Getting a prospect to answer the phone is a challenge in and of itself — but keeping them on the phone long enough to qualify them is a whole other story.
If you’ve ever been on the receiving end of a cold call, you’ve most likely experienced at least one long-winded sales pitch from a sales development rep. You answer the call and they immediately start prattling off a pitch, trying their best to get all of the information out of their mouth before you get a chance to say “not interested.” But it’s 2 minutes in, and you haven’t gotten a word in edgewise.
No one likes a one-way conversation. The prospect isn’t interested in where your offices are located or the year you were founded.
If the purpose of that initial call is to determine if the prospect is interested in furthering the relationship to demo status, then SDRs should be doing more listening than talking. Recognizing that selling is a two-sided conversation is the key to active listening — and the best way to practice active listening is to ask the right questions.
Earlier this year, Steve Richard of VorsightBP schooled us on this concept of active listening through two steps: clarification and confirmation. By clarifying what information you’re looking for and then confirming the prospect’s answer, you will ensure that you and the prospect are on the same page.
We asked our SDRs for some should-ask examples of what questions they pose to prospects when qualifying leads. Here’s what they had to say:
1) Where are your leads coming from? Are they coming inbound from your website or are your reps prospecting for them?
2) How are you currently handling your follow-up after the initial touch?
3) Do you have any process or methodology of reaching out to your prospective buyers?
Of course questions will vary by industry, but your questions are defined by the answers you need to take the next step. At Salesloft, it’s the SDR’s responsibility to qualify the lead by using the A(uthority) and N(eed) portion of the ANUM acronym. Find the decision maker. Identify their needs. Schedule a demo and hand the baton to the Account Executive.
You should be asking questions that lead the prospect into telling you they are already doing what your product does, but your product can help them do it better. –Tyler Bliss
What are the biggest challenges your team is facing? How do you measure your company’s success? What would you like to accomplish? These are just examples of ways to get your prospects talking about their process and where they need help. Discover their pain points. Once you identify the prospect’s pain points, you’ll have a better shot at convincing them that your main goal is to help them in their process.
How do you discover your prospects’ pain points? Leave a comment and share what SAQ’s you have that help you get from the initial call to set appointments.