Sales, Planning versus Strategy

"there is a difference between pre-call planning and strategic preparation. I have noticed from my many years in sales and conducting thousands of training programs that pre call planning is an activity that looks at what you want to say and do in the sales call or interaction. Strategic planning is more involved, requires critical thinking and can improve the outcome of a conversation."

What is the difference between playing checkers versus playing chess?

One is a lot more predictable.

You could say the same about certain business situations too.
Using the more complicated strategic planning, can help you stay ahead of your business rivals and improve the outcomes of your conversations, but it also requires critical thinking.
In contrast, when it is used correctly, strategy can lower your number of missed opportunities and eliminate any potential “what ifs”.

Key Takeaways:

  • Pre-call planning looks only at what to say and do during sales interaction, and is not the equivalent of strategic preparation.
  • If you have experience in sales calls and customer interaction, you can probably predict what will happen with 80% accuracy.
  • Before the conversation, you should prepare for what to say if the other person is initially unreceptive to your pitch.

“The intent of strategic preparation is to put yourself one step ahead of the competition or the people you are interacting with.”

If you are interested in reading more strategy in your pre-call preparation you'd be wise to read the following article from Charles Brennan
Playing Chess instead of Checkers in Sales