Throw Out the Scripts – Your Lead Qualification Reps Sound like Robots

Devon-McDonald by

When gearing up your outbound prospectors (or lead qualification reps, business development reps, cold callers – every company calls this role something different!) for a new target vertical that they will be calling into, they will need to have content to support their efforts — content that is very specific to the pains and goals of the buyer persona in that particular segment. Here at OpenView, we like to call this an “asset package.”


Some of the items that you might find in an asset package include: a target vertical overview, buyer persona guides, objection handling documentation, FAQs, glossary of common terms, email templates, and… a conversation guide.

Not a script. A conversation guide.

Many teams that I’ve work with in recent years have crafted some very intricate and detailed scripts for their outbound prospecting team.

In those situations, one of two things has occurred:

  1. The scripts are not used at all.
  2. Scripts are used and they make people sound like robots.

Conversation guides illustrate the main items that need to be addressed/asked/discussed, but allow the rep to fill in the gaps with their own style.

So what should be included the conversation guide?

  • A few high-impact, brief opening lines (5-8 seconds MAX!) as to who you are and why are you calling…
  • A list of keywords/phrases for the lead qualifier to steer the conversation in the right direction. “The reason for my call today…” I love this opener, and have seen it work really well. It’s honest, and to the point.
  • A list of common pains that this prospect likely has for the caller to reference showing that they understand the issues he/she is facing in their role
  • A series of questions that will help naturally dig into the the prospect’s pains a bit more if they are being evasive/not forthcoming
  • A list of business benefits (parlaying off each pain) that show the value of your business’ offering
  • Some examples of customers (and results if possible) that your business has worked with would be relate-able to this prospect
  • A variety of wrap up/transition statements that will help the conversation result in a next step (ie, call with a field rep)

Do you notice a trend with my list? For each item, it’s important to have options… The conversation could go in so many different directions, and the conversation guide should be a reference tool that helps any conversation stay on course, no matter what direction it takes.

The conversation guide should also not be longer than a page. To do this, use phrases and bulleted items, rather than long drawn out paragraphs. Again, this will force your rep to make the conversation his/her own, rather than yours (as per your script – you being the manager).

At the end of the day, the conversation guide will allow your reps to flow through the dialogue with a prospect in his/her own style, but address the points that you want him/her to make, and steer in them in the direction that you want the call to move in — a next step (scheduled call, demo, meeting) with a more senior member of your sales organization.