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Don't Train Your Teleprospectors to be Sales Engineers

One of the most common questions we get from prospective clients is "our product is very technical, how will your reps understand it"?  It's a fair and good question but it truly isn't something that one of our clients should be concerned with. 

It makes sense at one level.  They are prospecting and qualifying leads for your technology, they should be experts on it.  However, if you really look at what you want a teleprospector to do (qualify opportunities) it isn't to describe the bells and whistles of your solution.  You don't want them talking about what systems you integrate with.  Their task is far more complex than that.  You want them having business discussions.  Detailed conversations surrounding the pains and needs experienced by that prospect as a result of NOT having your technology at their disposal.  Don't have your reps tell your prospects how great your solution is, make sure they are asking how great the prospect feels about the solution they currently have.  Get the prospect talking...they have little to no interest in hearing what your rep has to say. 

We all have a tendency to want to be liked on the phone.  Our instinct says "oh man, I feel bad for this person, they don't want to be on the phone with me right now... I should tell them how great our solution is".  WRONG, they don't care, all they care about is how painful their day has been because they don't have your product and it is your teleprospectors job to get them talking about it.  The most unsuccessful teleprospectors we have ever had at AG have always been the ones you hear talking all the time.  The job is about asking questions and listening to answers..then asking more questions.  When you've finally asked enough questions to paint a pretty picture of a sales opportunity then it is time to pass it on to the technical experts and a sales professional to show them exactly how they can help.

Now I'm not saying you shouldn't train your teleprospectors on your technology, they need to be educated.  However, it is your mindset in terms of why you are training them on your technology that will determine how successful they will become.  If you train them on your technology because "you need to be able to talk the talk and answer difficult questions" then they will fail.  If you train them on your technology because "you need to understand how it works so that you better understand the pains and needs you'll be hearing on the phone", then you are headed in the right direction.

How much technology do you train your reps on before you let them loose on the phone?


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