What a great concept, I've been looking for a resource to collaborate with fellow SEs.
It's funny because I used to use the 'wing it' strategy when starting out. I thought the calls would go well, but then when my manager shadowed some calls I realized the opportunity that I was missing out on. He would ask questions like "Ok, who is deciding on this?" "What are the next steps?" "What is the customer's role in this project?" "When do they need the solution implemented?" etc. Taking the time to set goals and call prep has been invaluable and I highly recommend it because you get more out of the time on calls with customers. 
How do you guys structure your call prep? How detailed do you get?
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Hey HDalt, I completely agree. I basically call prep, at some level, before every call. 

I'll typically bullet out at least three questions/objectives that I am trying to get out of the call. For example:
  • Question 1
  • Question 2
  • Question 3
This way I can take notes right under the bullet, I remember to ask all of the questions I was planning to, and I can leave a succinct voicemail if the person doesn't answer.

-JM, Sales Engineer 
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I do a similar prep before on sites. Obviously, it's equally as important to prepare for in person meetings as calls. Before going I'll outline who the attendees are, their roles, my objectives, and my strategy for achieving those objectives. Then i'l relate those back to how this fits into the overall account strategy of this account. It helps me organize and execute my game plan and avoid wasting time during the meeting. 

IMMEDIATELY after the visit I will document my notes so I don't forget the details of the visit. Usually in the car outside of the facility.
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Thanks for your input guys! [smile]
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I will typically create checkbox questions/statements in evernote so I can quickly 'tick' them as I am on the phone with the customer. 

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Hey all, a friend of mine who is an awesome sales coach has a great resource on his site (free) for call planning: http://inthefunnel.com/content/sales-call-planning

Also a video there which is helpful.


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