In B2B sales, exceptional verbal communication skills are absolutely imperative. Why? Because phone calls are what move deals forward. As we have all experienced, it can take numerous emails back and forth to qualify a lead, but it’s far easier and more impactful to qualify leads (and move deals forward) on the phone.
In my experience, the worst sales reps are the ones who immediately launch into a standard product pitch and talk a mile a minute. Conversely, the best reps I’ve spoken to are fantastic listeners. They ask highly targeted, open-ended sales discovery questions and get prospects to open up about budget, authority, timeline, needs, and much more.
To add fuel to your tank, here are 30 of the best sales questions you can ask to learn more about your prospects.
It’s paramount to establish whether or not a prospect can truly benefit from your solution. Likewise, it’s important to know exactly which pain points your solution can solve. Here are some questions to help establish a prospect’s needs and challenges.
Sales is all about building great relationships. In addition to asking qualification questions, it’s important to take a genuine interest in your prospects. Below are some questions to help build rapport. Look for any connections you can build. If they mention they’re going fishing over the weekend, and you are also into fishing, it can create a personal bond.
Part of sales discovery should include discerning who has buying power, as well as the prospective company’s buying process. In B2B deals its common for there to be multiple stakeholders. Therefore it’s crucial to discover who these stakeholders are and what factors may be important to them.
Budget questions will likely be more relevant when you follow up with inbound leads that are actively searching for a solution. If you’re prospecting, be prepared to talk to prospects with no budget set aside for your solution. It is then your task to convince the prospect that your solution is worth budgeting for. It’s amazing how budget can magically appear once prospects truly recognize your product’s value.
If you need help generating demand for your offering, here are some questions to help your prospects imagine the better life that awaits them after implementing your solution.
It’s to be expected that a fair amount of deals will be against competitors. It pays to find out a bit about their experience with competitors (whether the solution is currently in place or being simultaneously evaluated). Here are some questions to consider asking during competitive deals.
For a deal to close, you need to not only be selling the right solution at the right price, it has to be at the right time. Try to establish timeline with these questions:
Toward the end of a sales conversation (if a prospect seems like a good fit) it’s important to move the deal forward, here are some questions to ask about follow-up.
For an in-depth analysis of many of these questions, be sure to check out our free eBook Socratic Sales: The 21 Best Sales Questions for Mastering Lead Qualification and Accelerating Sales!
Kanwar Saluja leads operations at RingDNA. Kanwar has over 15 years of international leadership experience in mobile technology and finance, having served as a business consultant and GM of iBurst, Australia’s first wireless broadband network, where he built a channel-centered consumer and enterprise customer base from the ground up.