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Professional Services - Script advice

Dear all,

I am currently working in a business development role for a US based company in the UK. We work within professional services selling software testing solutions to businessses of all shapes and sizes that develop software for Web, Mobile and Desktop applications.

I have a lot of experience from working in telesales environment, but I would like to get some opinions and advice as to how to improve my opening sales scripts for warm lead prospects, and cold call 'suspects'.

The following is a script I put together for warm leads. We use SalesForce, when prospects download whitepapers, watch videos or look at our site, we capture their contact information. I get leads come through detailing what whitepaper they have downloaded, ther job title and job level. We have around 15 whitepapers people can download. they vary in content, many of which are simply advice for people using certain methodologies, as opposed to whitepapers regarding our services.

Below is an opeining script I concocted for use with wark leads:

Very good day to you, is that __FIRST NAME__ speaking?
Hi __FIRST NAME__ my name is __FIRST NAME&LAST NAME__ Im a senior consultant, managing the UK region for a company called uTest. Were the worlds largest marketplace of QA professionals we have a community of 25,000 highly experienced testers from 160 countries globally, we are very unique in the world of testing, and what we actually do, is supply tailor made and bespoke testing solutions to businesses of all shapes and sizes who are actively developing applications for Web, Mobile and Desktop environments.
Now, the reason I am calling you today __FIRST NAME__, is because you actually left your contact information with us on __DOWNLOAD DATE__,
If they have left their company name:
I have had a look at your business website, I have to say, it all looks very interesting, I wanted to speak with you to understand a little more about your business and interest in testing. What initially prompted you to download the __DOWNLOAD MATERIAL__ ?
If they have not left their company name:
I have very limited information about you __DOWNLOAD MATERIAL__, I am very inttrigued to know a little more about what you do and what prompted you to download the __DOWNLOAD MATERIAL__?
From here, I will then open them up and determine:
What do they do within their business? Job title/Level/Function/Duties
Find out about their business? Sector/Industry/Clients/Competitors/Product Lines
What are the key challenges that they face within their business
How does the QA process work?

Please feel free to ask me any questions, I am keen to imporve this script.

Thanks - by cheese
What is the purpose of your script? - by Gary A Boye
While you're contemplating the answer to my reply above, I'll share what I can.

Your script as it stands falls short because it does not adhere to two principles in selling.

Whenever a sales process is interrupted for any length of time, the salesperson must return the conversation to the previous segment(s). In this case the prospect responded to a passive part of your company's selling process, the downloading of the white paper. The interruption is the time lapse between the downloading of the material and your call to him--perhaps days. You need to revisit that step before you move on.

"I make it a point to personally follow up with people who have read our material I do this for a couple of reasons. First, I want to know if you found what you were looking for, and was it helpful. Second, I'd like to tell you a litttle more about us and what it is exactly that we do."
That example returns to the initial step, which by the way, the prospect initiated, and demonstrated interest by doing so. You need to engage the interest you gained, and seek momentum.

The second principle is that you never should skip a step in your selling process. In not revisiting the first step which was passive, you have virtually skipped it. When you do that, you dislodge any opportunities for momentum.

Hope this helps. The dialogue above in bold is very effective phraseology which I recommend here. - by Gary A Boye
Hi Gary. Firstly, I would like to thank you for your advice, you make a good point about momentum and not skipping the very reason they downloaded.

I will answer your first point initially: What is the goal of the call?

On the first call, the ultimate goal is reach a position whereby i can gain enough information to put a pricing quote together for the propsect and schedule a follow up. So, broken down, I have other goals:

Qualify the prospect in/out.
Determine how much influence the prospect has to make a decision.
Understand the prospects pain points within their business. Enforce these pain points and enhance a problem that I have the solution for.
Understand their product lifecycle and internal processes.
Pitch the concept, benefits and USP of our service.
Gain buy in.
Gather enough information to put together a quote.

This is the ideal structure, as you can imagine, sometimes I miss goals off, sometimes I dont even get to the first goal, but this is the dream questions I need to answer. I would like to actually put together a full script with scenarios from beginning to the end, so that when new sales staff join, I can train them and get them to folllow a script.

In relation to your second point about skipping stages, I do feel that I have not really skipped a stage. Initially, I introduce who I am, value statement about my company and explain why I am calling as you can see in the script, I have asked the question "What initially prompted you to download the application?"

I do like the "I make it a point to personally follow up with people who have read our material I do this for a couple of reasons",line, very good! - by cheese
I will answer your first point initially: What is the goal of the call?
My question was: What is the purpose of the script? - by Gary A Boye
The purpose of the script is to have formulated process and template going into every call that improves conversion rates and generates opportunities to close business - by cheese
The purpose of the script is to have formulated process and template going into every call that improves conversion rates and generates opportunities to close business
By conversion rates do you mean conversion from warm lead to appointment? Or something different? - by Gary A Boye
Cheese this may get deleted but I promise you my intention is to help you.

The script stinks.

Sorry to be so blunt but I've been at this game a long time and the script you are using breaks almost every single rule that I ever taught and/or learned about telephone prospecting....and then some.

Firstly It is too stiff and formal.

You try to cram in too many facts about YOUR company when the call should be about the PROSPECT'S problems.

You are using 'we' or 'we're' much too frequently (I counted four instances in the first few seconds) when the focus of the call should be 'you', you're' (the prospect that is)

They already expressed an interest in what you have, since they parted with their contact details in exchange for your report so there is an automatic element of rapport.

You can afford to be far more relaxed in your approach and that will allow you to show a GENUINE interest in their situation.

The comments about their website were a bit of a throw-away in my opinion and prospects will detect the insincerity instantly.

I own several websites myself and when that approach is used on me I am quite merciless and always quiz the caller about what particular aspects of MY website most appealed to them. They clam up very quickly at that point.

I would approach it this way.

Intro then:

I noticed that you downloaded one of our whitepapers about (subject xyz) recently .... is that correct? (helps establish if I have the right person/decisionmaker?)

What did you think to the report? (yes I know they may not have read it yet)

Was it of some value to you then?

Would you be interested in getting copies of some of the other free reports we have?....pause....I was thinking particularly of a report we've just published on (abc subject) that has been of great interest to companies similar to yours. (NOTE:can you see where we are headed? )

What was it about the xyz report that grabbed your interest particularly?

How does your company handle that aspect at the moment?

And so on with a more throurough, friendly and genuine qualification discussion.

If you used something similar to the above I think you'll start to see a much better reponse.

P.S. I don't really think that. I know it. - by helisell
Firstly, thank you Gary & Helisell for your advice. Apologies for not replying earlier, things have been very busy for me!

@ Gary - Convert people on script in this instance i.e. get an opportunity to either quote or set an appointment to discover more and then quote!

@ Helisell - I used to used a script very similar to what you have written, its a great way to open prospects up without immidiately alerting them as trying to sell. Any more thoughts on that would be great..

Any other thoughts on what my goals should be in the first call or anything else you feel I could improve on please feed back to me.

Many thanks in advance.

Lee - by cheese
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