6 Questions Every Salesperson Must Answer

Author:

Aurelien Mottier
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Episode

56

6 Questions Every Salesperson Must Answer

Aurelien Mottier

CEO at Operatix

Joseph Grieves

Training and Development Manager at Operatix

Sales is an art form, but there’s a science to it, too.

Today I’m joined by Joseph Grieves, Training and Development Manager at Operatix, to talk about the 6 questions that will turn a cold call into a warm call.

“Whenever we have new people coming in, I’d be lying to them if I said what we do is easy,” Joe said. “There’s a lot of work that goes into making someone very good.”

Joe fell into sales after training as a professional actor, he found that call centres gave him an unexpected opportunity for performance. “The adrenaline that you get from cold calling is similar to standing up in front of an audience,” he said.

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A good sales pitch is like good storytelling. It’s got to have a clear beginning, middle, and end.

Joseph Grieves – Training and Development Manager at Operatix

Scripted vs. Freestyle

There’s this ongoing argument in sales about whether to go for the scripted method versus the more freestyle.

In either case, it’s an art form.

In Hollywood, there’s no such thing as writing a script and being done with it. “It takes countless iterations,” Joe explained. “You have to put a lot of work into various drafts to make it what it is.”

Sales is an art, but it’s also a science. “There’s a formula to it, and we’ve very much perfected the formula,” he said.

No such thing as one-size-fits-all, but if you can answer these questions, you’ll have a great jumping off point to actually build your pitch.

So without further ado, here are the questions.

1. Who are your target personas?

You need to know the target personas that you want to meet.

“But what is it specifically that makes them the best person to speak to?” Joe said.

It’s not enough to say, I’m calling you because you’re the Chief Information Security Officer.

You should find out about the target persona personally. “By leaning into the conversation, talking about them and their interests, that immediately separates you from all the other salespeople,” Joe said.

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The thing that gives people value is learning something about their business that they don’t already know.

Joseph Grieves – Training and Development Manager at Operatix

2. How would you summarize your company in 2-3 sentences?

Many people struggle initially with answering this one.

“A lot of salespeople start talking about their company, but if you’ve only got a short amount of time, you need to make that very succinct,” Joe said.

If you’re struggling to figure this one out, go to two great sources.

  • Marketing. They’ve spent a lot of time trying to get these couple of sentences exactly right.
  • The CEO. They’ve lived and breathed what the company does.

3. What are the biggest pain points your service solves?

Most technology is born out of the idea that there is a problem that you need to solve.

The technology is created to fix the problem, and you should highlight that.

“There might be several problems that your solution fixes, but you do need to be selective,” Joe said. “Pick the ones that are not only going to resonate, but something that they agree with and recognize almost immediately.

4. What are the best business benefits to your solution?

Benefits. Not features.

“It’s very important to make that distinction, because in the beginning, people aren’t necessarily focused on what the technology does or how it does it. They’re more interested in the outcome,” Joe said.

The end outcome comes down to the same few things:

  • Will it save me money?
  • Will it make me money?
  • Will it save me time?
  • Will it make me more secure?

If you’re having trouble answering this question, try it out this way.

Give me one good reason why people should buy your product.

More than likely, that’ll be your main benefit.

5. Who are the current clients you can mention?

“It’s all well and good to say you can do these wonderful things for companies, but unless you show that you’ve been able to do it for similar companies, they may not always take your word for it,” Joe said.

Nondisclosure agreements aside, where you can talk about your current clients, it’s important to give specifics. Especially if it’s a suitable competitor in the same vertical.

“You’ve saved X company X amount of money,” Joe said. That’s more powerful than just saying something will save money.

Give people an idea of exactly what you’ll be able to do for them.

6. What value will you give during a meeting?

A lot of salespeople struggle with this one.

A demo or a powerpoint presentation–it needs to give potential clients value beyond just the presentation itself.

“The thing that gives people value is learning something about their business that they don’t already know,” Joe said.

If someone’s going to take time to talk about your service or product, they want to know that the hour they spend with you will be worth it whether they buy your product or not.

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There’s a formula to it, and we’ve very much perfected the formula.

Joseph Grieves – Training and Development Manager at Operatix

The So What

If you can answer those six questions in order, that writes your sales pitch for you.

“What you’re looking for is a narrative. A good sales pitch is like good storytelling. It’s got to have a clear beginning, middle, and end,” Joe said.

These six questions go a very long way towards helping you create that story.

Get in touch with Joseph about these 6 powerful questions through his LinkedIn or by email at joseph.grieves@operatix.net.

