The Lost Art of the Business Conversation

Your company has the latest eMarketing technology and a formal nurture-marketing program in place. You notice a spike in activity with a prospect you've been digitally nurturing for several months. They spend 15 minutes on your website and download an ROI calculator you've made available. Clearly it is time for a Sales Rep to call.

Your marketing department passes the lead to your Sales Rep and the next day he makes the call. He's able to get through to the prospect and asks the normal qualifying questions about needs, budget and timeframe. He quickly learns the prospect does not have a budget or timeframe established. The Rep tosses the lead aside and moves on to the next prospect.

A year later your primary competitor issues a press release announcing a new customer - this prospect.

What happened?

The hard truth is this situation is occurring more frequently than ever before. Studies show more than half of the leads discarded by Sales Reps convert for someone within 24 months. So ---- what can you do to ensure you are not missing out on these real revenue opportunities?

Most sales reps are proficient at prospect qualification. They can establish budget, timeframe and need and articulate their value proposition to qualified buyers. However, in our increasingly competitive environment, prospects are looking for more from the Sales Rep. They already educated themselves - in some cases extensively - prior to talking to the Rep. Therefore, when this first conversation takes place, the buyer wants the Rep to understand their situation and offer insight into helping them solve their business challenges. If the prospect receives no value from the dialogue with the Rep, they will quickly disengage and disappear.

Great closing skills are a quality we look for in Salespeople. Equally important is the ability to engage prospects in intelligent business conversations that help build a relationship and fosters continued engagement.

Teaching your Reps these skills will help you minimize those missed opportunities.