There is a big difference between being “talked to” and having a conversation. To engage someone in conversation is to stimulate their interest and willingness to continue the conversation. Isn’t that the best way to communicate?
Think about how your B2B inside sales agents engage with your prospects – do they use a script? How rigid is that script? Is strict adherence required? Do your agents have the leeway to engage in business conversations?
Consider adopting the practice of using a call guide instead of a script. A call guide outlines a typical conversation flow and gives the inside sales agent a positioning statement and conversation starters but allows flexibility to respond appropriately to the prospect. After all, no one gave the prospect a copy of their half of the script!
A call guide can still give directional advice to the sales agent, pointing the conversation in different directions based on prospect responses. It is usually accompanied by a Questions and Answers (FAQ) document and an Objections and Rebuttals document. Both documents have scripted answers/ rebuttals, but they serve as guidelines for the sales agent to respond, rather than scripted verbiage which must be used.
It is important that the agent start with appropriate experience and training if a call guide is used in place of a script. After all, we are trying to start a conversation and they need to be able to handle their side of the conversation with the prospect. Ongoing monitoring and coaching will ensure the inside sales agent is on track, holding the right types of business conversations, and leading the prospect appropriately to setting the appointment or closing the sale.