Ever heard of sales scripts? Whether you use them in your daily workflow, or are thinking about implementing them - you’ve got to read this before you do.
They’re not as great as they may seem, and here’s why:
- They’re “one size fits all”
- They create a lack of flexibility
- They’re less personal
Sales scripts are basically pre-written sets of talking points for your sales team. They can use them during calls or meetings to steer the conversation toward a particular outcome, which obviously, most of the time, is closing the sale.
But I honestly believe there are several concrete reasons why sales scripts can actually be counterproductive or even harmful to your sales team’s success.
Sales scripts are “one size fits all”
Everyone is different, and each sales representative works with their own different soft skills and tools.
Sales scripts are usually based on a “one size fits all” approach, assuming every prospect will respond similarly to the same exact talking points - which is rarely the case.
Every prospect has unique needs and preferences, and one of the greatest skills your sales representatives can have is the ability to adapt to those needs on a whim.
To be honest, this is actually what often separates top performers from the rest of the team.
Sales scripts create a lack of flexibility
Additionally, sales scripts can create a sense of lack of flexibility, and implement rigidity into your team’s approach.
A rep who relies too heavily on scripts may become overly reliant on them and slowly start to lose the ability to think on their feet, or adapt to ever-changing circumstances.
This can lead to less creativity and fewer spontaneous talks, which can be detrimental to prospects who value authentic and genuine interactions.
Trust me; sales is no different from any other niche - to be the best at it, you have to practice it daily to get even better.
Sales scripts are less personal
Then we also live in the era of online meetings. It has become a norm, but people want to humanize our interactions more and more. The same goes for selling.
It’s amazing that technology makes it easier for us to connect with customers remotely, but at the same time, it can also create a sense of distance.
Add sales scripts to the mix, and you’ve got an impersonal conversation resulting in a waste of time.
Salespeople who can establish a personal connection with their customers, even on video calls, are more likely to build trust and close those deals.
Listen to people’s needs, ask them thoughtful questions and show genuine interest in their business - a script can’t do that.
How do I lead a team without providing them with sales scripts?
From the very beginning, with the basics. Leaders should focus on building a team of sales reps with diverse skills and experiences.
Focus on attitudes and traits
Recruitment processes should be focused less on candidates' experience and more on their attitude and willingness to learn and develop themselves.
Moreover, rather than only looking at low performers to improve sales results, leaders should study the top performers and identify what makes them successful.
This can help leaders identify the traits and attitudes that are most important for success in their particular industry or market.
Creating an environment that encourages creativity, experimentation, and individuality can help sales reps develop their own unique style of selling.
Being authentic as a sales rep is extremely important. In sales, building trust and establishing a strong rapport with clients is key to success, and authenticity is crucial to that process.
When your team is authentic, you're honest and transparent with your clients. You don't try to hide your shortcomings or pretend to be something you're not. This builds trust and credibility with your clients, as they feel that they can rely on you to be upfront and truthful.
Authenticity also allows you to connect with clients on a deeper level.
When you're authentic, you can share your personal experiences and insights with clients, which can help build a stronger relationship with them.
By being authentic, you demonstrate that you're not just trying to make a sale but that you genuinely care about your clients and want to help them achieve their goals.
In addition, being authentic can help you stand out from the competition. In today's world, clients are bombarded with sales messages and pitches from all directions.
By being authentic, you differentiate yourself from the many other sales reps who are just trying to close a deal. Clients appreciate authenticity, and they're more likely to remember and recommend a sales rep who is genuine and trustworthy.
Overall, authenticity is a critical component of successful sales. Being authentic builds trust, establishes deeper relationships with clients, and differentiates you from the competition.
How do I encourage others to have their own selling style?
Allow sales reps to share their knowledge
Sales leaders should provide inspiration, guidance, and feedback to help sales reps grow and develop their skills over time.
Creating a channel for discussion where sales reps can exchange their knowledge, best practices, and use cases should be a must-have for every single sales team, and what’s more, the discussion should never stop.
For example, in my team, we internally use various Slack channels daily:
- #internal_sales - a channel dedicated to sharing external educational content and important announcements;
- #dealclosers - a channel dedicated to operational issues, ongoing challenges, questions, sharing tips and best practices (internal);
- #sales_notifications - a channel with automated notifications from Hubspot to be notified whenever prospects do a significant action that can have an impact on the sales process;
Thanks to these channels, sales reps can inspire and motivate each other to try something new, to leave their comfort zone.
Store articles in an easily accessible place
We are also heavy users of Confluence, which we use to store articles written by team members.
Articles consisting of summaries after coaching sessions, workshops, and brainstorming sessions are made easy to access, so sales reps can always go back, read them repeatedly, and implement them.
Establishing a sales SLA with basic but crucial rules can help you to be transparent and secure all the necessary elements of the sales process that you cannot change, like how to process a contract internally or that every email should be replied to within 24 hours.
Host team coaching sessions
Conducting team coaching sessions during which team members can give feedback to each other is another idea for building an inspirational environment. To facilitate growth and development, assign projects to team members to run.
Don’t forget about celebrating small wins. Acknowledging the contributions of each team member can also help build a sense of camaraderie and empower the willingness to try new approaches.
Why automation can help
My hot tip? If you want to start a new habit in the team, find an influencer (your own sales rep!) who would fall in love with your idea and spread it among others.
Of course, there are some risks and challenges that come with that…
Developing your own style of selling can be more time-consuming than just using already prepared and tested scripts.
The solution? Automate repeatable, basic tasks. Keep in mind that using automation wisely and strategically is important.
Look closer at the sales process in your sales organization. Try to map out all the repeatable tasks and activities that are easy, but take time. For example - if you use Hubspot, you can automate moving deals between stages.
A simple workflow can create a deal, assign it to the sales owner and fill in all the necessary fields.
Set up a workflow that notifies your sales reps of leads’ activities to save them time on manually going through contacts one by one. Integrate a tool to record meetings with the CRM to make sure all the notes after the call are in your CRM.
Sales leaders, how does all of this sound to you? I would love to hear your thoughts, feel free to contact me via Linkedin.
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