Sales scripts are one of those things that prove that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. While these do an excellent job of making sure everyone sticks to the approved company message using the approved company language and helping ensure that no one ends up in a lawsuit—which these days is probably more likely than you think—they also have a distressing tendency to bind the telemarketing professional unnecessarily. Smart Selling Tools, in a post from VanillaSoft's Genie Parker, recently took a look at the sales script and when a good time was to ignore it.
Essentially, Parker noted, the sales script should be a part of the overall selling process as opposed to the entire process. Particularly true in telemarketing operations, the sales script should combine with regular practice and coaching to create a better sales rep.
The script can help users not “sound like a salesperson.” With ever-climbing quotas, sales reps are under intense pressure to sell by any means available, and that can scare off potential buyers. A script makes the rep sound more natural—I know, counterintuitive—but so too does the ability to deviate from the script in certain fashions. Using logical branch scripting allows the telemarketing rep to always have a ready response for any situation.
Scripts can also help provide the necessary openings to take advantage of extra information. A sales script should be linked to customer relationship management (CRM) tools to get the most out of the limited window of opportunity available.
Lastly, scripts go a long way in capturing new data as well. Whether used as part of speech analytics or just as a way to prompt asking the right questions, the sales script can be an excellent means of bringing in the kind of information that may tilt a prospect's chances of buying later.
The sales script does have value. That's why it's been used in selling operations, especially telemarketing, for years now. The only real problem comes when scripts aren't treated as valuable tools but rather as inflexible mandates. By forcing employees to stick to a script verbatim, it comes across as robotic and off-putting. Off-put sales targets don't buy things, and this is a point that every selling operation needs desperately to keep in mind.
Sales scripts are a great part of selling operations, but they're only just that: a part. By allowing, even requiring, sales reps to go beyond the script, sales reps can deliver a more natural, friendlier experience that's conducive to making sales. Better to break the script and make a sale than stick to the script and strike out.
Edited by Alicia Young