Pipeliner’s John Golden hosted me on #SalesChats recently and the topic was prospecting. John asked two questions:
- Which stage of the buying process should a salesperson engage with a prospect?
- What questions should a salesperson ask to uncover need?
I don’t want to spoil the 30-minute YouTube video (it is packed full of great information and advice), but I will provide an overview of my responses and then hope you will watch the video for a deeper dive:
Stage of Buying Process
I quoted experts during the video as follows:
Consultant/author Mike Weinberg (“New Sales. Simplified.” and “Sales Management. Simplified.”)
“These nouveau ‘experts’ have been telling anyone who will listen that today’s buyers are 67% of the way through their buying process before engaging with a salesperson… What is infuriating, aside from the fact that it is not true, is that this nonsense is exactly what the reactive, passive, struggling salesperson wants to be told.”
ITSMA’s Senior Vice President, Research and Thought Leadership, Julie Schwartz.
“It’s widely believed that 60 – 70% of the buying process is over before prospects want to engage with a salesperson… ITSMA’s data says that for high consideration technology solutions, this is a myth.”
“… according to exhaustive research, buyers are, in fact, engaging with sellers from the very beginning through the end of their buying journey (through the three stages: ‘Education’, ‘Solution’, and ‘Selection’.”)
Questions to Ask to Uncover Need
During the video I talk about the five steps in the sales process and how most sales people only use two steps which results in bad experiences for their prospects and NO DEALS. I also suggest that questions to asks prospects break down into the following categories: pain, priority, process and environment. Finally, I provide some sample questions for the transition between the opening and dialog portions of a sales call (phone or face-to-face) and some pain inducing questions for the dialog portion of the call.
I wrap up with a “#SalesChats Super-Charged Sales Tip." I hope you enjoy the video!