Have you ever left a sales appointment and wished you had said something else? Or have you ever debriefed a sales rep’s call and find they didn’t ask the next logical question, and now critical information is missing?
Unfortunately, it’s a common problem. Most salespeople don’t ask enough questions.
Let’s examine some statistics. Only 11%* of salespeople ask the next, most important question when necessary. Further, the typical questions most salespeople ask are garden-variety ones; surface questions that are easily answered. Salespeople tend to accept too much at face value.
When the prospect says something like “This sounds great. Send me a proposal so I can look it over.” The sales rep hears “This looks great. It’s a done deal.”
So, the rep doesn’t ask the logical question – one that might be slightly uncomfortable, such as “Does that mean if the proposal lays out what we just talked about, you are ready to go?”
Rather, they trot off to spend time on a proposal believing it is a done deal, only to waste time on a document for someone who was just blowing them off.
Unfortunately, both scenarios cause salespeople to waste time with unqualified prospects, produce proposals for unlikely buyers, and keep prospects in their pipeline longer than they should. And, when pipelines are full salespeople tend to prospect less to boot.
Rather than having a funnel or pipeline based on activities, your pipeline will be based on true probability of closing. Then, encourage sales reps to focus on the higher probability opportunities.
These two solutions will help salespeople stay centered on having better conversations through more robust questioning – and free up their time to focus on finding more of the opportunities that can close.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like a qualifying template that is easy to implement and, when utilized, will cause salespeople to ask more potent questions, reduce wasted time and energy, and improves closing metrics. And, of course, we recommend that you use Membrain to make your process and scorecards come to life in your daily workflows.
* Data compliments of Objective Management Group 2019
Gretchen Gordon is the founder of Braveheart Sales Performance, a consulting firm specializing in sales team transformation. A self-proclaimed “Sales Nerd” with over 27 years of sales, sales leadership and sales team transformation experience, she spends most of her time working directly with client companies and helping them improve their sales effectiveness and exceed their sales goals. Gretchen is also a frequent guest speaker for industry events and webcasts, and has been featured on the radio talk shows “Meet the Sales Experts” and "Sales Coaching over Coffee." She is also an accomplished writer, having been featured on industry-leading sites like SellingPower.com and SecurityInfoWatch.com. She authors a “Top 50 Sales Management Blog,” according to Docurated.com, and has published sales-focused eBooks, including “The 5 Essentials of Effective Sales Management” and “Cold Calling in the 21st Century.”
Find out more about Gretchen Gordon on LinkedIn