It’s no secret that the modern sales process – and buyers – are extremely complex.
To successfully lead a prospect down your sales funnel, you need to consider a number of factors, chief among them their current and future needs. Remember, with increasing competition and the abundance of information available, it’s pretty easy for leads to opt for an alternate solution to your product.
And that’s exactly why you need to add value from the very first time you talk to a prospect – and the starting point should be well-planned sales questions.
Think about it: if you ask good sales questions, not only will you be able to identify their needs (and wants), but you will also be able to craft personalized sales pitches. On the flip side, ineffective questions like ‘what are you looking for in [your product]?’ is something that can put your lead on the spot – and not in a good way.
Before diving into examples, let’s first explore what makes an effective sales question.
Theory Behind Good Sales Questions
The first indication of an ineffective sales question is that it serves to make the person on the other end ‘defensive.’ In a sales setting, such questions include:
- Why are you interested in our solution?
- Why are you interested in our solution right now?
- Do you know our product features?
While such questions are important for gathering information on the lead, they are unlikely to get you the right response. In extreme cases, they can even backfire on you as they not only fail to make a positive impact, but they also make the buyer feel like they’re not in control of the conversation.
Additionally, these questions are far from the buyer-centric approach that should guide modern B2B sales. After all, customer-centric companies are 60% more profitable compared to companies that are not focused on the customer.
And so, effective sales questions are those that typically focus on eliciting an honest response without the buyer feeling pressured. For example, asking ‘how can our solution help you out in your specific situation?’ will put the buyer at easy – and thus, more willing to share vital information that you need to keep the deal moving.
In short, whether you’re writing a follow up email or getting back after a demo request, it’s important to formulate questions that are designed to put your prospect at ease.
Good Sales Questions To Ask Prospects
Now that we’ve covered the importance of carving great sales questions, here is an actual list that can help you identify your prospects’ needs.
Questions That Help Salespeople Qualify Leads
In simple terms, sales qualification is a process that helps determine whether the prospect is a good fit for your service or product. Asking the right qualification questions can play a major part in identifying whether they fit in your ideal customer profile.
Here are a few examples:
- What’s the problem you’re currently trying to fix with this solution?
- What made you look into our solution?
- Have you tried other solutions for this problem before? If so, why did it not work?
- How do you see our solution helping you out right now?
- What does your budget look like for this?
- Who will use this solution? / Who else is involved in the buying and decision making process?
- What problems do you foresee in implementing this solution in your organization/team?
- Would anyone at your company object to this solution? If so, what reasons could there be?
- What does success look like to you in terms of quantitative and qualitative results?
- What does your ideal solution for [pain point] look like?
Questions To Help You Identify Buyer’s Needs
Again, these are some questions that help you quickly get to the bottom of your prospect’s pain point:
- Do you face [common pain point]?
- What are your goals concerning this solution by this time next year?
- What do you perceive as your greatest weakness at this point and your greatest strength?
- How does your organization evaluate new products or services?
- What are your buying criteria and success criteria?
- What do you value more – quality, service or price?
- What do you look for in your relationship with a vendor?
Overall, good sales questions allow salespeople to customize their presentations and pitches (overall messaging) to the buyers’ needs and goals. Even better, they help you frame your product and service in the best light.
Cloudlead specializes in sales prospecting and B2B lead generation. We mine top of the funnel leads based on your ideal customer profile with sales triggers that help you close more deals than ever. Want to learn more? Book a demo with us today.
Marketing Strategist at Cloudlead, passionate about all things marketing, content and data. Firmly believes that targeted data lies at the heart of any successful marketing campaign.