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The 4 Types of Questioning Strategies in B2B Inside Sales


8363723 sWhy ask questions? No two buyers are the same.  What’s more, it’s dangerous to make assumptions. Asking questions can give you the clearest picture of your buyers’ needs and requirements and should influence the way you sell to them.

Picture this: You’re in the market for a new flat screen TV. The salesperson is promoting a great 50” set that is 40% off. However, budget isn’t an issue for you. You want a 70’’ HDTV. Consequently, you leave without buying because the salesperson hasn’t managed to identify your particular need. In other words, he hasn’t asked the right questions.

Which questions should you ask?

Among the many questions that you could ask your potential buyer, there are several key questions that stand head and shoulders above all others.

Question Types

  • Discovery Questions
  • Leading Questions
  • Involvement Questions
  • Closing Questions

We'll give you a few examples of each the way we might use them here at SalesStaff in speaking to prospects about our Pay-for-Performance Appointment Setting and Lead Generation campaigns.

Discovery Questions

Help you find out about prospect & their needs. These get them talking and often you will learn exactly how to sell them. IF YOU LISTEN!

You may only have a few minutes with your potential clients so you won’t be able to mention all of the Discovery Questions you'd like. You need to identify what is most important to your customers in order to demonstrate that your product or service meets their needs.

SalesStaff Examples

  • How are you currently generating leads or sales appointments for your sales team now?
  • What’s worked best for you in generating leads?
  • Have you outsourced outbound call lead generation before?
  • If yes, how were the results? Why do you think it fell short of expectations?

As you can see, these questions are intended to find out more about clients' needs. Be a hound for more information and use these types of questions frequently and throughout the course of the conversation.

Leading Questions

Help you steer the conversation

Understanding why prospects require your services will give you valuable insight into their motivations and the value they see in your offering. Your services may solve a major problem for your prospects, but always ask Leading Questions so you hear their motivations firsthand.

SalesStaff Examples

  • What are you looking to accomplish with your lead generation over the next six months?
  • How many prospect meetings should your sales reps average each month to sustain a healthy pipeline?
  • How much additional revenue are you looking to add from this initiative?

Fashion these to work for your business and write down a few Leading Questions for use in your own sales process. Post them at your desk for easy reference.

Involvement Questions

Where your prospects stands on “owning” your services

It's essential to paint a picture for the prospect which will get them imagining that they are the proud purchaser of your solution. So you ask questions which imply ownership - which get the prospect thinking about the benefits and advantages of owning a solution like yours. In addition, Involvement Questions are handy for figuring out the status of a deal and where they might be in the buying process.

SalesStaff Examples

  • Based on the fact you have 6 sales reps, I suggest 60 actionable opportunity sales meetings over 90 days. Would you agree that volume is a good fit based on your current needs?
  • After I deliver the proposal and you share it internally and everyone likes it, what is your timeline for getting underway?
  • In addition to yourself who else would be involved in the decision making process?

What have we done here? We've gotten the prospect to imagine adding 60 sales appointments to their funnel and we've uncovered the texture of the deal - timeline and influencers/decision-makers.

Closing Questions

Calls for a decision on the purchase

There are so many closing questions. Sales gurus have written entire books about the different types of closing questions. So, we'll wait on this one and dedicate an entire blog article to this very topic. Stay tuned!



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