It’s a Sales Conversation – Not an Interrogation

July 27, 2015 | Wendy Goeckel
It’s a Sales Conversation – Not an Interrogation

I got a call from a sales rep yesterday. For a few minutes I thought I was on a “20 Questions”-style game show. His agenda was to get through his questions as fast as possible so he could tell me about his product. My answers really weren’t important. And I didn’t win anything.

Sales Conversation

This is a challenge sales enablement professionals often have.

How can we help sales reps use questions to drive a conversation?

It’s difficult if reps follow a list of questions—it becomes a checklist for them. What we really need to do is provide guidance on how to ask a question, listen to the answer, and use the answer to move the conversation forward, rather than use it as a signal for permission to move to the next question.

You could create a map that provides a conversation flow illustrating that “If someone answers ‘X’, ask ‘Y.’” But for complex sales, this quickly gets too complicated and makes it obvious that reps are following a script. They are not listening. They are not understanding. And they don’t sound genuine.

So what do you do?

Sales reps and sales leaders are always asking me for discovery questions. Instead of discovery call question lists, provide guidelines to help reps drive the conversation and capture the customer point of view. Role-play sessions and sales leader coaching will help reps use tools effectively. You need more than great documentation—reps need to be able to translate documented questions and talking points into real conversations with prospects as they uncover their challenges.

Because ultimately that’s the goal: to get an understanding of business challenges so we can steer the conversation to how we can work together to solve them. Then your rep and your prospect both win.

For details on how Brainshark helps reps have more productive, successful sales conversation, take a tour of the Brainshark Sales Accelerator.

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