5 Key Questions a Salesperson Must Do Without Fear

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Information on your potential customer is essential during the sales process for two main reasons: to ensure in fact the effectiveness of the sale (with a clear understanding of the problem, solution and process to get there) and to assess whether the sale should really happen or do not.

Regarding the first point, even if the seller has a good base Leads generated by marketing and nourished with automation flows , some information can only be obtained from the direct contact it.

On the second point, and the management of the sales funnel, a rule is quite clear: Lead or forward or must be discarded. And the sooner this Lead is discarded, the better.

It is quite common that vendors do not do it. At times, the fear of being rejected or the desire to feel productive causes them to continue in the process, feeding hope and delaying the negative for the final time up front to feed the illusion that “tried everything “. This only hinders.

The fact is that a full pipeline may look good at first glance, but a pipeline full of Leads that will not buy takes the focus of what is important and make the seller feel overwhelmed. Aaron Ross calls “fog” this excess of open business in the sales funnel that prevent you from seeing what the real opportunities. Every hour invested in the wrong Lead is an hour unless you could spend on the Lead right.

There are some ideal questions for each of these objectives: improve the process and make it clear whether a business tends to happen or not. Knowing ask the right questions is essential for any seller who can not be afraid and should find out as soon as possible if it really makes sense to invest time in this prospect and how.

The questions below are divided by topics / process step. They are not easy to make, either to be answered, so it must be done in a very friendly manner, avoiding scare the buyer.

1. Questions for mapping and understanding the problem

First of all, understand the customer’s problem is essential for the sales process. In a process of consultative sales, you only help your client if it solve problems and / or generate results. These questions lead your prospect to think deeply on the problem you have and its impact, making it more open to the solution that you will propose.

  • What are the biggest challenges that your business faces today?
  • What impact these challenges have on your business?
  • What will happen if you do nothing?

Objective: Make the Lead is aware of the problems it is facing and the impact in the medium / long term if the situation does not change.

In addition, there are dozens of personal reasons for a professional wanting to improve the company’s results: recognition, authority, that promotion he’s been waiting a long time. Bring these feelings to the surface leaves the Lead more likely to hear a possible solution to his problem.

  • Why is it important for you personally solve this problem?
  • What defines success in your position today?
  • What are your KPIs currently?
  • As is measured their success at work?
  • What are your goals?

Objective: Create personal commitment, it makes one think of your goals and the possibility of recognition

2. Questions to determine if there are available budget

  • Have budget allocated for this project? How do you plan to use it?
  • You’ve invested in some similar product currently?
  • On a scale of 1 to 10, how difficult it would approve an X budget per month?

Yes, we know it’s a difficult question, and that’s exactly why she is on that list. Mainly in Brazil, money is a very delicate subject. However, this kind of question it is essential to carry out any sales process.

It is quite common that seller and Lead agree fully on the benefits of the product for the business, its earnings generation potential, etc. But when the budget Lead does not cover the proposed solution, hardly the situation is reversed.

To successfully address this issue early in the process, it is important that there is already a relationship of trust between seller and Lead.

Objective: To decide whether it is financially viable to continue the negotiations or not.

3. Questions to understand the prioritization of project

  • In the context of our conversation, what are your biggest problems today?
  • What is your plan to implement this solution?
  • Do you have other projects going on in this area now? How they impact the implementation of our product / project?
  • That scenario in your company is bringing this demand?
  • Ideally, when you want to start seeing results?
  • What else you need to do in order to start this project?
  • If you do not close us, what to do?

Your potential customer can even understand that the solution that you are offering for it is important, but unfortunately this is just the beginning of a sales process.

In your company, in your daily life, you must live it repeatedly: several things to do, little arm to implement. With its Lead is no different. Know the priority level that the company gives to solving the problem is the decisive factor here – your solution can indeed be important for Lead, but to restructure the team or office to change are at the beginning of his priority list, the your sales process will be much longer, then it is necessary to assess whether it is worth investing your time in this sale now or wait for the customer’s time.

Purpose: To help the seller to understand whether it or not to invest in that business right now. If the project is not a priority for Lead, it is possible that both devote considerable time to a project that can take months to begin. By identifying this, the seller can understand what priority to give to this project and remains the Lead in the pipeline or returns it to be nurtured by marketing.

4. Questions to understand the decision process

In inbound sales process it is very common to have to climb a sale: talk to who really decide. The seller can make a fantastic sales process, and, at closing time, find that you need to do it all over again – this time with the top of the speaker or the department responsible for implementation.

From the moment that the seller already understand the business, its objectives and strategies set by the Lead, it is important to bring decision-makers to the table for discussion / negotiation as soon as possible. Thus they are already involved in the value creation stage and are more prepared for closure. If the implementer or responsible for the project after purchase, bring it as soon as possible greatly increases the chances of success in the aftermarket.

  • Who will make the final decision on the purchase?
  • Which process you follow when you need to make decisions like this?
  • I know it’s early, but let’s imagine that you are convinced that the solution works for you, what would be the next step that we would have to take to make the project happen? And then? And then?
  • The proposals have to go through legal? Who negotiates values? You, the head of the department or financial?
  • Have any other department / person involved in the implementation process?
  • Who will be responsible for the project / product after purchase?

Objective: Understand who the real decision maker and at what time of the sales process it should be involved. It is also important to know the company’s purchasing process to be properly prepared.

5. Questions to identify and circumvent objections

Before combat or circumvent an objection, it is essential to understand what the real objection. It seems obvious, but it is not. Lead often are afraid to reject a seller, especially when the sales process was well done, and ends finally giving an evasive excuse to avoid “hurting” the seller. “Let me think,” “I’ll talk to my partner,” “I have to look at some other issues and return you.” Do not let this happen. It is important that, before the end of the contact, you can understand the real objection is behind the “excuse”. In this case, make direct and sincere questions.

  • Is there any reason why we should not go?
  • Where exactly you need to think?
  • I see you’re not sure. Which point more you cause for concern?
  • Which point you would like to discuss with your partner?
  • In no way I want to spend your time unduly, so I ask you to be honest: it was something the product or the price that did not meet your expectations?
  • The value was inside than you thought?
  • Some functionality of the product did not meet your expectations?

With the real objection at hand is much simpler reason to fight them or, if it is not actually possible to deliver what the customer wants or expects, dispose of the business. In a consultative approach we are always trying to deliver something that actually generate customer value and not push any sales.

Objective: In the final stage of the sales process, know the background which prevents the deal closing.

Analyze deeply your potential customer, define what are the questions to be answered for each contact and work with this information to enhance their sales.

Anticipating the possible reasons or indications that could hinder their sales makes the whole much more effective process – is important for the seller to focus their time and efforts on accounts that have real closing potential and the alignment of information done at the right time is the key for a successful sale.