This is the most important question to ask yourself when analyzing your sales force. If you ask 5 of your sales reps this question they will each typically give you a different answer. This is bad because if everyone defines a Call differently then you cannot measure calls properly across your sales reps. This is why you need a uniform definition of a “call”
Every organization defines a call differently. The simplest definition is: A call is a meaningful interaction/connection that influences buying habits. As you notice in this sentence there is no time frame mentioned or the amount of products that are detailed during the call. As I said this is the simplest definition. Now we have to set some parameters for this interaction. If you old a group meeting with 10 clients and do a PowerPoint detail for all of them at the same time, does that count as 10 calls, or as 0 calls? This is a point that must be discussed by managers and sales reps so that they are all on the same page. If your sales rep is walking by a client’s office and simply pops his head in and says “hi, how is product A working out? Good talking to you. Bye” and then keeps going, is this considered a call? (Some clients call this a drive by call). Typically I would not classify this as a call at all. But once again this is something that needs to be agreed on by all the sales reps so the definition is uniform for everyone. How about at a conference or convention. Your sales rep meets 30 clients while walking the convention floor. Does this count as 30 calls?
There are many other situations that can be considered calls and this is why you need a clear definition across the organization. Knowing the exact number of calls that reps make will lead to a better and more accurate analysis when conducting a sales force optimization project.