At a very young age, I started to realize that if I asked for something in just the right way, I would have a better chance of getting that thing. For example, ask Dad nicely for a way to earn some money to go to an event with, and I had a much better shot of actually getting the money than if I were to straight out ask for the money with no chores attached. The same thing tends to happen in every aspect of life, and just about any salesperson has likely had a similar experience.
If you know the right way to say something, you are much more likely to have the outcome favor you. As an adult working in the field of sales, nothing can be closer to the truth. Salespeople need to know how to set up a call, walk through the objectives of the call, respond to objections, and close the deal, all while trying to position the idea movement as the “customers idea”. SO, how is this accomplished? Well, there are a number of strategies that are used to accomplish this outcome, but the most standard is using talk tracks.
What are talk tracks or frameworks?
Talk tracks and frameworks are not scripts. Modern call coaching technology uses frameworks or talk tracks to get salespeople saying the right things, in the right order, at the right time. They are not exactly what to say. But, they do resemble bullet points.
When I was at one of my first sales jobs, we had a talk track that involved overcoming our competitors trying to mess up our deal. It started with something like “If you ask them, they will probably say”, then “we are X, Y, and Z (all weaknesses)” and “that is true” but we think those are advantages because of “A, B, C”. In laying out our talk track this way, it allowed for flexibility and personalization without having to actually script out the answer and feel awkward in the conversation. We also found out that using the talk track actually worked the majority of the time; we were increasing results.
Setting an Agenda
An agenda is arguably the most important talk track that everyone can nail. It’s a way to set the tone for the conversation and make sure that your strategic objectives are met. Many companies will use something similar to the Sandler training methodology to create an upfront contract and talk through strategic objectives. The talk track doesn’t have to be word for word but might include bullet points like:
- I want to make sure we use our time wisely
- Let’s set an agenda
- What prompted your interest?
- If it makes sense, we can do a quick demo if not we can part friends and save each other some time
It’s really a simple way to get everyone on the same page. What are your team’s mandatory bullet points?
Overcoming objections is one of my favorite things to see teams attack together. There are many ways to increase capability here, and any salesperson can tell you there is a good, better, and best way to handle objections (not to mention bad ways).
One of my favorite ways to standardize overcoming objections is to analyze about 50 calls and any common objections that came across. Then, get the team together and figure out how everyone responds. Start by using the best response and then study the next 50 calls. At the end of 100 calls, you will have a very high success rate of overcoming the most common objections. Using call coaching technology to automate and monitor the talk tracks for overcoming objections is a must for any rockstar sales team.
Oh, the close. There are approximately 1 million ways to close, and they are not all right or wrong. It’s up to you, when the time is right, to deploy the right talk track while closing. However, your team might be able to set up the close in a more methodical way.
One example that is used frequently by sales teams includes closing the conversation using Skip Miller’s “Summarize, Bridge, Pull” – call coaching technology can help automate the reminder and talk track for teams that need a little help on the close. For example, using modern sales coaching technology, the bullet might say “-We talked about” followed by a “-Do you agree” and then “-Perfect, so our next steps”. It’s not telling the salesperson exactly what to say, but it is giving good guidance to the call. And the plus? Your team can be held accountable to the talk track.