In a fast-paced, ever-changing sales environment, your sales team needs to stay on top of shifting prospect demands and new approaches to lead generation. Yet, many companies still hold on to a relic from telemarketing’s past: the sales script.
Due to the expansive influence of social proof and online research, the prospect (and not your business) now drives the sales conversation more than ever before. In order to make that conversation worthwhile for your company, you need salespeople who think and respond fluidly to prospect concerns – and not just read off of a sales script.
In fact, a sales script is a sure-fire way to start a bad customer relationship. Here’s why:
Sales Scripts Sound Stilted
When your salespeople or lead generation team read off of a script, they sound unnatural and robotic. This sort of stilted speech is a terrible way to make a first impression on your prospects.
It’s not just a matter of appearance either: Relying on a strict sales script might also be costing you finalized deals. Prospects and customers can easily detect when a sales rep is using a script, and they’ll often hang up before the conversation even gets started.
The Expert Alternative: Whether you have an in-house prospecting team or you have an outsourced lead generation team, you need to ensure your representatives have the right kind of sales training that teaches them to generate leads, secure appointments or close deals – but all within the course of a natural conversation.
Sales Scripts Fail To Build Rapport Or Loyalty
Prospect and customer rapport is built by listening to the person on the other end of the phone and engaging with their unique questions and concerns. However, few sales scripts allow for your representatives to listen properly (if at all), and they certainly don’t allow your salespeople to address particular prospect needs.
A sales script turns a rapport-building conversation into a pitch and product dump, which rarely converts a prospect into a closed deal. And even if a salesperson succeeds in using a scripted pitch, the deal becomes a mere transaction instead of a true custom-fit solution. Over the long-term, you lost customer loyalty with this transactional approach, especially when another competitor offers an alternative product or price.
The Expert Alternative: Finding the best solution for your prospects involves building a relationship of trust and loyalty. Part of that relationship-building process includes handling sales objections via the right training and addressing concerns or questions not built into the script, so it’s important that your representatives have the freedom to address these issues. Then, when prospects feel safe and confident, they’re more willing to do business with you – and less likely to jump ship for a competitor.
Sales Scripts Don’t Uncover Prospect Pains Or Desires
It’s the same principle whether your team is focused on appointment setting, targeted lead generation or closing a deal: Before your salesperson is able to offer the best possible solution to a prospect, he or she needs to find out whether that solution matches the prospect’s pain or desired state. To be successful, that discovery process needs to include a lot of unscripted questions.
Consider this everyday example: Would you rather someone just tell you where to get the best pizza in town, or would you rather someone start by asking what sort of pizza you like before they make a suggestion? When you’re asked a qualifying question first, you’re much more interested and invested in hearing another person’s opinion or insight.
The Expert Alternative: The most robust discovery strategies in sales always include the least amount of declarative statements (e.g. scripted statements) possible. In order to uncover the critical information about whether a solution is truly a good match for a prospect, your sales team needs to be asking more questions and building a trustworthy relationship over just trying to close a deal.
Sales scripts are a practice of the past that need to be permanently set aside, both for the long-term customer relationship and for the freedom that unscripted sales give your team to create better deals. When your company ditches the stilted sales script in favor of a relationship-based approach, your prospects appreciate the difference and so does your bottom line.
Need more quick tips on how to improve your lead generation process without relying on an outdated sales script? Click below to download a tip sheet from Invenio Solutions® and discover how the Science of Sales™ helps you generate warmer leads and optimize your sales cycle for maximum profitability.