This post is based on a B2B Revenue Acceleration podcast with Joseph Grieves. To hear this episode and many more like it, subscribe here

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About Operatix

Operatix is a Sales Acceleration company specialized in supporting B2B Software vendors to identify new revenue streams, increase qualified sales pipeline, and accelerate channel development across Europe and North America. Operatix has a wealth of experience in working with the biggest tech players worldwide as well as a multitude of emerging software vendors.

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Channel Transformation

Digital transformation is changing how companies buy and use business solutions, making vendors re-assess the capabilities of their channel ecosystem. With channel dynamics in constant flux, vendors need to be ready to cut ties with partners that don’t share their vision or have connections with the right B2B buyers.

 

Operatix has supported numerous vendors in their path to Channel transformation by assessing current partners and recruiting new partners that are more aligned with their new channel strategy. Once the right partners have been identified, Operatix built scalable outbound sales development programs that accelerated their routes to market.

Inbound Response Management

In a competitive industry like technology every lead counts. Operatix can help you maximize conversion from MQL to SQL and from lead to pipeline, increasing both your revenue and ROI on marketing activities.

Account Identification

Identifying the accounts that are more likely to buy from you is part of our expertise. We will research the market, identify verticals and industries that can benefit from your solution and set up qualified sales engagements for your teams to kick-off the sales process. 

Cold Prospecting

Our team will identify new sales opportunities within the strategic accounts that you haven’t been successful in penetrating through your sales & marketing efforts. By applying the ‘Challenger Sale’ methodology we use a tailored, multitouch approach to connect with prospects, generating qualified sales engagements for your team and ultimately increasing your pipeline.

Outbound Sales Development

Using a proactive outbound sales approach has been proven to be one of the most effective methods to engage with prospective customers. By applying the ‘Challenger Sale’ methodology we use a tailored, human approach to getting in touch with prospects to increase your qualified sales engagements and ultimately generate more pipeline.

Outbound Sales Development

Using a proactive outbound sales approach has been proven to be one of the most effective methods to engage with prospective customers. By applying the ‘Challenger Sale’ methodology we use a tailored, human approach to getting in touch with prospects to increase your qualified sales engagements and ultimately generate more pipeline.

Partner Concierge Service

Our Partner Concierge Service helps vendors accelerate their channel programs, by engaging and nurturing channel partners and supporting them to get to revenue quicker.

Demand Generation

Whether you need to implement a demand generation strategy or get more results out of your existing demand gen engine, Operatix can work alongside your marketing team to yield better results out of your demand generation programs.

Account-based Marketing

An Account-based Marketing strategy is only as successful as the revenue it generates. At Operatix we will support your 1:1, 1:few or 1:many approach to get your team in front of decision makers in the accounts that matter the most to you. 

Lead Qualification

If your marketing leads aren’t converting, it might be a lead qualification issue. Operatix can help sieve through leads that need further qualification, so they are ready for an AE or sales team member to engage with.

Account-based Selling

At Operatix we will support your 1:1, 1:few or 1:many approach to get your team in front of decision makers in the accounts that matter the most to you. 

Pipeline Generation

Generating Pipeline for our clients is our key-objective. And we do that by using a multi-touch, multi-channel approach to generate qualified sales engagements for our customers’ sales teams.   

Account Intelligence / Deep Dive

Understanding buying centres, hierarchies and relevant personas in strategic accounts is a fundamental step to increase conversion rates. By leveraging account intelligence in a sales conversation your team can tailor their message and provide value to their prospective customer. But sales & marketing teams often struggle to dedicate time and resources to do the deep research and this is where Operatix can help.

DMID – Decision Maker Identification

Finding quality data is an on-going challenge for B2B Tech vendors. The accuracy of data platforms is questionable and that is why Operatix developed a manual process to identify & verify contact details for decision makers within strategic target accounts.

Playbook design

Operatix can develop Sales Playbooks that enable teams to sell more effectively. Your Playbook will be fundamental to get your messaging right, accurately position your solution against competitors, and adapt the communication of your value proposition to different buyer personas.

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Sales Playbook Development

Operatix can develop Sales Playbooks that enable teams to sell more effectively. Your Playbook will be fundamental to implementing the correct messaging, accurately position your solution against competitors, and adapting the communication of your value proposition to different buyer personas.

Lead Qualification

If your leads aren’t converting, it might be a lead qualification issue. Operatix can help filter through leads that need further qualification, ensuring that they’re ready for an AE or sales team member to engage with and progress through the funnel. 

