Make a list of all the questions you ask a prospect. Try to be as exhaustive as you can, but make it at least 10. Now, take a look at your questions and remove all the questions that aren’t “business” questions. Questions like, who are the decision makers? When are you looking to have the solution in place, etc? Once you’ve removed the non-business questions, scratch off all the non-business process questions. Remove all questions like, what solution are you using today? Are you using xyz product? What problems are you struggling with? What are the goals of your organizations? Take them all out.
How many questions do you have left? Do you have any left?
If so, remove any remaining question that’s not a process question. Process questions are, How do you manage your recruiting process? Can you share with us how you manage your payroll process? Would you mind walking us through your return process? How do you manage social media listening across all fifteen divisions? Process questions are designed to uncover how an organization runs their business, how they execute.
Now that you’ve removed all of the questions that aren’t process questions, how many questions are left? How many of your original list of questions are process oriented. If the answer isn’t more than half, you’re leaving money on the table.
Here’s the deal when it comes to process questions. In B2B sales the opportunity for the sale rests in how an organization is doing something.
If you’re selling marketing automation tools, then the fastest way to the sale is understanding HOW they are managing their current inbound marketing today. How are they developing landing pages? How are they managing drip campaigns? How are they building nurture programs? How are they tracking visitors and downloads? How are they managing email? How are they . . .
Every one of these questions provides you more and more insight into how an organization is running their business. It’s also the best opportunity to position your product or service. By understanding how your prospect is doing something, you now have the insight required to improve what they are currently doing for the better.
If they are developing landing pages themselves, you can now show them how you can automate that process and save tens of thousands of dollars or even hundreds of thousands of dollars a year by automating their creation with your product. If you learn they are unable to deliver reliable, consistent nurture campaigns, then guess what you’re going to talk about — exactly!
Process questions allow salespeople to get to the heart of the matter. It allows them to assess not only what their clients are doing but how they are doing it. How is the execution and opportunity is ALWAYS present when execution is not optimized.
Companies are rarely optimized and it’s the salesperson’s job to find the inefficiencies and highlight them to the client.
Find out what processes your product or service affects at your target customers. Then, build a list of process questions designed to help you get better visibility into HOW your prospects are doing what you and your product or service can do better.
Let’s start your list over. Now, how many questions do you have? How many are process questions? Good, I think I heard you say at least half.