In the current fast-paced landscape, customers and buyers are busier than ever.
Sales representatives should keep up with them and employ sales engagement strategies that will make their prospect push their priorities, emails, meetings, and notifications for the moment to dedicate time to your sales deck.
Sounds like a diabolical job? Well, if you take the same old approach as every other SDR, you likely won't get the results.
The reign of the fancy, overly persuasive sales presentation is over.
Sales engagement questioning is now a delicate blend of art and science. With the right sales engagement questions, you cannot just transform a prospect into a customer but also make them brand advocates.
But there is a technique to ask sales engagement questions to grab your prospect's attention. And that's what this blog is about!
So, let's get started!
It is no surprise or unknown fact that the sales process encompasses a very professional and relationship-based selling experience for both representatives and customers.
When sales representatives ask questions, it should feel like a natural part of the conversation flow rather than a desperate attempt to sell the product.
As a sales rep, your job is not just to ask questions to your prospects but also to focus on the answer your prospect is providing. Your prospect's answer can reveal critical information.
Sales representatives can harness the power of two fantastic strategies that could help them achieve successful deal closures.
Seek first to understand and then to be understood – Stephen Covey
Active listening represents a scientific technique where you carefully listen to your prospect and also observe nonverbal movements and vocal inflections.
With active listening, you can provide feedback to your prospects according to their responses. This technique has demonstrated positive outcomes in therapy, counseling, dispute resolution, and understanding sales psychology.
Active listening gives a message to your prospects that you are actually listening and understanding their needs rather than blatantly pushing your product for sale.
Solution selling is a selling technique where sales representatives leverage a problem-led conversation instead of a product-led one.
It is a customer-centric selling approach where sales professionals listen to a customer's pain points and decide which products or services will be best suited to resolve their issues.
Here, sales representatives avoid pushing the entire product range. They focus on a single product providing the best solution.
Presenting a highly specific product or service feature represents an important approach instead of a predefined generic sales pitch.
The approach and technique to ask questions are equally critical as what you ask.
Maintaining a good balance of open and closed-ended questions can help you gather vital information and data points to plan your sales pitch for product demos.
Open-ended answers will typically give you more data and information about your prospect that you can utilize throughout your sales engagement process and strategize the best way to close the deal.
With that said, let’s see the different types of sales engagement questions you can ask your prospects to get to know them better.
There are several types of sales engagement questions you can ask depending on the stages of your sales pipeline.
Establishing and nurturing a relationship requires a warm, personal touch. This is to stop your prospects from instantly losing interest if you directly cut to the chase and try to close the deal.
When engaging with a prospect, ensure to warm up with some personal questions and get them talking about themselves. Here are some examples:
To get an insight into what your prospect wants and where their decision can be headed, you need to know their present thought process.
Asking insight discovery questions provides you with a great perspective on what services or products your prospects are currently using and what challenges they're currently struggling with.
Some of the insight discovery questions are:
Finding a pinpoint with prospects is struggling. This will help you find the best approach to provide them with a solution that truly impacts their life in a positive way.
Sometimes a solution might be a great fit for the business. However, the implementation and learning curve creates a bottleneck.
Remember, no solution is perfect. Understanding the effects can be a great motivator to change.
Having a good knowledge of your prospect's business objectives opens up an excellent avenue to respond to their requirements immediately and in the long run.
So, preparing objective identifying questions is an optimal way to understand and get insights about your customer's long-term plans and requirements.
Before you move to the closing territory, you need to check the budget and qualifications of the client.
With prospect-qualifying questions, you can categorize qualifying leads properly to discuss the pricing objective down the line.
These questions are specifically reserved for the deal-closing stage. With these sales engagement questions, you can get a better idea of when, how, and the chances of closing a deal.
Here's the hard truth, even with the right set of sales engagement questions, you can't expect to close a sales deal smoothly.
There might be some hiccups and challenges down the road. Objection handling is one of the most critical aspects of the sales engagement process that'll help you improve and stay motivated!
Let's take a quick look at how you can handle the most common objections during sales engagement.
This pattern-interrupt question can get your prospects talking about any issues and give you ideas as to how to position your product/service.
Such suggestions are rare and can help you win a deal.
Ideally, your solution might provide some perks that their existing solutions don't.
You can prepare a customized re-invigoration sequence further down the line. Remember, building relationships is as vital as closing sales.
The initial sales call lasts for just a few seconds -- approximately 30 to 40 minutes, to be precise.
