The Best Consultative Sales Questions to Grow Accounts
Top solution sellers who know how to ask effective sales questions consistently outperform their peers. They understand that the right sales questions at the right time shift the focus from what they have to offer (our stuff) to the most pressing problems, concerns, and goals of the buyer (their stuff). With the clear goal of helping their customers to succeed, they ask thoughtful and value-added consultative questions to grow accounts.
Seller Mistake #1 – Not Being Prepared Matters to Buyers at Every Level
All too many business sales training and sales management training programs for sales leaders focus on the kinds of questions that simply uncover facts that should have been discovered in basic pre-call sales planning. Never go unprepared into a sales meeting with a prospect. Not only will you waste their time, but you will also leave the impression that you didn’t care enough to do your homework.
Do the research to learn all you can about your potential buyer and their situation using the internet, published financial reports, contacts both inside and outside the company, and your own sales and service team members with similar strategic sales accounts. Then you can thoughtfully begin the important work of asking the best consultative questions to grow accounts in a way that makes sense.
Seller Mistake #2 – Relying Too Much on Sales Scripts and Asking Every Question
Selling in general and asking consultative sales questions to grow accounts is both an art and a science. A good list of proven questions can help you better qualify your prospect, understand your buyer’s pain points, and advance the deal. But you can’t just tick off sales questions one after another or the buyer will feel as if you are interrogating them.
The best sales professionals know how to ask the right sales question at the right time in the right way, listen well, follow up with a check for understanding, and then gently probe for impact. Top sellers carefully guide the buyer to quantify how serious the problem is, define the urgency around solving it, and co-create a reasonable approach to meet their needs. Insightful, revealing, and trust-building conversations rarely go in the same way for each buyer.
At a minimum, your sellers should be able to ask effective sales questions at the early stages of the qualification process that uncover the buyer’s:
- Pain or gain
- Decision making process
- Budget and timing
It is your sales team’s job to help the buyer envision what it will look like once the problem has been solved, the benefits of solving the problem, and how you can help them get there better than the competition.
The Bottom Line
Powerful sales questions provide insights, uncover value, and build trust. All three ingredients are essential to growing current accounts. Does your sales team know what to ask and when to drive growth?
To learn more about the specific consultative sales questions to grow accounts, download 30 Effective Sales Questions that Matter Most