Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell? For Inside Sales it’s Do Ask, Then Tell!

The Sales line rings and the young inside sales rep is eager to answer and talk with a potential new customer.

The prospect shares that she was just doing some research on the website and wanted to know more about your company’s services and how you differ from your competitors.

The confident young sales rep boldly jumps headstrong into his sales pitch. He leads with the company background, name drops some of their prestigious customers, talks about value proposition and total cost of ownership. He also shares that his company really doesn’t have competitors because the others in the market lack compelling functionality and offer poor customer service.

He closes the call by providing the anonymous caller with his direct number and looks forward to hearing back from her. The sales rep is feeling pretty good. After all, this is the spiel that he has overheard the other senior sales reps repeat over and over again.

The positives here are that we have a sales rep that looks forward to pick up the phone and talking with prospective customers. It is also a good sign that he is open to peer coaching and is willing to learn by observing others. Unfortunately, he is mimicking the wrong behaviors and it is the sales manager’s fault.

With young, willing and impressionable inside sales reps, the sales manager’s role is vital. They need to implement a sales methodology along with coaching, mentoring and other sales training opportunities to empower their inside sales team members.

Instead of blindly jumping into a sales pitch, the inside sales rep should take the opportunity to find out as much information as possible from the caller first. Here is a quick checklist to get started;

Name – so you can personalize your conversation

Company – skew conversation and provide examples relevant to their industry

Phone Number – in case caller ID isn’t accurate, you get disconnected and need to call back

Email Address – offer to send white paper, case study, email drip campaign

How did you hear about us? Lead source, customer  reference?

What product/service are you currently using?

What don’t you like about current provider? Pain points

What do you like?

What other features & benefits are you looking for? Help select the right solution for them

What are your Priorities? Price, TCO, Support, Ease of Use

Who else is involved in the Evaluation process? You will need to engage them, too

Who is the ultimate decision maker? Buy-in from the check writer is key

What are timelines to buy? Ready to buy or just kicking tires

Are you evaluating other solutions? If so, which ones?

These are just a sample of some probing questions that an inside sales rep can ask a prospect. These details are vital morsels of information that will allow you to create a New Lead record for the appropriate follow-up later. If you rush into your sales pitch and don’t know who your audience is and what is important to them then you are doing yourself a disservice.

A good sales manager will employ onboarding and on-going training techniques, such as role playing, peer mentoring, call recording and call scripting. This way inside sales reps are provided the necessary tools to engage with prospects, gather pertinent information and then tailor their sales pitch to the prospect on the other end of the line.

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