Inside Sales Buzz Blog

Inside Sales, Scripts & Cold Call Techniques from Michael Pedone

Turn Your Sales Script Into a Conversation

by MichaelPedone 26. August 2014 06:38

How to Turn Your Sales Script Into a Conversation


SALES QUESTION:

"I don't like using sales scripts because they don't encourage genuine organic conversations with prospects. Do you agree?"

SalesBuzz Answer:

I disagree with this statement and here's why...

Top sales scripts that work follow a formula that creates a conversation between the two parties.

It follows a successful process that allows for dialogue while covering (or uncovering) key steps needed in order to determine if an opportunity exists, if you are speaking with the right person and if the prospect can afford your solution to their problem, all while having a "conversation".

Bad sales scripts on the other hand, fail because they try and hypnotize the prospect into a yes pattern or get forced agreements from the prospect.

OBJECTIVE BASED SALES SCRIPTS


When you realize that sales can be broken down into small, winnable objectives or agreements, sales scripts quickly become your ally, and not your enemy.

Knowing exactly what to say BEFORE ever picking up the phone, no matter if you get a gatekeeper, prospect's voicemail or the decision maker on your sales call, will catapult your sales numbers far and above any Captain Wing-Its out there that continuously fly by the seat of their pants, sales call after sales call.

Understanding what your objectives are of each phase of the sales cycle, and using the proper script to execute them, allows for measured success while still allowing for the sales person to "be themselves" while having room to ad-lib where necessary.

Sincerely,

Michael Pedone - SalesBuzz.com's CSS: Chief Sales Scientist

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Discussing Price With Prospects - What to do first

by MichaelPedone 19. August 2014 09:16

SALES QUESTION:

"I frequently speak with prospects that sound very interested in what we offer but once I email them the proposal, it's hard to get them back on the phone or to answer my emails. Why does this happen?"

SalesBuzz Answer:

If you've sent out (emailed) a proposal and aren't hearing back from your prospects, chances are your sales process (what sales questions you ask, when you ask them, why you ask them, how you ask them) has you missing one or more of these steps:

Did you identify a problem and get agreement from the prospect that they want it solved?

If you simply asked a few "probing questions" that gave YOU the understanding that there's a problem, but failed to have the prospect realize a problem (or an opportunity for them to be better), there's no reason for them to use your service - even if they like it, and even it was FREE! (Ever felt like you couldn't give it away? Now you know why)

What role does the prospect play in the decision making hierarchy? If they said they were the "decision maker", how did you confirm this?


Salespeople like to use titles as a way of identifying decision makers... I've got news for you:

Each company has their own way of doing business. Assuming you're speaking to the decision maker just because their title is CEO is a huge mistake.

What does their ideal solution to the problem look like?


Have you ever been on the receiving end of a sales call where they ask you a few probing questions and then go off into a sales pitch that is the equivalent of the world's longest run-on sentence? What would it have been like for that sales person to ask YOU what the ideal solution looks like, and then matched what they offered to what you are after?

When would they like to solve it (time frame)?


Are you selling on your time frame or the prospects? Are you more worried about getting the deal in so it can count towards this months commission check, or are you seeking to understand what's best for the prospect?

Did you find out what was going to happen once you disclosed price?


If you don't know what steps are going to be taken once price is given, how do you know if this is an opportunity for this month's or this quarters' numbers? Your manager wants an accurate forecast. Not a hope-for-the-best forecast.

Once you've identified the above, did you uncover if your price range was doable for them? Was it within their means?


If you do the above steps correctly, price won't be a stall objection. Sure, some prospects may still want to try and negotiate, but negotiation isn't a stall objection.

With that said, not EVERYONE will be able to afford your solution. Have a strategy that addresses the "price qualifying" step in the sales process - and make sure it's one that gets you the answer you need (the truth - if they can afford it) and not just the answer you wanted.

Sincerely,

Michael Pedone - SalesBuzz.com's CSS: Chief Sales Scientist - Online Sales Training Program

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How to Warm Up Cold Leads with an Email

by MichaelPedone 12. August 2014 07:42

SALES QUESTION:

"We're using cold email campaigns to try and warm up leads before inside sales calls on them. My question is, when should the sales reps be calling after we know an email has been read by the prospect? We know speed is critical but I feel that responding too quickly has too much of a "Big Brother" feel to it. Your thoughts?"

SalesBuzz Answer:

First things first... Sending a cold email to a prospect before calling them doesn't "warm" them up.

The definition of a warm lead is when a prospect is raising their hand. That's it.

