One of my biggest goals with any new rep on my teleprospecting team is to establish appropriate habits. There have been many times that I've worked with insides reps with a few years of experience teleprospecting and find that within the first month of their employment at AG I have to undo much of what has already been ingrained into their sales approach. Problem is, if we condition our reps to just get a list of questions answered on a cold call that is exactly what they are going to do because that is what they have been trained to do.
(B)udget (N)eed (A)uthority (T)iming has been a term we've seen thrown around quite a bit lately. Most teleprospectors are conditioned to think that If you don't have BANT then there is no point in pursuing the conversation and consequently no point of passing a prospect on to the outside team.
Our president, Peter Gracey, has been talking a good deal lately about "The Pitch vs. The Pass". Within the "Pitch" the focus is more on leading questions designed to allow inside sales reps to drop their solutions benefits into the conversation; which is more the traditional approach. With the "Pass" method, the focus is more around becoming a "business therapist" for your prospect. The conversation, as a result, is more around your prospect’s pain, as opposed to strictly focusing on gathering BANT intelligence. This is the way we want our teleprospectors thinking.
From our experience, the pain seems to drive the sales process over anything else. When focusing on a BANT discussion, it seems we're turning our inside sales team into survey takers. We want our telprospectors engaged in conversations with their prospects, not worrying about getting answers to specific questions. When our team map out their conversational goals before speaking with a prospect, a majority of the time the questions that we need answered reveal themselves naturally through the conversation.
When your teleprospecting team is more focused on the prospect’s pains or needs, you are likely to find a higher percentage of those opportunities moving down the sales pipeline. Don’t let your reps be survey takers, make them conversationalists.
Craig Ferrara is the Vice President of Client Operations for AG Salesworks. He has extensive experience in the sales and teleprospecting process. Craig joined AG Salesworks in 2003 and has successfully managed several teams of high-performing Business Development Representatives. To read more of his articles, click here.