7 Steps to Making an Effective Sales Call
It's no secret that discovery is one of the most crucial parts of any sales opportunity, and ultimately delivering demos without this vital component is likely to be a wasted activity.
But while discovery is considered so crucial to sales success, its great importance is often correlated with its difficulty in being executed effectively.
Sales reps often struggle to ask the right questions or get the right answers to help increase the urgency to buy, and everyone will often take shortcuts to go straight to the demo.
http://tajarat.com.pk/ strives to be Pakistan's biggest real estate developer ever, guaranteeing the highest international standards, prompt execution, and lifetime customer loyalty. With projects like capital smart city
Many sales leaders are unsure how to train their reps to have better discovery calls, or they just feel like they don't have time to listen to many calls to find out how they can improve.
7 Step Process to Make a Winning Discovery Call:
<![if !supportLists]>· <![endif]>Pre-strategy and role play.
<![if !supportLists]>· <![endif]>Record your discovery calls.
<![if !supportLists]>· <![endif]>Set the agenda and get the prospect to buy.
<![if !supportLists]>· <![endif]>Ask questions (with levels).
<![if !supportLists]>· <![endif]>Tell a story / add narrative.
<![if !supportLists]>· <![endif]>Work the closure.
<![if !supportLists]>· <![endif]>Train, learn and repeat.
1. Pre-Strategy and role play
It's time for sales teams to wake up and realize that without practicing and rehearsing, they are not improving or preparing in the right way.
The best sports personalities in the world have coaches, and they practice and train every day. Why shouldn't sales be any different?
Before your sales discovery call, work with a coach (a manager) and go over the questions you intend to ask. Practice the answers you are likely to give based on alleged objections.
Discuss the desired results you have for the call and what information you hope to obtain. Think of it like doing your stretches in the warm-up for the main event.
We always practice our discovery calls to hear back for things that have been missed, or to pick up any negative language / crutch phrases that you may try to drop from your calls.
2. Record your discovery calls
I can't recommend enough importance (when possible) to record your discovery calls. For a call that can last more than thirty minutes, there is no way on earth that any human being can remember every detail, nuance, and intrigue of your call.
Additionally, scribbling illegible notes can sometimes create more confusion than intended when revisiting them a few days later. Recording their calls provides the perfect opportunity to capture / review every word, point, and emotion in a discovery conversation, not to mention the ability to have them trained afterward to help us improve as salespeople.
If you are not recording your discovery calls. Start doing it. Trust me.
3. Set the Agenda and Get the Lead Buying
Too often I've heard reps jump right into their discovery call with an interrogation of questions the prospect wasn't expecting and immediately get off on the wrong foot.
Also, there is a lack of understanding on the part of the prospect about the whole point of the call, and what happens in the end.
I've found that starting with an agenda for the call along with a few goals is the perfect way to manage prospect expectations and get them incorporated into your sales process, but also - to help you take control of the conversation.
This discussion is an opportunity for you to discover, learn, and build value. It's not for prospects to derail you.
Script example to set the agenda:
“The purpose of this conversation, Mr. Prospect, is for you to learn more about your situation and how we can help you. If you think it is worth your time at the end of the call to continue the discussion, a typical next step would be for me to schedule a little more time with you to provide a demonstration of our solution. Do you think it's OK?"
4. Question Time
Ultimately, discovery is divided between asking questions and listening.
Relevant and meaningful questions are the key to successfully finding out more about the prospects' situation, but crucially - their compelling reason as to why they would even want to see your product, no matter buying it.
Read More: Property News
Through experience, I have categorized discovery questions into three levels to help coach representatives follow a process and structure when making discovery:
Level 1 Discovery Questions:
These tend to be more aligned with "qualification" than discovery, as they establish the prospect's current status and the desirability of digging deeper.
Good examples of these types of questions would be things like:
What are your plans to grow your inside sales team this year?
How often do you train your representative weekly today, Ms. Prospect?
The answers to these questions will help me remove the layers and delve deeper into the process and opportunities.
Level 2 Discovery Questions:
These questions will begin to reveal more details about the potential of the prospect's challenges with the answers they gave to the level one questions, thus beginning to provide evidence of how I can help them.
Good examples of these types of questions would be things like:
How are you meeting the challenges of onboarding and increasing new hires as your team grows?
