Ep 46 – Why is Framework better than Script for a cold call ? – Nicole Carpenter

Presentation of the episode

On the 46th episode of the Virtual Selling Podcast, our guest is Nicole Carpenter, Sales Coach and Trainer at Satellite.

She talks about the difference between using a framework and a script for the SDRs.

About Nicole Carpenter

To learn more about Nicole Carpenter click on the links below :

Transcript

With the pandemic that came upon us, the rise of video conferencing tools like Microsoft teams and zoom has led to more aspects of the sales conversation to occur virtually. And what began as a crisis reaction has evolved into the new normal, but how normal is the new normal? We’re talking about how the strong shift from in-person to virtual selling has transformed B2B sales experience, virtual sales enablement, new organization’s KPIs. Everything is evolving. In the virtual selling podcast we address these issues in depth twice a week with the experts and leaders of these transformations, heads of sales, sales ops, and sales enablements of the most innovative companies in the field. This podcast is sponsored by sales deck.io, the new SAS platform to make your customer meetings more engaging and better prepared.
Find out how you can shorten sales cycles, convert more leads and increase customer engagement. Virtual selling is here to stay. And so is SalesDeck.io.

Gabriel : Hi everybody. I’m very happy to be with Nicole Carpenter, who is lead trainer at Satellite. She step out into sales, so she graduated in economics at college, and she’s more like an introvert and more quiet person than an extrovert.

So she thought that sales was not done for her, but when she discovered sales and she discovered that sales is not just pushing a product, but really helping the buyer, she drawn, in and fall in love with sales. And since then she’s doing sales development and she also do sales enablement by training and coaching sales development representative.

And since one year you are full-time within Satellites. Is that’s correct ?

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Nicole : That is correct.

Gabriel : And can you tell us a little bit, Nicole, about Satellite ? What you do, at Satellite ?

Nicole : Yes, of course. So Satellite is a career accelerator program. And really we are focused on taking anyone from any background, different careers who wanna make a switch into tech sales to be able to train and coach them up over a couple of different weeks around those core SDR skills of cold calling, messaging prospecting, and research.

And then really helping them connect, so to some of those high growth startup companies who are looking for that top SDR talent. And so my role as lead trainer, I really work in regards to developing our content, our curriculum, and then the actual execution of training and coaching up our learners to make them successful as SDRs.

So I’m sure as you’ve seen some of the best SDRs come from a teaching background or a bartender, or have been in restaurant and hospitality and all those skills, we really help develop and bring them forward to show how they can relate to being a successful SDR.

Gabriel : And the idea is really to help them having the same story and the same love story of sales that you have.

Nicole : Exactly. We’re trying to build that excitement and again, some people come in thinking about sales as just a pushy sales person. And so we really help educate some of those from different backgrounds to understand sales is truly about helping people identifying a problem, helping with the solution.

And that’s really where we can help get them excited about sales and the unlimited potential that they could have once they start a career in sales, as well.

Gabriel : That’s for sure. And when I look at what Satellite is saying, it’s really that you are working with people coming from cities that are not tech related yet or something like that.
So it’s really, depending on virtual selling.

Nicole : It really is because, you know, in the past what we’ve seen, especially before COVID, if you didn’t live in the Silicon valley or even the New York, maybe Austin, Texas is getting there, but you know, you would have limited chances to really break into tech sales.

And so now the pandemic has really shifted it, we understand that sales professionals can be successful remote. I mean, honestly, sometimes it’s nice when you’re remote and you get hung up on 10 times in a row. You can go take a walk around the block with your dog. And so that’s really what we’re doing is here at satellite, showing that anyone no matter where they’re located can train and be successful in sales.

Gabriel : And we already had, within our guests, someone that was in Nebraska and made a brilliant carrier into sales coming from, she was from pastry at six $16 an hour to 300 K a year, by moving into sales and getting a job in the Silicon Valley from Nebraska during the pandemic. So it’s really great opportunities that virtual selling and this new environment is opening to everybody.

Nicole : Exactly. We couldn’t agree more.

Gabriel : We decided to discuss together about the difference between a framework and a script. SDR that you train don’t use a script, but really to have a framework in mind. Can you explain, more in detail, what you mean ?

Nicole : Exactly. So when we’re training up our learners, I would say within Satellite, a lot of them come in completely normal. They’re so nervous about cold calling. I don’t know about you, but even when I started my sales career, I was a little bit petrified to be honest.

And so, that’s where we really try to train our learners about not being so focused on a script, but focusing on a framework so we can lean into a conversation. A lot of times when people think about making cold calls, sometimes they think call center and they think, you know, having a fully built out script of, Hello, my name is this, you know, the goal of my conversation is this.

Do you mind if I ask you these as specific five questions and they’re going through and almost just checking their boxes. However, the problem with the script I would say is you’re missing one of the core, key components of what makes you successful in sales, which is active listening. And so that’s really where we try to shift the mindset of our learners to avoid scripts, but focus on frameworks.

