How to Provide an Effective Call Structure for Inside Sales

Have you ever answered the phone and had a telemarketer jump straight in with their scripted sales pitch, without pausing for breath, or asking any engaging questions? I’m sure we all have – and it’s irritating, isn’t it?  This blog explores how to provide an effective call structure for inside sales. 

We are often asked “Do you use scripts for your B2B lead generation telemarketing campaigns?”  The answer is quite simply a big fat NO.  The reason?   Scripted calls just don’t work. In a B2B environment when you are often targeting large, complex organisations and very senior decision makers, sticking to a script won’t help you engage at the level you need to – in fact it risks alienating the audience and ending the call promptly.  Your prospects can tell when you are using a script– and that doesn’t exactly build rapport or give them confidence that you understand their situation and can truly help them solve their specific problem.

Buyer behaviours are changing and prospects are becoming better informed and more savvy.  Business professionals will not be impressed with callers trying to keep to a script when the call needs to take an unanticipated turn. Not having to think about what you’re going to say next during the sales conversation may sound appealing, but sticking to a sales script isn’t the most effective approach to selling.   So what is?

If you want to be more skilful at selling and increase your sales, you have to know how to ask the right questions, listen to your prospects, and respond with the confidence that demonstrates you have listened to their challenges and have a credible solution to help them. In fact, if you really want to watch your sales pipeline grow, ditch the script and master the sales conversation.  If you don’t want to lose credibility or miss valuable sales opportunities then read on…

Here are some top tips that will help you move away from the scripted approach and engage in quality conversations.

Provide a clear structure to your call approach.  Here at INCo we call it the Guided Discussion Sheet.

Structure provides you a framework to follow.  You don’t need to write out what you are going to say word-for-word, but you do need a structure for your sales call.  Consider what to focus on at different stages of the sales conversation to make the call more effective.  While you don’t want to work from a script, you also don’t want to wing it, so you do still need to build in structure to move the conversation along.  Consider segmenting core pieces of information into easily accessible boxes, such as:

o    Elevator Pitch Statement

o    Opening Questions

o    Common Pains challenges to listen out for

o    Key benefits of your solution / service

o    Experience &  Client references (credibility piece)

o    Objection Handling

o    Qualification Questions

  •  Ask intelligent and engaging questions early on – let the prospect do the talking:
    • Provide a list of OPEN questions to get the discussion flowing - asking intelligent and open questions will let you engage with the decision maker and establish yourself as someone worth talking to.
    • Avoid using closed questions with obvious answers - for example “Would you like to reduce your IT storage costs by 50%” – there is only really one answer and it risks insulting their intelligence. It also offers an easy point at which to say no, ending the call promptly and losing the lead.
  •  Listen.  Don’t let your own agenda take over the prospects agenda.  It’s very easy to believe and get caught up in your own sales hype.   We call this the “So what?” moment or the “What’s in it for me?’” moment.  The prospect doesn’t want to hear how great your company is – they want some demonstration that you understand their business pain and have experience providing solutions for these challenges.

In Summary

If you want to maximise every opportunity and improve your sales pipeline with inside sales, then step away from the scripts and provide your team with a clear call structure that gives them the confidence and enthusiasm they need to engage in meaningful dialog, for a winning approach.

I’d love to hear your thoughts.  Please leave a comment below.

Interested? Read our "Winning Elevator Pitch" post to know more about this topic.

Do you need help structuring your inside sales call? Click the button below to download our free template.

Boost Your Calls Now!