Partner Portal / Marketing Concierge Service

Vendors often spend thousands of dollars building multifunctional Partner Portals to help channel partners educate their teams, manage opportunities, and create marketing programs. Still, these portals are often underutilized due to lack of bandwidth and capacity from vendors to offer support in enabling their partner community. Operatix, through their Partner Development team, can support your partners to make the best use out of your partner portal, managing the relationship with your partners and helping them set up co-marketing campaigns to drive more revenue for both businesses. 

Marketing & Sales Alignment

The sales development function is often seen as the “glue” that brings sales & marketing teams together. By working as an extension of your teams, Operatix will be your predictable source of pipeline, sales & revenue.

Optimization of MDF

Market Development Funds are an important component of any channel ecosystem, though vendors believe they are not maximizing the return on investment they should be getting from their MDF programs. At Operatix, we build scalable outbound sales development programs that will give you the visibility of return over the invested spend and will provide clear value for your channel partners.

Increase Partner Productivity

The 80/20 rule is still very applicable to the channel, which means that investing in partner productivity should be a priority for vendors looking to grow their businesses. Operatix can increase partner productivity and shorten sales cycles, by identifying ready to engage sales opportunities for your most valued channel partners.

Virtual Channel Account managers

Our VCAM team is responsible for building, maintaining, and managing sound relationships with current and prospective channel partners. They can get involved in opening up new sales conversations as well as closing small businesses up to $ 10k.

Tier 1 & Tier 2 Activation

Whether your business decided for a Tier 1 or Tier 2 distribution model, Operatix can help your channel partners get to revenue quicker. By providing qualified sales engagements to your channel partners we can accelerate your route to market with tangible and easily measurable results.

Solution Selling Training

Far too often vendors insist on enabling their channel partners to talk about features and technical details of their solutions. Customers don’t buy features; they buy the benefits your solution can bring. Operatix will work with your partner community to train them in articulating your message from a high-level business perspective, enabling them to talk to prospects about the value your solution can bring to their company from a board-level perspective.

Channel Enablement

Enabling your channel partners have measurable wins for your business when done right. Operatix has a proven track record in enabling channel partners from a sales & marketing perspective, providing them the knowledge and tools to successfully pitch your solution and sell the value & benefits of it. 

Partner Recruitment

Recruiting the right Channel Partners is the first step for a successful channel program. Operatix has helped over 350 B2B Software vendors recruit suitable channel partners across EMEA and North America, supporting them to scale and expand their presence in different geographies and verticals. 

Risk/Reward Business Model

To truly work as an extension of our client’s sales & marketing teams, we have also adapted our business models to show how our clients operate, and how their success is measured. With our risk/reward business model your investment is proportional to the results our team delivers.

Sales Qualified Leads

On average, 52.5% of the sales engagements set up by our team progress into a next step in the sale process. That means that 5 out of 10 meetings will progress either into a POC, a Demo or a pipeline opportunity.

Geographical Scale

Trading in different geographical markets not only requires a knowledge of the native language, local rules & policies, but a deeper understanding of the local culture and habits. We have the ability to deliver campaigns in multiple countries with flexible resource allocation. This is through our team of international speakers, who have the ability to sell in 17 different languages across the globe.

Increase Revenue & Decrease Cost

Building an internal sales development team comes with many additional costs and challenges that aren’t always taken into account: recruiting resources, training and enabling them etc. You also need to take into account the need for having the data and tools to make them successful, which in turn requires time, capital and effort. By outsourcing your sales development to Operatix you will see your revenue increasing, while decreasing costs and business risk.

Predictable Pipeline Generation

On average, our clients see a 26X ROI on the programs we deliver. By understanding your revenue targets and sales pipeline gap, we will work on a sales & marketing plan that will deliver tangible results.

Vertical Growth

Entering new industries or launching new product lines? Operatix can accelerate your growth by supporting your go-to-market strategy, and getting your sales teams in front of decision makers in key target accounts.

Reduce Headcount

By outsourcing your sales development and partner programs to Operatix; we reduce headcount and the challenges that come with managing people, technologies, and processes. We take care of your sales development, so you can focus on what matters the most: growing your business.

Revenue Acceleration

Operatix helps your business get to revenue quicker. By providing qualified sales engagements for your direct sales team (to kick-off new sales cycles), or by accelerating the growth of your channel partners, our focus remains on delivering tangible results for your business. 

Persona-based Selling

Operatix team will design specifically tailored messages to influence the different levels of decision makers in the sales process, tailoring the communication according to each job function. Our focus is to sell the value of your solution from a business perspective, not its features.    

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