So how do you grab your prospect's attention and make an impactful impression quickly? By using the following tips and tricks:
As mentioned previously, the first engagement with a prospect is unlikely to be a long one. That’s why, instead of overwhelming your prospect with excessive information, tailor a smart yet insightful message that perfectly suits the scenario.
For example, present a quick one-line introduction about a single topic related to your product. Then ask for another 2 to 3 minutes of extension that will give you enough time to request a follow-up meeting.
Establishing a detailed agenda and expected topics for sales engagement tools can help your prospect comprehend what you're offering, translating into success. It also offers a framework to keep the conversation within a reasonable time frame.
From a sales representative's perspective, delivering a product-centered pitch is extremely important. But if you start with your product at the very beginning or if your prospect senses a sales pitch coming, you will get tuned away immediately.
Begin the conversation with a subject that relates to your prospect, not your product. Initiating a call this way keeps an element of unpredictability, helps to establish a natural conversation flow, and immediately grabs their attention.
For instance, Here's what you shouldn't do – "I saw your company interested in Y, and we offer the perfect solution."
Instead, you can say – "I saw your company interested in Y. How do you plan on implementing/ doing it?"
Leave your product out of the conversation in the beginning to grab their attention.
The primary aim of the conversation is to get your customer comfortable.
Prospects are more likely to purchase from you when you’ve built rapport for sales with your customers. And smart sales engagement questions can give your prospect the right impression.
This is a part of active listening.
In the initial sales call, curiosity is given more value over credibility. When you approach your prospect with a curious mind, they quickly assume the role of a teacher and become interested in continuing the conversation with you.
And how exactly do teachers engage with their students? They are generally calm and forthcoming. But when sales representatives become subject matter experts, the prospects have nothing to contribute, translating into no engagement and consequently no sale.
Here are some interesting questions that can reflect your curious mind:
After asking questions, you might notice a period of silence. Embrace silence because it is a positive indicator on the first call.
In most cases, the prospect wasn't expecting or ready for your call. So, you need to give them time to think before responding to your questions.
Trying to interrupt the silence with another conversation starter will break their focus. Consequently, they might not be interested in continuing the conversation further.
In a healthy, interactive conversation, every participant should be playing an active role. And sales engagement questions are no different.
High-performing sales reps maintain a balanced ratio between the prospect and themselves. This balance helps to position the questions organically during the sales engagement process, enabling them to weave naturally into the talks.
While engaging with your prospect, limit yourself to achieving one goal at a time. Here are a few sales engagement questions or closing statements that you can utilize:
These questions will help you to gather the information that can prove to be beneficial during the product demo stage.
Through a series of sales engagement questions, you can move your prospects into the closing territory. This is where you need to utilize your closing finesse.
Strategically lay out the questions that will lead to a purchase or another meeting with a wider set of stakeholders to move the sale toward completion.
If you have gathered the right information through sales engagement questioning in the previous phases, you will have more confidence and can present the right data to close the sales process.
Before starting your first phone call with the prospect and presenting your sales engagement questions, it is vital to have a clear pre-strategized outreach workflow.
This will help you plan and distribute your sales engagement question throughout the process.
With sales engagement platforms such as Zixflow you can keep track of previous interactions and easily prepare a sales engagement questionnaire using the notes section.
Add new notes or take a look at your previously added one. Get everything under a single, centralized location:
Here are the frequently asked questions related to sales engagement.
Sales engagement is a continuous process of enhancing the communication between you and your prospect. The sales engagement questioning process boosts meaningful, two-way interactions that generate more information about the deal.
Sales engagement involves empowering sales reps to easily interact and communicate with prospects by providing sales automation tools.
Sales enablement typically deals with the internal processes that help create a workflow for the sales team, such as training, and coaching.
Consider integrating a sales engagement platform that automates and streamlines your sales engagement process to give you an overview of the entire process.
When used correctly, open-ended sales engagement questions are an effective way of interacting with your prospects.
By asking intriguing and thought-provoking questions, you can captivate your prospects’ attention, foster meaningful conversations, and boost the chances of closing deals.
The questions I have mentioned in this article are just the starting point. Embrace your curiosity and adapt your strategy according to your prospects’ responses.
So, are you ready to start using these questions in your sales engagement process? If so, then Zixflow is a sales engagement solution engineered to help you reach out to leads smoothly. Sign up for a Zixflow account. It’s easy and doesn’t cost anything!