Image Source: blog.prisync.comOne important rule that sales people should keep in their mind in today’s world is – It isn’t always be closing but it’s always be helping. The world has changed a lot. Customers are tired of salesmen who try to sell them things that they don’t need & sales people are done with being referred as con artists who try to skim people of their money. Earlier sales was about being ruthless & never taking no for an answer while today empathy is a necessary quality that is expected from sales people. Technology has evolved so much & with the emergence of techniques like Account based marketing buyer, sales prospecting has reached a whole new level. But one thing that’s never going to change is the guts of a sales person. However, selling isn’t a talent that comes to everyone & even if someone is a natural, there are always skills that can be improved upon or new ones that can be added. Sales people should start thinking of their sales calls as business interviews as an interview has a business purpose in mind that is clear to all participants especially in the B2B world. And one of the most powerful tools that reps should be using is asking great questions. Primarily because by asking the right questions, sales people can suss out the competitive landscape & can subtly help their prospects to move toward a buying decision. Most B2B sales guys are familiar with BANT:
- What’s your Budget?
- Who’s having the Authority to buy?
- Do you have a Need for our solution?
- What is your Timeframe for implementation?
1.Objection surfacing questions.Exploring buyer concerns might be nerve- wracking, especially for old-school sales guys. But unless, you don’t get the buyer’s objections out in the open it is impossible to address them. If you are sensing hesitation or discomfort from the buyer, you can directly ask questions like
- ‘What reservations are you having with regards to this product?’
- ‘Does something regarding the product concern you?’
- ‘Ready to take this forward?’ followed by ‘why not?’ in case they say no.
2.Questions that are hypotheticalAsking hypothetical questions about a future scenario in which the need for your product arises can enable your prospects to realize the true costs of inaction. Sales people generally don’t ask hypothetical questions because they think it can turn out to be negative. They must train themselves to ask positive hypothetical questions by knowing the buyer’s pain points to lead them to imagining brighter futures with your product. An example of positive hypothetical question:
- ‘Imagine 10 months down the line, hiring at cost and evaluation have disappeared thanks to my product’s ability to source, evaluate and present you qualified candidates in a matter of 4 weeks. How do you envision that helping you hire better and growing your team at cost?’
- ‘Since when have you been in business?’
- “Which is your most profitable location?’
- ‘What do your average monthly operating expenses look like?’
- ‘What are you most focused on achieving this quarter?”
- ‘Define the success metrics for your role in terms of team, company or function.’
- ‘Of the challenges we’ve discussed, which one is most imperative for your team to solve?’
5.Thought provoking questions
- ‘Did you know (cool statistic)?’
- ‘What was the impact of (recent fact) on the company’s strategy?’
- ‘Have you ever thought about using (innovative strategy)?’
- Personal goals; the promotion they have their eyes on
- Functional goals; sales numbers or running X number of campaigns each quarter
- Departmental goals; product launches and market expansion
- Team goals; working alongside X number of clients or reducing overheads
- Company goals; raising funding, opening new locations, increasing customer numbers etc.
7.Clarifying questionsAsking clarifying questions to your prospects can give tons of information as these tend to help you connect with buyers ensuring you have arrived at the right conclusions. You guys just have to make sure that the questions are close ended as you are confirming your past answers instead of searching for new ones. Some examples can be:
- Can you give me an example?
- Can you be more specific?
- How did that affect you?