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What is the Goal of Your Prospecting Call?

Having a goal of an outbound prospecting call is critical to success, but what should the goal be?

If you are in a one call, transactional business, the objective is to make a sale and this blog post isn’t for you.  Keep after it!  

If you are in a complex B2B sale, your goal isn’t to make a sale.  

By definition your sale is complex, and you will likely have multiple stakeholders to engage.  The sales cycle could be 2 months to 24 months. A sale is not the objective of a first call outbound or inbound.  So, what is the objective?


Magnifying glass on keyboard with the word objectives in red

The objective is to secure another conversation or a meeting with a stakeholder who has a problem you can solve and is inclined to solve the problem.  


Outbound calls should be scheduled in blocks of time.  You should have a list available to you to fill the time with outbound activity.  You are not looking to make friends and have long conversations. 

Vector graphic with the words quick tips and an exclamation point

This is an aside, but may be helpful. 

A great a great way to start an outbound call is something like:

You:  Hey Steve.  This is Bob Turner.  I only have a minute …. 

The goal is to gain equal footing with your prospect.  Don’t beg or ask how they are doing or ask for 27 seconds or give them a lot of info about your company and products.  They simply don’t care.  You are interrupting their day.  Get to the point. 

To increase your chances of success, the people you are calling should fit a tight profile.  This means you are not trying to cast a wide net, but you have a defined list of targets who meet your ideal client profile.  This profile goes beyond a market segment.  You are calling a person who has a certain set of responsibilities and with the responsibilities the prospect has challenges that they need to solve.  

The timing must be right.  The messaging you use must resonate with the ideal target you have called.  This is another entire topic.  You can learn more in my Sales and Cigars podcast episode with Chris Beall from Connect and Sell

I have had success disqualifying a prospect by exploring three ideas or questions that might help you secure a clear next step. If you have called the right prospect and have a good message, you can enter into a short conversation to get answers to three questions.


  1. Does the prospect have a problem that you can solve?  You should have a pretty good idea that this is true, but you want your target to acknowledge the problem exists in the organization.
  2. What is the impact of the problem?  Think of the problem and how it relates to the target in terms of time, money and risk.  Any one of these areas are tied to an emotional response and you need to engage the target on an emotional level.
  3. Does the issue rise to a level that needs attention?  The challenge the prospecting is facing must be significant enough to discuss further.


On the first call you are trying to gain their attention and determine if the next step is of value to you and the target.  The next meeting is where you peel back the onion and dig into the compelling reasons, create credibility and learn who else cares about this problem.

If you have a good list of targets who are likely to have the problems you solve, you should be able to craft a series of questions that uncover the challenges and get a meeting with the target.  

If you call on VPs of Operations at a manufacturing facility, you should understand what their day looks like, the problems they have and the language they use to describe them.  A professional salesperson knows the target and can think like they think because you have solved other problems with your current customers.  

If you have a strong list of targets that are similar, this becomes easier and easier.