“I not only use all the brains I have but all that I can borrow too”US President Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924).
It’s great to come up with an impactful, totally original idea. However, most of the time, there are enough proven tactics from others that you can adopt quickly and impactfully in your business. One such area with many examples of tried and tested templates that can be used immediately is phone call templates. These cover some of the most common objectives from regular calls that members of your team will make.
At BuddyCRM, we offer a full-service solution. This means we don’t just provide the software but also provide the expertise around it. We have an unparalleled insight into what works and doesn’t work from thousands of hours of working with customers. We help guide our customers through the process of making their CRM work for them. Part of that is incorporating key information-gathering fields into pre-formed call templates (see opposite) to help ensure excellence is maintained throughout the sales team.
Here are five of the most successful we have seen with the broadest scope to cover the widest variety of business types. For each, we have given the key questions that should be asked and built into the calling template.
- The Information Gathering Call
This is the initial conversation that a sales team member has with a prospect. The temptation at this first stage for any inexperienced salesperson is to jump in too quickly and not do the key initial job of information gathering. The one trait in every great salesperson is that they use their time efficiently. A key part is not wasting their time on no-chance prospects. This isn’t just in terms of whether a prospect may buy from your organisation, but even if your organisation wants to sell to them!
This evaluation needs to be based on data not emotion so the information-gathering call template looks to help the salesperson go through the process of getting the data required to make a decision. Here are the key fields we find work well for our customers:
- Is there a project or budget that is already approved by the senior leadership team for your kind of product?
- Is this project a replacement strategy or a totally new purchase?
- What business problem do they think a product like ours would solve for them?
- Have they had similar projects in the past – how did they go?
- Explain the key metrics by which your business measures success?
- Are there certain facts that determine if you are able to service this prospective customer? If so, ask now.
- The Qualification Call
The second type of call is the next step on from the information gathering call, the qualification call. It may be a second part of the same call but takes the information gleaned at the information gathering stage and enables the salesperson to move onto qualifying if the prospect is a good fit for your organisation.
- Please describe the decision-making process in your business – identify the key decision makers.
- Is there a timeline for the decision?
- Which of our competitors are they also talking to?
- Where on the priority list is problem/project versus others within their business?
- The ‘Create Interest’ Call
Now the Salesperson has gathered the initial information and qualified that it’s a viable prospect, they move on to the most exciting part of the sales process – generating interest. It is harder at this stage to follow a prescriptive approach but the template should ensure that key elements of this stage of the process are followed:
- Who is the best reference point from your current client base to help frame the benefits of your product/service along with stories as to how it has positively impacted their business?
- How is the prospect’s business currently performing in the area that your product/service helps with?
- What would happen if they didn’t change anything and left everything the same?
- How does the current pain that your product/service could solve affect the prospect and their other stakeholders personally in their work?
- What concerns do they have about making this change?
You will notice that these questions are not hardcore sales patter. Instead, they are mainly open-ended questions. This is because, in our experience, there isn’t a boilerplate set of questions that generate interest. It’s about rapport and personalisation, so these questions encourage that but also enable data to be captured in the call notes to help further down the sales funnel.
- The ‘Account Management’ Call
This call is conducted once the prospect has become a customer and would be a template that can help ensure the best possible contact with a customer from an account management perspective. Again, it’s about personal rapport to help build a relationship between the customer and the account manager with open-ended questions that are often personal or emotional.
- What are they looking to achieve from using our product/service? I know we would have discussed this when they originally started working with us, but we should make sure nothing has changed and we fully understand.
- Is there anything not working for them?
- What keeps them up at night in their business?
- How would they like me to work with them?
- Who else in their organisation would benefit from talking with you regularly to help get the most from our product/service?
- The ‘Complaint’ Call
However hard we try to deliver for our customers, no successful company in history has never had a complaint. Normally, customers get frustrated when they feel the support rep doesn’t have the requisite knowledge and is using a very basic script. This template forces the support rep to build rapport and take their questioning back to the customer’s business requirements and their ultimate success using your product/service.
- What can I do to help make this right in some way right now?
- Can they explain what effect this issue had on their business?
- How often would they like you to update them on your progress as I take this through the complaint process?
- Do you have your contact details to hand if they need to contact me directly to ask any questions/make any extra points?
- What could we do more long term to help become their favourite company to do business with?
These are just a few ideas that we hope spark thoughts as to how call templates can help the sales process in your business and how you can get more out of your CRM. We have hundreds at BuddyCRM and when the time is right, we’d love to help.