Not Getting Good Info from your own team – Ask Better Questions!

Often times, sales managers feel that their sales people aren’t getting good info from prospects on initial sales calls – this is far too common.  Correcting this is a long, rocky journey – sometimes impossible.  Experience has shown us, however, that it is not solely the sales person who needs help, but the sales manager.  The sales manager needs coaching and continual improvement as well.  When was the last time your sales manager looked in the mirror?  Is he or she asking their sales team these questions:

  1. “I don’t have a clear next step in my notes from last time…can you help?”
  2. “When you asked them…what did they say?”
  3. “When you say…what does that mean?”
  4. “I know you know…but how do they know?”
  5. “I get the idea…so where are we now?”
  6. “So, what are the options at this point?”
  7. “Where are we in this deal?”
  8. “How do we track that?”
  9. “Assuming they love us…how do we get paid?”
  10. “What is their time line?”
  11. “Is that best case or worst case?”
  12. “Who is our competition on this?”
  13. “Where did this opportunity come from?”
  14. “How do we make it easy for them to do business with us?”
  15. “How do these people normally work?”
  16. “OK, let’s keep moving.”
  17. “So, from where you sit, where do we go from here?”
  18. “This sounds like it should happen.  What am I missing?”
  19. “Are they working you?”
  20. “Do we have any leverage with this prospect?”
  21. “Is there a return appointment set up?”
  22. “How does the money work with these people?”
  23. “Why do you feel that way?”
  24. “Is _________ our inside sales person?”

Asking your own team better questions in your weekly sales review meetings (You’re doing these, right?) will create the norm of your sales team getting deeper, more truthful information from prospects.  If the sales culture is to accept the status quo – your company is leaving piles of money on the table.  Is your company growing at a rapid rate, or accepting mediocrity because of people being afraid or unwilling to change?

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