. Refine Messaging- We’ve mentioned this a few times now, but by making more telephone calls and having more customer conversations, we will learn how to better communicate and refine our value proposition.

Tomorrow we’ll take the next step in learning about email responses and learning how to hit reply in a way that generates real interest.

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You can learn more about my work at www.salestraction.io and you can follow me on Twitter @RajenSanghvi