How To Increase Sales By Asking Prospects The Right Questions

If you ask any sales professional what the most frustrating thing is they face in their role, most will say it’s spending a significant amount of time with a prospect who doesn’t wind up buying.

At one point in our career, we have all been there. People spend weeks trying to nurture a prospect, then the potential client requests an RFQ, you send over your bid with a clear outline of what you think their needs are, and the prospect walks away. Time is money, and you just wasted both. And you are not alone–this is a story that plays out in sales teams across the country on a daily basis.

The main reason why salespeople lose out on closing a deal after spending significant time with a prospect is they fail to ask the right questions, and with this comes the mistake of thinking they know what the prospect wants. In reality, most times a prospect doesn’t even know what they need, so how can you pose a plausible solution if your prospect is in a fog?

The best growth marketing agencies work with their client’s sales teams to streamline the process from the initial point of contact to the call, and all the way through to the onboarding process.

They also train salespeople on how to ask the right questions that help form strong connections while making the prospect’s needs more apparent, and how their services provide the best solution to those needs. And when sales teams ask the right questions, a channel for increasing the number of closed deals peaks.

Are There Any Productivity Pain Points?

If teams aren’t closely aligned, productivity will suffer. So be sure to ask your prospect if there is anything prohibiting their company and its employees from working effectively and efficiently. Then reveal how your products or services can help them solve the problem.

For example, a growth marketing agency hears the common pain points that a company’s sales and marketing teams often compete with one another rather than working together to achieve the same goal, and the ability to communicate and share vital data between departments is hampered.

So a growth marketing strategy using a CRM that allows sales and marketing teams to view each other’s data from the same vantage point and that segments tasks with co-assigned team members from both departments help speed up the process while significantly improving communication.

What About Financial Pain Points?

Many consumers and businesses overpay for products and services, and this leads to severe financial strain. You will want to do a little probing to see if your offerings can relieve some of that spending.

Are There Major Inhibitors To The Company’s Growth?

Be sure to capitalize on that classic soundbite that cuts at the core. All companies are in business to grow, and the biggest wall to scale to hit those growth goals is always a serious pain point.

Surprisingly, many of your prospects are not even thinking about this, so helping them talk through their present business landscape will both increase yours and their understanding of the company’s current state while allowing some room for you to demonstrate your expertise in a non-pompous manner.

For the most part, growth pains revolve around customers, products, investment capital, customers and employees. You need to get to the main point of the conversation, quickly, without giving the prospect room to derail, and asking follow-up questions like this one will help you stay in control of the call.

Some of the questions you should ask in this portion of the conversation include:

  • When is your deadline to solve your problem?
  • How do you intend to tackle pain X?
  • Who in your company is responsible for fixing this?
  • How difficult do you think it will be to solve?

These are the kind of questions that will keep the conversation open while allowing both you and your prospect to learn alot about the pain points at hand and what the best options are for amelioration.

Finally, listen to their voice. Do you hear some fear and a sense of urgency? If so, this is normal, and it also indicates that they have a higher probability to invest in a solution to address their business pain point.


What Does Your Boss / C-Suite Care About The Most?

9 out of 10 times you won’t even be talking to the main decision-maker. There is usually a gatekeeper in a junior management position that has the first initial call with a product and service provider before the head honcho is involved in the conversation. There are three main reasons why you will want to get the gatekeeper in the conversation as soon as possible.

  1. They often manage the budget for B2B investment decisions,
  2. They have a direct influence on the decision-maker by presenting solutions to specific pain points, and
  3. Many of these people have bad bosses (for any number of reasons), so presenting a way to get that monkey off their back will serve as a huge motivator in the sales process, as this signals your experience and presents you as a valuable ally.

What Monopolizes Your Day?

Getting a clear idea of the person’s typical day, and what takes up the majority of it, is an angle for approaching a business plan that puts your prospect in the spotlight. For the most part, salespeople hear a broken record expressing that people care more about value than they do about features, and this question sheds light on the definitive value your product could offer your prospects on an intimate level.

When asking prospects about how their day is monopolized go a bit deeper and ask how solving growing pain would impact the team. Would it save them three hours of work each day? Cut their meeting times in half? If you can identify that burning itch your prospect has, delve in and see how your products and services can provide some relief.

Take it from the top growth marketing agencies: when you ask your prospects these kinds of questions, you will be clearing away those obstacles and walls that stand in your way from hitting your sales goals.

Asking the right questions fosters a deep understanding of a prospect’s business, and their biggest pain points. And this is the insight needed to close a deal.

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