Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.

Is My Prospect Qualified--and Other Great Sales Questions


Published on

How do you uncover risks and opportunities in your sales engagements? This presentation offers some great questions to ask and tips for success

Published in: Technology, Business
  • Be the first to comment

Is My Prospect Qualified--and Other Great Sales Questions

  1. 1. Is My Prospect Qualified? --and other sales questions Germantown Innovation Center/ June 17 th ,2010 Andrew Rudin, Managing Principal, Outside Technologies, Inc. 703.371.1242 (mobile) [email_address]
  2. 2. Outside Technologies, Inc. <ul><li>Sales strategy and execution </li></ul><ul><li>Sales risk assessments </li></ul><ul><li>After action reviews </li></ul><ul><li>Best practice knowledge transfer </li></ul><ul><li>Sales discovery training workshops </li></ul><ul><li>Content development, usability research, and social network analysis </li></ul><ul><li>Special projects </li></ul>
  3. 3. If I took time out of my day to attend this meeting, what would I like to gain? <ul><li>Know how to solve a persistent problem or challenge in a new way </li></ul><ul><li>Strategies and tactics that provide me a competitive advantage </li></ul><ul><li>Skills I can apply to a broad range of selling situations </li></ul>
  4. 4. Key Problems to Solve <ul><li>How to reduce sales risk and capitalize on opportunities in an environment of great economic uncertainty </li></ul>
  5. 5. A few myths that trap salespeople <ul><li>It’s possible to sell with certainty. </li></ul><ul><li>Sales is a “numbers game.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Shut up and listen” is good advice. </li></ul><ul><li>There is such a thing as a perfect sales question. </li></ul><ul><li>Open-ended questions are better than closed-ended questions. </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>Hi Tom: </li></ul><ul><li>I am the new Vice President of Operations at AccuThought, and my company has initiated a project to make our operations more efficient. </li></ul><ul><li>We are looking at companies that can provide solutions, and after reviewing your website, we think it would be beneficial to set up a meeting to learn more. </li></ul><ul><li>We plan to purchase a solution next quarter, and we will be refining our search to three potential vendors over the next few weeks. AccuThought will conduct a thorough pilot before making a decision. </li></ul><ul><li>Can you provide us with pricing and product information for your offering? Also, if you have some references we can contact, that would be most helpful. </li></ul><ul><li>Best, </li></ul><ul><li>Ken Thomas, </li></ul><ul><li>VP Operations, AccuThought </li></ul>
  7. 7. Participant Questions <ul><li>At this point, which of the following would you provide or schedule (check all that apply): </li></ul><ul><li>product information? </li></ul><ul><li>a reference? </li></ul><ul><li>pricing information? </li></ul><ul><li>a phone meeting? </li></ul><ul><li>an out of town face-to-face meeting? </li></ul>
  8. 8. Key challenges <ul><li>1. Creating an environment in which we can get to the truth about our greatest risks and opportunities. </li></ul><ul><li>2. Uncovering what we need to know— quickly . </li></ul>
  9. 9. Question-driven conversations <ul><li>Foundations of trust for conversations </li></ul><ul><li>Questions to ask </li></ul><ul><li>Five key discovery skills </li></ul>
  10. 10. I. Foundation of trust -- begins before the first conversation <ul><li>Intent </li></ul><ul><li>Transparency </li></ul><ul><li>Shared values, objectives and goals </li></ul><ul><li>Empathy </li></ul><ul><li>Meaningful questions </li></ul><ul><li>Reflective, insightful dialog </li></ul><ul><li>Courtesy and humility </li></ul><ul><li>Worldview </li></ul><ul><li>Reference: Mahan Khalsa’s Let’s Get Real or Let’s Not Play , and To an Octopus, ’50’ Means Nothing. </li></ul>
  11. 11. II. Questions to ask <ul><li>1. Qualification </li></ul><ul><li>2. Networking </li></ul><ul><li>3. Attitude/sentiment </li></ul><ul><li>4. Validation </li></ul><ul><li>5. Visioning </li></ul>
  12. 12. 1. Qualification: “4 Green Lights” <ul><li>Can my company as Producer and my target company as Consumer generate mutually beneficial value? </li></ul><ul><li>S olution fit: Does my prospect seek an outcome that can be enabled with my product or service? </li></ul><ul><li>A ccess: Can I get access to the people who can enable me to achieve the outcome I want? </li></ul><ul><li>F inancial resources: Does my prospect have the resources (money/time/people) to purchase and implement my solution? </li></ul><ul><li>E xpected timeframe: Does my prospect plan to purchase my product or service in a timeframe that is within my operating horizon? </li></ul>