And so for me, a framework is really those building box of an effective cold. So it’s making sure yes. We still have things that we need to check off because we can’t just jump into a question. When someone picks up, we of course still have to open the conversation, ask for permission and tell the reason for a call.

That’s not gonna change. However, I would say it’s that messy middle of a conversation that you still have the framework or the outline. So for example, maybe that prospect is not really opening up to you. You still have questions you can come back to, but it’s something more to lean on when the time gets tough in the conversation, and you’re really focusing on just listening in and letting the conversation, guide you to that end goal of scheduling the meeting.

And so that way it’s something for them, our learners really, to lean on. However, we’re focusing on that conversation piece and really asking the right questions to get to the pain that prospect is facing because with no pain, why should be they be taking the meeting from there.

Gabriel : Sure. And you just went out from a cold call framework.

So what you teach to your learner to do that and to be confident to get rid of the script.

Nicole : Yeah, we really helped prepare them with a framework, I would say, and it’s funny. I just, we went through cold calling literally last week with one of our recent cohorts. And I remember we were doing a cold call practice with one of our learners.

And after he got through the cold call, I was like, were you using a script ? You know, and he would turn a little bit red. He’s like, yes, I was. And I was like, I could hear it. You know, you were just asking those questions without actually listening to the responses, because if you listened to the responses, you could have dug in and actually found that pain.

And so with that, we really try to avoid, okay, let’s reduce what’s out there. And what we do is you can’t write out your sentences fully. You’re using bullet points. And so that way you can’t just be reading off a script, you have to say, okay, here’s the bullet point, here’s what I wanna accomplish, but how can I frame the right question at the right time for a prospect from there ?

Gabriel : Great. And it’s really about discovery and asking question and listening. And that’s not so easy to do and sales people even more senior one that are in sales since many years, are more confident into pitching people with their slide deck than into doing this kind of discovery and especially with the framework and improvising. How do you make some rookie not coming from sales to be confident with that and, and go into this direction ?

Nicole : I would say a lot of times, you know, some of the apprehension around using frameworks, especially for our learners who are top performers, they always wanna do well.

And sometimes they get a little nervous. They’re like, what do you mean? I almost have to go in and just listen. You know, I can’t have every single question prepared and that’s the type of people they are. They like to think through those next steps, which is great. But there’s some techniques I would say that you can use to still feel confident in that conversation.

And so a lot of things, what I train our learners around is even just the simple, active listening skills like Chris Voss mentions about mirroring. I mean, it can be as simple as, you know, they respond, you take a bit of their response, add a question to it and allow them to continue opening up further.

And so I think it’s also reframing that mindset that you don’t have a perfect question. Every single time, perfectly prepared, but instead just using some of those common, active listening techniques to drive it further. And again, if you get completely stuck, that’s why we have that framework. So you can go back to the next question. Maybe if you’re like, oof, I don’t know where to go from here. Great. You already have some of those big bullet points on the pain that you think that prospect is facing, that you can turn into a question from there.

Gabriel : And so, yeah. That’s right. How do you turn those pain into questions ? Why not using a script at this moment when you don’t know what to ask ?

Nicole : Yeah. And that’s where really, we start broad, I would say, because to your point, we can’t assume more prospects have this specific pain. We can do the research. We can understand our buyer personas. We can understand the industry, but we never wanna assume that we know exactly what’s going on with them. And so that’s where we typically train around, opening up around their current situation.

And then that’s where you’re using that active lift, listening to dig in deeper. There are still techniques, I would say you could be using to say, Hey, when speaking with other HR leaders like yourself, we’ve been hearing this. How have you been managing this today or when speaking with other growing startup companies, like there’s ways to still bring in the pain, but then allow your prospect to respond on.

Is it relevant to them ? Is this something that they can relate to or not ? Because if we go down too specific in a pain track, I’ve seen this plenty of times of where they’re saying, Hey, what challenges are you facing with, you know, X, Y, Z. The prospect could then be like, no challenges. And then you’re stuck on the call being like, okay, where do I go from here ?

Like, shut me down. You know, then you have to almost dig yourself out of that hole a little bit. And so that’s really where we wanna focus broad, listen to our prospect and dig in from there, with that active listening.

Gabriel : Sure. And this framework, you say that is a good technique, is to rephrase ? What are the other good techniques ?

Is it more like How question ? Like Why questions ? What type of question you should ask ?

Nicole : Yeah, so it’s of course those open ended questions, I would say to get the prospect going, but we also like to bring in questions, how Josh Brown phrases it, disruptive questions too. And so we really, again, are focusing on our learners to be most a consultant.

So fully understanding the industry and the space and leading with those disruptive questions to say, Hey, we understand what other people are dealing with. We probably know what you are dealing with, and here’s something that should be keeping you up at night. And so it’s really getting them thinking, okay, maybe we’re doing things today this way, but is it the right way ?

What are potentially gonna be the consequences if we don’t make a change from there ? And so that’s really what we focus on too, because so many times I would say Sales Reps can just be like, okay, how are you doing. Is it going well ? Is it not going well ? And again, as a prospect, you’re like, why are you asking me these questions?

