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Blog: Avoid the 'Sales Robot' in Inside Sales

October 27, 2015
By Tracey E. Schelmetic - Telemarketing Software Contributor


In the telemarketing industry, it’s often necessary to use scripts. Inside sales reps are often inexperienced, and keeping them to the point helps cut down on wasted time on calls, and helps keep the prospect’s attention focused on pertinent facts. Unfortunately, scripts can sound robotic, which doesn’t exactly induce a prospect to become interested and ask questions. If prospects wanted scripted information handed to them, they would have just gone to your website. Alternatively, an email would suffice. Why bother employing inside sales reps if you’re not going to utilize their human skills?


For success with telemarketing or inside sales, it’s critical that the sales process be customized for the prospect. Otherwise known as the “What’s In It for Me?” principle, this requires that the rep have some information about the prospect to study before the call is made. It also means going off the script, which means preparing inside sales reps to use some best practices in selling. Too often, inexperienced sales personnel make the call about themselves, according to Genie Parker blogging for VanillaSoft.

“Nobody enjoys the aggressive blowhard at a party who brags too long and too loudly about him or herself,” wrote Parker. “That person likely ends up in the corner alone – or worse, chasing down people all evening who clearly don’t want to be bothered. Don’t be the inside sales equivalent of that guy or gal. Instead you should ensure that you show signs of interest in the challenges your prospect is facing– show them you are interested.”

There is certainly a place for scripts in inside selling. They can help reps with the right greetings, and overviews about the products or services being offered. It’s important, however, that inside sales reps be equipped to leave the script and turn the call into a means of addressing the customer personally and solving a problem he or she might have. One of the best ways that reps can do this, however, is by exercising his or her listening skills. (She even recommends that new reps use the mute button on the phone while the prospect is talking, in case it’s too tempting to talk over the customer.)

“A great sales script has questions that help you uncover information about your prospect and his or her needs,” wrote Parker. “What good are those questions, though, if you don’t pause to let your prospect fully answer?”

Instead, scripts should be a guideline rather than an incantation. Sales managers should prepare inside sales reps by role-playing and helping them to learn how to ask the right questions. With a little practice, they’ll begin to spot opportunities in the prospects’ words to pursue the selling process, and will be able to use information provided by the customer to pique interest and bring the conversation back around to the company’s products or services.

In short, the right use of scripts, according to Parker, is a three-step process. Step one is getting the message right; step two is adding in opportunities that generate feedback from the prospect; and step three is training salespeople on how to effectively use a script to make more sales…but not to sound like a robot. 




Edited by Rory J. Thompson



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