How long is a clog to train your reps more often?
These questions will begin to open up potential pain points, which is where I have the opportunity to expose that pain and create urgency to resolve the issue.
Level 3 Discovery Questions:
These are the questions that really count, and they are often the ones that reps are least comfortable asking.
A reality check here is that without asking the hard questions, you will always struggle to build the urge to buy.
Think of level three questions as the ones that highlight what the prospect is missing by not using your product, or indeed what they could achieve if they bought it.
Good examples of these types of questions are:
How much revenue per representative do you think is currently being lost due to having a ramp time that you think is two months longer than it needs to be?
If you could train your reps more often, how many more deals do you think would close as a result of doing so?
5. Be a storyteller
We've all heard that storytelling is the new way to sell, and I couldn't agree more.
Customers don't want to make decisions based on what you think is right or wrong. They want to hear how similar people and individuals have shared similar challenges and experiences that they can resonate with.
There is also a reason why every organization worldwide craves case studies and customer testimonials. Telling the story of how you have helped a similar prospect solve a problem in a similar situation will be much more compelling than just talking about products and features. Instead of presenting your product, try including storytelling examples like:
“One of our other SaaS customers who had challenges similar to theirs with a long replay ramp time was able to cut the time it takes to get new hires up to speed by 25% by building libraries of their winning discovery calls to hear in the first week in the new role. How much faster do you think your new hires would catch up listening to 20 great discovery calls in their first week?
Another advantage of storytelling is that they become a great alternative to asking Level 2 / Level 3 questions if you get stuck on a call.
I relate to storytelling as the comfort blanket for my own representatives, if they ever get their tongue tied or aren't sure what to ask. An example of how to put this into practice is:
“We have been working with ABC Software company for the last 6 months, as many of their representatives were not reaching quota, and they assumed that many of their deals were being lost at the discovery call stage. What is your experience with your own sales team? »
6. Go for closure
A great discovery call is only great if you can close the prospect until the next steps. If you think the discovery call has been successful, the goal is to summarize the specific areas where you think your product or service will be of value.
There are two ways I typically approach this:
The 'assumptive' closure - This is a way of confirming to the prospect how you think they will be able to help address the specific challenges identified during questioning, without necessarily 'overselling' or selling your product. A confident tone and message can help build confidence in your prospect that scheduling more time will pay off:
"Mr. Prospect, based on the challenges we've discussed today to, and how you feel this needs to be reduced to achieve your revenue goals this year, I truly believe this is an area that we can massively impact. When can we schedule some time so I can show you how to start doing that? "
The 'Lead Acceptance' Closing - This is less assertive by design, but invites the prospect to agree with you that you have a challenge that you want them to share with you on how you can solve it:
“Mr. Prospect - You mentioned that you just don't have the time to sit through all of your rep's discovery calls to train reps, yet you feel this is the ultimate solution to making them more successful. If you could show how we've helped other Sales Leaders address this issue, is it something you'd like to see? "
Both are equally effective, and it's worth breaking them down into A / B to see which one is more successful and gets the most positive and enthusiastic response from your prospects.
The other important aspect of closing (besides getting the time and date locked!) Is the opportunity to attract other important stakeholders to the sales process.
It's surprising how few sales reps do this in practice, ultimately missing an easy opportunity to shorten a sales cycle. A great way to ask this question without seeming too pushy is:
"Who else is it so important to?"
Simple but so powerful.
7. Train and Repeat
So, I mentioned at the beginning about recording your discovery calls. And I'll also come back to my first point about the importance of practice and rehearsal in refining our craft as salespeople.
Executing effective discovery calls is a difficult skill to learn, and even I am far from perfect. Regular coaching has been shown to help salespeople increase their revenue by 17%. Dynamic coaching has been shown to improve win rates by 27%.
The arguments in favor of regular coaching cannot be disputed.
Start leveraging call recordings as a way to self-reflect, analyze, and review what went well and what didn't, to help develop skills. Time is no longer a challenge thanks to conversational intelligence platforms that make it easy to break down calls like video game tapes.
Additionally, advanced sales technology enables sales leaders to gain valuable insight into discovery calls without spending significant amounts of time listening to them.
Powerful data related to reps' talk time, questions asked, and topics covered means that both managers and reps can begin to understand how to improve discovery conversations and learn the recipe for success within their own organizations.