Like, why should I be taking the time to speak with you today ? Whereas if someone comes in and asks you disruptive question, you know, when was the last time you did a tax audit that makes you pause, that makes you think. And if you get the prospect thinking and then responding from there, you’re having a much more productive conversation and starting to really build that trust and relationship with your prospect.

Gabriel : But th this question about the tax audit, which is a great question and more specific, why you don’t want them to be scripted or to be prepared in advance ?

Nicole : Because again, if we hadn’t gotten down that path, I would say to a tax audit and you’re just throwing it out there. Why is it relevant? And so that’s where if it’s scripted.

So maybe I said, you know, if I had a script, it’s like, okay, what is your payroll process ? When’s the last time you did a tax audit ? If I miss something in the very beginning around their payroll process, maybe it was super manual today. Maybe they didn’t even have something in place, you know, you’re then just missing those pieces.

That could be the actual pain. Because maybe it’s not the tax audit. Maybe they’re perfectly fine in payroll compliance. And I know I’m going down very specific, I would say on a pretend product, but that’s where we’d be missing the mark then. And I’m sure sometimes you’ve been pitched to, or others have been pitched to where they’re recapping the conversation and they’re saying, okay, here’s your pains.

And you’re like, you’re way off. Like, that’s not what I’m dealing with today. And that’s what could happen if you’re using a script, you know, you only have that set bucket of questions, but a pain and prospect may be feeling. May not be directly on those questions from there. And then you’re just missing out on a potential great conversation because you’re too focused on leading the conversation where you want it to go.

As a Sales Reps, we have to remember we always have to be thinking what’s in it for the prospect to stay on the phone with us. So take that next meeting. There has to be value for them.

Gabriel : So the idea is really more to prepare, I don’t know, a hundreds of questions, and just to write, pick, uh, five or tens of them ?

Nicole : I wouldn’t even say it’s hundreds of questions.

I would say you almost have big buckets. So it’s like, okay, we know the potential pain points that my product can solve are X, Y, and Z. And then it’s almost like, okay. And then you really use some of those How, What, When question, and focus them in the pain point. So it’s just the framework, almost of the question too.

It’s like, you know, the different types of questions, the How, What, When, Why, with that pain point, and then you kind of in that question for your prospect to allow them to open up from there. And so you have that framework and you can just really interchange those questions to go deeper and deeper with your prospect in a conversion.

Gabriel : Great. Do you want to add something about this framework, and the different between framework and scripts ?

Nicole : I would say, you know, the last thing I would say about this frameworks really help lend to a conversation where scripts, the whole purpose of using a script is setting up your goal versus the goal of the prospect from there.

And so it can be easier sometimes to lean on a script, cuz you have everything written out. You have those next steps. It’s scarier sometimes to lean into a framework where it’s like, Ooh, I have something to fall back on, but it’s still a little bit of the unknown. But when we lean into the unknown, that’s where we achieve greatness and have some of those true conversations where sometimes you’ll get off a call with the prospect and be like, did. I just make a best friend, because you leaned into listening and really got to understand their pain versus making the conversation all about you.

Gabriel : Great. That’s a good team. Thanks a lot Nicole. Could you share with the audience, your contact and the way to contact you or how to contact Satellite ?

Nicole : Yes, of course. I would say I’m very accessible on LinkedIn.

So if anyone wants to reach out on LinkedIn, Nicole Carpenter, my title on there Sales Coach and Trainer, so would be more than happy to share that out after. And then satellite as well. If you are looking to break into tech sales, please go to join Satellite.io. Be more than happy to fill out an application or reach out to me directly for more information around Satellite.

Gabriel : Great. Thanks a lot, Nicole. And last question. What did you think of Salesdeck that you tried just before ?

Nicole : Yeah, you know, I think I’ve worked with Sales Reps so many times in the past. And a lot of times, I think when you were describing Sales Tech, to me, it really related because Sales Reps don’t wanna have one thing that they have to always present to their prospects. They still like the flexibility, the decision to kind of own their conversation with the prospect. So it really stood out to me with Salesdeck, cause you’re still giving outlines to your sales reps. So they’re not going crazy and pulling slide decks or notes from 10 years ago, that’s not relevant, but you’re still giving them the autonomy to really customize that conversation and that presentation, but still feeling confident that they’re delivering the right content.

And so I think that really resonated with me is you’re giving them some, but within those guidelines as well, to make each conversation successful, which is so important in a remote environment.

Gabriel : Thanks a lot Nicole. This episode of the virtual selling podcast is over. Thanks for sticking around. Join us twice a week for a new episode, with new stories and challenge of giants in the field. If you enjoy today’s episode, we are always listening for your feedback. Share the show and subscribe on your favorite podcast platform so you don’t miss any episode.

This episode was brought to you by Salesdeck.io, the virtual saying platform that increase your sales team efficiency and sales readiness, enable remote management and bumps sales operational excellence. Book your Salesdeck.io demo today to discover how you can close more deal with engaging and better prepped customer meetings.

Thanks a lot Nicole, it was a pleasure.

Nicole : Thank you so much.

 

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