  13. 13. Formal Structure 2. Networking Questions Resource: Rob Cross The Hidden Power of Social Networks Informal Structure
  14. 14. Example Networking Questions <ul><ul><li>When you have questions about XYZ, who do you ask? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Which individuals in your organization seek your input or advice, and what do they ask? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What individuals would perceive the greatest value for my product or service right now? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Which individuals must champion my proposal in order for me to win the sale? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Who can provide access? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Who will make the decision to accept my proposal? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Who is influential with that/those individual(s)? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Is there anyone in the organization you know of now who could prevent this initiative from being accepted? </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. 3. Attitude/Sentiment Questions <ul><li>1. Believe (do you believe the situation exists?) </li></ul><ul><li>2. Care (do you care about it?) </li></ul><ul><li>3. Act (will you act to solve it?) </li></ul><ul><li>How would you characterize the accuracy of the figures we have discussed/presented/included in the proposal? </li></ul><ul><li>If you had to make a decision based on what you know right now, what would it be? </li></ul><ul><li>How important is solving this business problem for you personally? </li></ul><ul><li>How consequential is solving this problem (or strategic challenge) for your organization? </li></ul><ul><li>If you accept our proposal, when do you anticipate executing a purchase order? </li></ul><ul><li>Will you recommend acceptance of my company’s proposal? </li></ul><ul><li>Can I have the order? </li></ul>Resource: Made to Stick by Chip Heath and Dan Heath
  16. 16. 4. Validation Questions <ul><li>“ Leave no answer unquestioned!” </li></ul><ul><li>What evidence confirms (or contradicts!) our key information about our prospect’s </li></ul><ul><li>Strategy and business drivers? </li></ul><ul><li>Perception of the impact of the problem on the organization? </li></ul><ul><li>Network of buying decision makers and influencers? </li></ul><ul><li>Governance policies? </li></ul><ul><li>Procurement steps and timeframe? </li></ul><ul><li>Motivation and commitment? </li></ul>
  17. 17. 5. Visioning Questions <ul><li>Can you describe how solving this challenge could deliver value for you or for your company? </li></ul><ul><li>If you could design a solution to enable your strategy, how would it work? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the characteristics of the vendor you seek for this collaborative effort? </li></ul>
  18. 18. III. Five discovery skills for selling <ul><li>1. Associating </li></ul><ul><li>2. Questioning </li></ul><ul><li>3. Observing </li></ul><ul><li>4. Experimenting </li></ul><ul><li>5. Networking </li></ul><ul><li>Source: </li></ul><ul><li>The Innovator’s DNA, </li></ul>
  19. 19. Critical Success Factors <ul><li>Insist on transparency—for you and your prospect </li></ul><ul><li>Bring curiosity to every conversation </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t look for questions to “carry the ball”—conversations do. </li></ul><ul><li>Put risks and opportunities at the top of your discovery list </li></ul><ul><li>Endeavor to see the world through your prospect’s eyes </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t assume you know the answers to your most important questions </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t rationalize anomalies </li></ul><ul><li>If you’re unclear about something that matters, keep asking questions </li></ul>
  20. 20. Resource Summary <ul><li>Book: Let’s Get Real or Let’s Not Play , by Mahan Khalsa </li></ul><ul><li>Book: Rob Cross The Hidden Power of Social Networks </li></ul><ul><li>Book: Made to Stick by Chip Heath and Dan Heath </li></ul><ul><li>“ To an Octopus, ’50’ Means Nothing” </li></ul><ul><li>“ The Innovator’s DNA,” </li></ul><ul><li>“ The Right Sales Questions Will Get the Right Answers,” </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>“ Just the Facts: Sales Discovery Requires More than Asking Killer Questions” </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  21. 21. <ul><li>Andrew Rudin, Managing Principal, Outside Technologies, Inc. </li></ul><ul><li>website: </li></ul><ul><li>blog: 703.371.1242 (mobile) [email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>White paper “How to Qualify Prospects: A Powerful Strategy for Managers and Salespeople” </li></ul><ul><li>--available for download, or as a workshop. Contact Outside Technologies, Inc. </li></ul>
  22. 22. Thanks ! <ul><li>Questions? </li></ul>