Sales Call Scripts: A Sales Rep Tool, Not a Crutch

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Sales reps want to make successful contacts with prospects and leads. Unfortunately, most reps don’t use sales call scripts. So, why do companies let their sales development team or inside sales reps wing it by making up their own sales pitch on-the-fly?

In some cases, sales managers may not realize the effectiveness of an excellent cold call script. In other instances, people on the sales team are resistant to using scripts because they think scripts make them sound inauthentic.

Here’s the deal. If your sales call script doesn’t help you start a conversation — a real conversation where you uncover whether or not you can help a prospect who is a good fit — then what you’ve got in front of you is a crummy monologue.

A successful sales call script is designed to facilitate better sales calls; it’s a useful tool, not a crutch. Some of the most successful salespeople use them to build relationships with prospects and meet sales challenges and goals.

Qualities of an Excellent Sales Call Script

We’re pretty passionate about sales scripts here at VanillaSoft and the power they have to help you close more deals. If you aren’t currently using them in your sales process, here’s a look at the qualities of a great sales call script.

Great Scripts Don’t Sound Like Scripts

A script should help a salesperson uncover pain points and hit on product or service benefits that are of interest to the potential buyer; it should not, however, make you sound like a salesperson.

If your script has you hitting your decision maker with features and “why we’re great” garbage right out of the gate, throw it out and start over. A winning sales call script helps you frame the conversation, sound natural, and lets you gracefully move to the points, questions, and objections you need to address.

The Best Sales Call Scripts Focus on the Prospect, Not the Product

I touched on this point a bit above, but I cannot stress it enough; you have to address “what’s in it for me?,” (WIIFM) from the prospect’s perspective. This concept applies to social media, voicemail, and cold email interactions with potential buyers, too. The best sales call script opener helps you start the conversation with a focus on the needs of the decision maker; it encourages you to ask the right questions.

Believe it or not, a sales script is as much about providing clues to listen as it is about helping reps talk. Also, did you know that your phone comes with a “magic button” to help you and your script be even more effective?

scripting for sales calls

Mike Brooks, Mr. Inside Sales, has a great blog post about this magic button on your phone. It’s the mute button.

Why is it so magical? Because it can stop you from inadvertently talking yourself out of a sale. It forces you to be quiet and listen.

A terrific sales script has questions that help you uncover information about your prospect and his or her needs. What good are those questions, though, if you don’t pause to let your contact fully answer?

Mike points out that by using the mute button after posing a question, you give the prospect time to elaborate before you jump back in with your next question or answer.

Here are three scenarios where he recommends using the magic mute button:

  1. When asking about the prospect’s current vendor. Press mute after you ask about their current vendor to allow them time to elaborate.
  2. After providing pricing information and a related follow-up question. (Example: “how does that fit in your budget?”) Press mute to give them time to answer and provide feedback that lets you know how that answer landed with them.
  3. After asking a prospect to elaborate when they’ve given you an objection (ask them to clarify, for other questions, etc., then hit mute). Press mute after asking for clarification to let him or her more fully explain the objection.

By forcing yourself to listen instead of trying to fill dead air while your prospect formulates a response, you can uncover more details that make your job of selling a lot easier.

Well-Planned, Dynamic Scripting Preps Reps for Most Anything

Dynamic scripting software, sometimes referred to as logical branch scripting, provides the script in segments to the salesperson and adapts to the conversation based on prospect responses.

With this messaging guidance, an SDR or rep has a conversational framework with the flexibility to change gears to overcome objections and answer questions as they occur. The salesperson can select options and responses based on the direction of the conversation that, when clicked, offers the next segment of the script.

With this approach to sales call scripts, management can offer sales team members a variety of micro-messages or bullet points that help move the conversation to its ideal conclusion: an informed decision on the part of the prospect.

Encourage team members to practice with the script before taking time to call prospects. They need to be familiar with how to handle the scripting software, and they need to feel confident enough to use the script as a guide, not a crutch. Role-playing with a colleague can be useful, too.

Ready for Sales Call Scripts to Guide More Productive Conversations?

The purpose of a sales script isn’t to provide a set of words that every salesperson must repeat verbatim on a sales call nor is it a magic incantation that secures a sale when said correctly. No, a script is a robust framework that helps a well-trained sales rep masterfully guide an interested prospect closer to a decision.

Are you using scripts as part of your sales process today? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments section below.

sales scripts for SDRs


Darryl Praill VanillaSoft

Darryl Praill

Darryl Praill, Chief Marketing Officer of VanillaSoft, is a high-tech marketing executive with over 25 years’ experience spanning startups, re-starts, consolidations, acquisitions, divestments and IPO’s. He has been widely quoted in the media including television, press, and trade publications. He is a guest lecturer, public speaker, and radio personality and has been featured in numerous podcasts, case studies, and best-selling books.

Praill is a former recipient of the coveted Forty Under 40 Award, and has held senior executive roles in leading companies including Sybase, Cognos (now IBM), webPLAN (now Kinaxis), and CML Emergency Services (now AIRBUS). He has raised over $50 million in venture funding across multiple organizations and consulted with world-class corporations including Salesforce, SAP, and Nielsen. He is a Computer Science graduate from Sheridan College.

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