• James Purvis

How to Run a Perfect Sales Call: 5 Simple Steps

Something I've noticed is that a lot of sales reps and managers don't have a defined structure to their prospecting calls. This results in a lot of missed opportunity, time wasted, and messy sales conversations.

Awhile back I watched a great 30 minute training video from Gong on sales discovery that had a few key takeaways that helped me have a more structured approach to prospecting calls. Combining some of the tips I learned from Gong's training as well as some strategic questioning tactics I've leveraged in my career have helped increase my frequency of scheduled next steps two-fold.

Below are the 5 simple steps you can take to maximize the outcome of your prospecting calls.

Step 1: State the goal of the Meeting

After no more than 3-5 minutes of small talk, you should kick off the meeting by making an "up- front agreement." This agreement should be in the form of stating the goal of the meeting and having the prospect agree to it.


  • "My goal today is to determine if {Name of Your Company} would be a strong fit so that if you go further into this process with us, you know it's going to be time well-spent."

  • "If I find that we wouldn't be a great fit for you, I'll be upfront about it, and we can save time by going our separate ways. Is that fair?"

99% of the time your prospect will consent to this. It just makes sense. In addition, it helps you establish control of the meeting.

Step 2: Lay Out the agenda

Now that your prospect knows the goal of the meeting and is in agreement with it, you will want to define an agenda that sets both you and the prospect up for a successful outcome.

This will be your second "up-front contract" that the prospect acknowledges keeping you in the driver's seat for the conversation flow.


In Step 1 after you ask,"Is that fair?" and they answer, "Yes."

  • "Great! Now to achieve that, here's what I suggest we do."

  • "First, let's briefly talk about how you are doing {Name Your Solution Topic} today to understand if and where {Name of Your Company} might be able to help."

  • "Once we do that, I'll tell you a bit about {Name of Your Company}, how I think we can help, and schedule a next step if it makes sense to."

  • "Is there anything you want to add or remove from that agenda?"

  • "Great, let's get started!"

Step 3: Ask discovery questions that get long responses

You need to earn the right to ask prospects questions which is why Step 1 and Step 2 are so important. If you start the call with a bunch of questions, you will quickly turn off your prospect and make you sound like a cop.

Once you have earned the right, you can preface your questioning with what Gong refers to as a "Discovery Prompter" or by a well constructed elevator pitch. A discovery prompter is a short educational narrative about the problem or opportunity your product solves for. If done correctly, your discovery prompter or elevator pitch will get your prospect talking.

Finish it off by saying, "Enough about {Your Company Name}. Help me understand your top challenges and priorities?" This will be your segue into your discovery questioning.