How many times have you sent an email out, tracked it with tools that told you when the prospect opened the email only to call them and have them still give you some sort of blow-off or stall? I'm betting a lot!

How to Really Warm Up a Lead Via Email Marketing


Understand that the end game is to get your prospects to reach out to you! A warm lead is when a prospect raises their hand (by either picking up the phone and calling you or filling out a form on your website and submits a request to be contacted).

If you truly want to "warm up" leads for your inside sales team through email marketing, here's what you need to do:

  1. Start with a quality list. This means use resources that attract your target audience that want to hear from you again. Developing and then promoting valuable "how to solve" webinars is a great way to attract targeted prospects and build your email marketing list. (For an example of this, view our free voicemail strategies webinar) You will want to STAY AWAY from purchasing lists, etc.
  2. Be consistent. Sporadic "Hey, we need deals so let's blast out a mass email" campaigns often do more harm than good. You want to have well thought out material that goes out on a consistent basis for your audience to read.
  3. HEADLINES THAT HIT HOT BUTTONS. Your subject line and your headline in the email have to be short and creative. Something that HITS your targeted audiences hot buttons!
  4. Help, not Sell. Solve, not Promote. The content of your email should not be about you and what your product or service does, but rather focus on a problem that your audience has and that your company is an expert at solving, and then give the information away for FREE on how to solve it! This makes your targeted audience WANT to read what it is that you have to offer. It also builds your brand as a valuable resource - a Subject Matter Expert, if you will, to your targeted audience. The majority of your email list won't have a problem that needs solving right now, however, as you provide quality advice on solving issues they deal with, when a problem arises that they can no longer afford to ignore, they will know who to call / contact. And now you reap the benefit of speaking with a warm lead that you can help.
  5. Call to Action. Make sure that at the end of your email marketing campaign / newsletter that you have a clear CALL TO ACTION for those who may be in need at this moment for your particular expertise. Make it clear and easy for them to hit the CONTACT ME I NEED HELP button so that your inside sales team can be busy helping prospects that need it, rather than trying to figure out who to call that has read the email.
Just make sure your inside sales team knows what to say when calling those warm leads. The last thing you want after investing the time to generate those true warm leads is to have your sales team blow it by calling them and saying "Did you have any questions?" or "I'm just following up".

Sincerely,

Michael Pedone - SalesBuzz.com's CSS: Chief Sales Scientist

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SalesBuzz TShirt Early Registration Incentive

by MichaelPedone 7. August 2014 05:53

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How to Make Morning Sales Meetings Effective

by MichaelPedone 4. August 2014 09:38

SALES QUESTION:

"I manage a team of work-at-home sales reps where I don't have the ability to listen in on their calls. While I do attempt to coach as much as possible, the coaching is mainly based on the data that the rep puts into our CRM. Do you have recommendations for coaching inside sales reps when you can't listen to them on the phone with a customer?"

SalesBuzz Answer:

No matter if your team is all in-house or remote, role-playing is essential to ensure your sales reps are firing on all cylinders while making sure they are representing your business the way it needs to be. Here's one way to do that:

Making Morning Sales Meetings Effective

If your inside sales team is under one roof, set aside some time during the morning sales meeting to role-play (follow the rules / guidelines below). If your sales team is remote, spring for a WebEx or GoToWebinar account and host morning sales meeting webinars so your team can role-play.

Set some ground rules for sales role-playing. Here are a few:
  • Role-play in the morning. It's the warm up for the big game.
  • Role-playing session is up to 20 minutes MAX. Last thing you want to do is burn your team out before they hit the phones.
  • Everyone needs to know that iron sharpens iron. We are looking to critique, not criticize.
  • Each role-playing session should be on a specific area of the sales call. Example:
    • Openers (what you say after "Hello, my name is...")
    • Gatekeepers
    • Voicemail
    • Discovery/Qualifying
    • Presentation
    • Objection Handling & Closing
    • Follow-up calls.
You as a sales manager, may not like what you hear! That's a good thing. It gives you an opportunity to help your team become better which will lead to sales growth, as long as you know how to fix their sales mistakes.

Morning sales meetings can get old and stale real fast with the sales manager looking for new ways to say the same old thing. Adding the role-playing element even just once a week will provide a fresh energy in the morning while challenging your sales reps to get out of their comfort zones.

Sincerely,

Michael Pedone - SalesBuzz.com's CSS: Chief Sales Scientist

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About the Author

Michael Pedone, founder and CEO of Live Online Sales Training Company SalesBuzz.com
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