Having callers read scripts word-for-word undermines your sales efforts. Script reading is literally swimming up-stream against a raging current. It’s time to reorient your teams.
Buyers don’t tolerate generic or scripted communications from sales reps any longer.
Think of the emails and voicemails you personally received over the past week and the number of poorly trained reps causing you pain.
Most Outbound Sales Calls Lack Value
Unfortunately we’ve reached a tipping point where most outbound sales calls lack value for the buyer. The types of calls vary from informal approaches that lack professionalism to poorly trained sales reps who are reading something they were handed, but without any depth to discuss it.
Buyers can smell uninformed communication a mile away and have no patience for sales development reps (SDRs) who lack depth. SDRs who lack depth are a dead-end. A buyer’s mind focuses on one activity: “What is the quickest way to flush this time waster?”
One of the leading culprits of poor sales call performance is providing scripts without sufficient training. Scripts can be an effective tool when used to illustrate an example to model natural talk tracks.
Natural Delivery is Key
Script examples can help sales reps develop their own natural talk tracks. The value of a script comes as an example of solid conversation that should be emulated. Natural delivery is the key to success.
While writing this article I received an outstanding call from an SDR named Eddie from a gamification app company.
I had signed up for a webinar with his company and Eddie was calling to encourage me to attend the webinar.
His delivery was natural. He asked great questions and was able to get me talking. Eddie had depth and the conversation that I experienced was with a true professional, not an appointment setter. Eddie concluded the call by offering a next step of sending me a copy of the webinar deck.
Clearly Eddie is talented and was onboarded and developed properly, so my hat off to his management team.
Do you want more Eddies on your SDR team? The blog article below provides guidance on how to approach training and role-play exercises for developing SDR talent.
Where is the old outbound script most common?
- Sales development reps seeking to set appointments
- Inside sales teams that rely heavily on script delivery in outbound phone selling
- Lead development representatives performing lead generation follow-ups using scripts and the all too familiar “do you have any questions about the X that you downloaded?”
Script reading is tough work in today’s highly competitive selling environment. Having callers read word-for-word scripts is the perfect de-optimisation of your efforts. I can’t think of a more difficult path. Script reading is literally swimming up-stream against a raging current. It’s time to reorient your teams.
Develop Your Outbound Callers
Scripting is the lazy alternative to real training. How do you as a leader guide your teams to evolve past script reading? Solid preparation is the answer. Invest in your teams.
In a complex B2B sales process, your representatives require solid product/service training to confidently talk about the business application. The training should be performed from a field perspective first to focus on the problems that are solved and the results realised. Once the business application is understood, the nuts and bolts of features can be trained.
After an understanding of the business solution is accomplished, then the sales rep is ready to develop and practice their natural talk tracks.
Talk Tracks & Role-play (Replacing Scripts)
The end game is to train sales reps to incorporate key points into their natural delivery. A caller should arrive at a point where they can enter a natural dialogue. There’s only one way to accomplish this and that’s through practice. The hard work produces fantastic results.
Start by documenting talk tracks for the most common scenarios. The talk tracks are script examples developed from best practice aids from a sales consulting firm or advisor. These replace the old outbound script. The best practice approach talk tracks are then customised to your company by top reps and through product marketing input.
Role-plays serve as the foundation for success. Whether they are sales development reps, inside sales reps, or lead development reps, the path to excellence is practice through role-plays.
Ideal Role-play Exercise for Your Company
Your team leaders require solid role-play scenarios for their teams to practice so they ramp up quickly. The bulk of the role-plays should include the most common scenarios. However, it is important when driving behaviour change to offer some role-plays from outside your industry. This opens the mind to new approaches more quickly.
In summary, exterminate scripts by changing the behaviour of your teams. Drive business understanding and push role-plays to build natural delivery. Your prospects will thank you with increased conversions of qualified opportunities into your pipeline.