Consultative Selling for Inside Sales
Consultative selling is not just the domain of the outside sales professional. In fact, if your entire organization is not focused on assisting the buyer in discovering their needs before pitching the deal, you’re missing a critical component to your contemporary sales approach.
Inside sales representatives – those dogged pharaohs of the phones, sultans of the speed dialers, and executors of the Excel files – play a critical role in establishing the tone and tenor of the seller-buyer relationship. And, as we at The Brooks Group advise during our IMPACT Selling sales training program, consultative selling can be the most critical differentiating factor.
With today’s buyers in control – able to summon product and service info and data about your company with a few taps of the keyboard or screen – your sales professionals need to be adept at selling not just your offering, but also the concept of themselves as strategic advisors. Able to solve buyers’ business problems, and focused on a long-term, mutually beneficial relationship, your strategic advisors hold the key to breaking through the clutter.
But, how to do this in just a simple, introductory phone call? The good news is that the consultative selling approach can be applied to the “cold call,” making it a warmer experience for both parties.
Proven Consultative Selling Questions
In our experience of working with inside sales organizations to win at consultative selling, we have zeroed in on a palette of questions that can set the scene. Though the heart of consultative selling is a tailored approach, we find that these 13 questions have proven to be winners – over the years, and in hundreds of industries:
- What are some of the major challenges within your business in the past 12 months?
- What impact have these had on your profits/morale/success?
- What, if anything, is something you would never want to see changed?
- What do you like most about your current supplier?
- What kind of time frame are you working within?
- What kind of budget range do you have in mind?
- What have you seen that’s particularly appealed to you?
- What process do you use to make this type of decision?
- Who else, other than you, of course, is involved in this decision?
- If you could change anything about your current situation, what would it be?
- What is the single thing that’s most important to you about this decision?
- If we were able to solve your problem, what would this mean to your organization?
- What would solving your problem mean to you personally?
Of course, it’s up to you to apply a modicum of specificity to these consultative sales questions as a means of driving home a message that is in the wheelhouse of your prospect’s interests.
For more than 40 years, The Brooks Group has partnered with sales organizations around the globe—helping them to hire, train, coach, and develop salespeople and sales managers to reach maximum performance levels.
If we can help you set your team up for consistent sales success, let’s start a conversation.
The Essential Customer Service Skills That Translate to Increased Sales
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