If you have a sales team that generates leads using the telephone and don’t have a solid core sales script path to work from, it is guaranteed that your sales reps are leaking value with every conversation. Value that leads to qualified opportunities and closed deals.
To think that your team will be as effective marching toward their sales quota when they are guessing, assuming, saying what comes into their minds at the moment or working with whatever they can remember or feel comfortable with is delusional. It’s sales management by lottery ticket. There is a lot of waste and the occasional wins don’t excuse it.
Sales scenarios dictate how closely you follow a script
A sales script, is not a sales script or necessarily a sales script. Any discussion of whether or how closely to follow a sales script has to reference the stage of the sales process. Are we talking the first 30 seconds of a sales prospecting call or the third minute? Are we talking about the first meeting or the fourth meeting? Scenarios matter.
Are we talking about telephone scripts used for the first 30-seconds of conversation with a decision-maker you have never spoken to before? You will be working from a script or you will fail. Time is too tight, conversational gravity is working against you and the idea that you can conjure up the best words to accomplish your call goals with split second thinking is three stooge’s stupid. The best verbiage proven to work is bound to be left out when you wing it.
As you get deeper into a conversation, your “sales script” may be more like a structure with prepared bits that you move in and out based upon what you hear.
First meeting sales scripts are more plan and structure than word for word preparation
The odds of closing a sale are most influenced by what you do at the beginning of the sales process. Your initial call, how you handle the first meeting or discovery call (whether it be in-person, by phone, webinar or tin cans) establishes the foundation your sales process is built on. The stronger that foundation the more positive the impression, the stronger the sense of value, the clearer the sense of differentiation from the competition, the more likely you earn that 2nd, 3rd or 5th meeting you need to typically earn a close.
At every step your team must be aware of the verbiage that is most likely to accomplish their business objective and move to the next step. A prospecting call is calculated to earn a first meeting. A first meeting is calculated to earn the 2nd interaction. (Reality for most sales of substance, no 2nd meeting, no sale.)
Being aware of best verbiage and being prepared to deliver it is called scripting
Common sense tells us that in any situation there are words, facts, phrases, stats and quotes that when used tend to achieve the result sought more than other words. If you are aware of that verbiage and actually use it, the odds of success go way up. Preparing to use the best verbiage calculated to achieve your business objective at any particular step is called scripting. In some stages it will be literally word for word preparation. In others you will work from a game plan with prepared bits you work in as appropriate.
Summary of benefits of using sales scripts in B2B lead generation
Your sales team will be more confident
When sales representatives share proven talking points, can discuss what plays in Peoria, have great stories to tell and results prove that certain telephone approaches work more than others, they can have confidence in what they do. Reality is that even when teams are doing everything right, they hear something other than “yes” most of the time. When there is agreement about what works and realistic benchmarks to judge performance, your reps will be more confident on the phone.
Your core telephone scripts are a foundation you can build on
If you have good solid proven scripts filled with impactful benefits, credibility statements and it is clear and crisp about what you do and what you want, your team can build upon them. From objections, gatekeeper interactions and other prospecting scenarios if your team has solid core scripting from Hello to good-bye, they can build upon that. Without it they are left to guess and verbiage gets watered down and the message gets lost and confusing.
The preparation for good core scripting pays big dividends at other stages of your sales process
To write great scripts you need a “pile of words.” There may be 5 ways to describe what you do; you need to pick the best one. You will probably use 3 benefits at most in a prospecting script but sales teams (not individual sales reps) will often come up with 30, 50 or more benefits delivered by your offering. There may be multiple says to communicate your credibility and what prospects will get at a meeting that is valuable even if they don’t buy from you. You pick the best and most impactful to use in your prospecting scripts and the rest you weave in as appropriate deeper into the sales process. If you don’t create the pile of words your sales team isn’t aware of the best verbiage to use.
Scripts enable your team to build upon or draw out needs already recognized
Trying to implant an idea into a mind where it doesn’t exist is much more difficult and less likely to lead to a sale, than trying to build upon or grow a seed that already exists. It’s about strategic focus. Are you trying to convince people of something when they are just fine where they are? Good luck with that. That will not lead to many closed deals. Or do you seek to find those that already on some level have a dissatisfaction or willingness to look at options and seek to build upon and grow those thoughts? That is a much more productive space to work from and will lead to dealing with more qualified prospects and much higher percentage of closed deals. Scripts enable your team to use the verbiage best at achieving what they want strategically.
Scripts enable you to convey authority and knowledge
People buy from peers. People buy from those they think are prepared. People spend time with those feel are authorities and knowledgeable. When you have invested some conscious thought and written down the words to use when seconds count your odds of sales prospecting success go up. If you don’t start from a great core script, every hem and haw and pause and wasted word and watered down phrasing, can’t think of what to say so I will say something anyway blather, diminishes your credibility and potential worth in the minds of your prospect. You had plenty of things of meaningful value you could have said to your prospect, yet you chose to fill those precious seconds with spur of the moment blather rather than use verbiage that would have more value impact on your prospects. Your value bucket is leading and you are creating the holes.
Your sales team can eliminate blather, babbling, nonsense and weak words with b2b sales scripts
When given the opportunity to talk to a prospect your sales team will say something. Even if that something is half-prepared, unprepared, weak or nonsense, they are going to say something. Teams that are prepared have the equivalent of a “pile of words” available to them so that the top themes, benefits, stats, stories, talking points, yada yada are always top of mind. If your team does not have that then the words they choose are going to be weaker, and the value bucket has more leaks.
New team members get productive more quickly when you have scripts and top verbiage prepared
After we get done thinking our big thoughts it comes down to what exactly are we going to say. When you have new team members and can share language, a lot of language, proven to get results, you get them up to steam faster. You get them productive faster and can keep them productive because they are all working from the same plan. The plan that good sales management gives them and coaches them to stay true to. When you know what works you can identify when people are using what not works.
Well prepared model core scripts give your team verbiage, call structure and strategies
There are paths from prospecting call to closed deal that are more likely to close. There are paths from prospecting call to closed deals that are less likely to close. It starts with the scripting, but continues on with call structure, how you conduct meetings to achieve your highest objective and the other strategies you use. When you gather verbiage and prepare to write good scripts, craft good model scripts, outline the call and selling process and know the strategies most likely to work, you give your team a plan to follow. You can coach them when they start to deviate from it.
Sometimes a sales rep greatest sales skills is convincing their sales manager that their BS will work
Some sales paths work, others don’t. Sales managers must know the difference. If the sales managers don’t have clarity about what is likely to work the reps will do everything possible to try to do things that make it difficult to hold them accountable for what they are doing. They won’t do a great job of convincing customers to buy, but they would get Olympic medals for the mental gymnastics they do to try to convince sales managers that their BS is satisfactory. Managers must have scripts, process and strategies mapped out to guard against these reps. They are a cancer in an organization.
If your team is selling B2B there can be a lot of holes in the value bucket. Many of those holes can be plugged with solid message preparation for use in scripts and meetings and actually writing out the scripts and game plan for those telephone conversations and meetings.
If you don’t prepare and gather your best verbiage in one place for use by all, your messaging will be watered down. Your value bucket will be leaking. There is absolutely no acceptable reason for it