Salespeople are often eager to work in fast-paced environments and have a tendency to be impulsive. Too usually, this means that they rush to the proposal stage without taking enough time to find compelling reasons to make the deal urgent. This can lead to clients being run and not having the time or ability to create a clear internal case for funding approval.
As a Sales Manager or CEO, one of your most important tasks is to sit down with your team members and ask them for feedback on their pipeline. These are vital questions that you can ask your team to determine if they see the potential.
What questions should I ask my sales staff?
Ask questions to probe, challenge and test their ability to defend their closing prediction.
These are just a few questions to get you started. Feel free to add any questions that relate to your industry or business.
Please tell me what business problem you think our proposal will solve.
- What is the longest time this has been an issue in your company? When was it first noticed?
- What has the team done to tackle it? What has worked in this instance?
- What did they pay?
- What happens if they fail to address this issue?
- What will this mean for their financial future? Lost sales? Higher costs? Missed opportunities Customers who are upset? Was their reputation damaged? Are vital employees leaving?
- How will this affect their operations? Is this going to slow down their workflow? Is it a requirement that people do things they don’t have to? What would these people be doing if they weren’t working on this problem? Does it impact quality? Do they have regulatory issues?
- What are the prospects’ thoughts on this matter?
- Please tell me about the roles of everyone you have met for this opportunity.
- If this isn’t fixed, who could lose their job?
- Are you speaking to the right people?
- What time frame did they give for you to submit a proposal?
- Did you arrange a meeting to discuss the proposal, or just sent it over?
- What next?
- They are also considering other competitors. How can we compare to this competitor?
Ask them questions.
Many salespeople who attended our Must Win Deal workshops are unable to handle the rapid questioning. They realized quickly that they were going through the discovery phase of the sales process too fast. They didn’t ask the right questions or asked enough questions. They didn’t address all issues. They didn’t quantify all the compelling reasons for change. They did not meet with all key stakeholders. They left out a lot of important information.
Ensure that your salespeople slow down in the middle and early stages of sales meetings. Make sure your sales team has panels. Use this opportunity to ask questions and coach them. Ask them to ask better questions. You will notice a significant improvement in the quality and quantity of late-stage options in your sales pipeline if you ask them to spend more time on these conversations.