Sales script guide: Examples, benefits, and how to write one
A good sales script can be the difference between lead buy-in or brush-off. Learn from these examples to create a script that helps you stand out.
Published December 22, 2021
Last updated March 12, 2022
We’ve all been the victim of a bad sales script. Whether in a cold call or a company follow-up, it’s painful to sit there while an uninformed sales rep fumbles their way through information you don’t need until you hang up out of mercy.
Sales scripts have a bad reputation. But the fact is, a strong sales script can be a game-changer for your company and your sales team. In this piece, we’ll cover everything you need to know about building sales scripts: what a sales script is, how to write one that works, and how to apply scripts to situations outside of cold calling.
Why use a sales script?
Any sales rep knows that consumers aren’t carbon copies of one another. Different people require different sales tactics; sales reps must cultivate the ability to shift gears at a moment’s notice. In every interaction, however, reps must consistently and accurately convey company and product information. A good sales script eases that process.
By giving sales reps a foundation of knowledge to work from, an effective sales script can:
- Decrease sales rep stress
- Boost sales efficiency
- Increase rapport between the sales rep and the lead
- Improve the overall consistency of company messaging
- Drive lead generation
Of course, a bad sales script can hurt your company more than not having a sales script at all. Before you start handing out your script to your sales reps, you’ll need to know how to write one that works.
How to write a good sales script
Sales scripts must be informed, concise, and tailored to a specific audience. Below are our seven steps to creating a great sales script.
Choose a single focus
You can’t sell a consumer on every product or service at the same time. Sales scripts need to be specific. Chances are that if this is your first interaction, you probably aren’t even looking to make a sale. A sales script should establish the objective right away—this will inform how your sales reps proceed with the interaction.
Pick one product or service, and determine what you want the prospective customer to do to reach the next step in the sales pipeline. Persuading them to sign up for a free trial or schedule an initial meeting is just as much of a victory as a final transaction.
Know your target audience
Demographics aside, you wouldn’t talk to someone who’s at the beginning of the pipeline the same way you would to someone who’s close to making a purchase. If a sales rep starts introducing the product to a buyer who’s already had an initial meeting, that person is lost because they assume the company didn’t bother to remember them.
Even if a prospect is being passed between multiple sales reps throughout their journey, you need to know how past interactions have gone and what information that prospect received. To easily keep track of all the prospective customers in your pipeline, use a robust CRM like Zendesk Sell.
The first piece of information every sales rep should give is their name and the company they work for. This gives the lead a point of contact and an immediate understanding of who they’re talking to. You want their questions to be about your products or services, not about your sales reps.
If a prospect is further down the pipeline, you can include a follow-up. For example:
“Hello, my name is Stephen and I’m following up regarding your interest in Worldwide Marketing.”
This script opening also acknowledges that it isn’t the first interaction with the prospect.
This is where lead qualification is essential. Your sales reps can’t build relationships with buyers they know nothing about. By putting in the time to research leads, your reps can immediately zero in on problem-solving.
“Hello, this is Stephen with Worldwide Marketing. I’m looking for Mr. Michael Smith.”
“This is he.”
“Hi, Michael. Wonderful to speak to you. I absolutely loved [The name of company’s latest product]."
“I’ve recommended it to friends and family. I was surprised they hadn’t heard of it, but I suppose I haven’t seen a lot of ads.”
“Our marketing budget is tight.”
“I’ll bet. A product that great shouldn’t be forgotten, though. Have you looked into Worldwide Marketing’s scalable advertising plan?”
This is a personal conversation that hones in on a real problem for the prospect that can be solved by the seller. This is why nine in 10 companies use two or more lead enrichment tools to learn about their prospective customers.
Your prospect is the most important part of the sales conversation. It’s easy to write a script that focuses on the technical details of your product, and it makes sense why you might want to: Your company has worked hard on it! But you’re not selling a product—you’re selling a solution.
A recent analysis found that successful salespeople only talk for 54 percent of an initial call. Maintain that ideal ratio by asking your prospective buyer pertinent questions.
If we look back at Michael, we see that his product is struggling because of a tight marketing budget and minimal marketing. A good question for him might be, “Do you feel you’ve lost opportunities in the past because of a lack of marketing?”
The question addresses the pain point of lost revenue while also hinting that this could be a recurring issue. You are the solution. A marketing investment can solve the problem not only for the current product but for all future products.
Use a positioning statement
A positioning statement shows that the sales rep understands the prospective buyer’s challenges and has experience in solving those problems for similar clients.
Depending on your sales style, this is also an ideal place to mention one of your prospect’s known competitors. If your prospect knows you’re working with the competition, they might see that as an opportunity to get ahead on what other companies are doing.
Close with a call to action
No matter how you believe the interaction is going, never forget your call to action (CTA). Refer back to your objective—if you want the prospect to schedule an appointment, now’s the time to ask them to do so.
Remember, your prospect is unlikely to take the initiative to move forward on their own unless they’re near the end of the pipeline. It’s not that they’re uninterested—they’re just busy. Suggesting a clear next step is the best way to grab their attention and take control of the process.
Sales script examples
Now that we know how to create a strong sales script, let’s explore a few examples.
Sales pitch script
Your sales pitch script can serve your sales reps in any interaction, no matter where the prospect is in the pipeline. Whether you want to focus on key points or write out a script word-for-word, here’s what your sales pitch script should include:
Your reps aren’t necessarily going to use every single point on this chart in every interaction. But having this information lets them focus on the important aspects of the sales pitch for each individual lead.
Sales role-play scripts
Prospective customers will never hear your sales role-play scripts. Instead, these scripts are for training your reps on a variety of possible sales scenarios.
There are eight types of role-play scripts:
- Elevator pitch
- Remote selling
- Product demo
- Objection handling
- Customer storytelling
You can decide what’s most relevant, but you definitely want to cover objections.
Here’s a list of common sales objections you can use to train your reps:
- It’s too expensive.
- I don’t want to get stuck in a contract.
- I’m happy with your competitor.
- I’m not authorized to sign off on this.
- I don’t see what your product could do for me.
- We’re happy with our current setup.
- I’m not interested.
- I’m busy right now.
- How did you get my information?
Sales reps won’t necessarily be able to overcome every objection, but practicing answers and solutions will prepare them to hold their ground in sales conversations.
Sales introduction script
Sales introduction is sometimes used interchangeably with sales pitch, but there are differences between the two. A sales pitch contains critical information to let a buyer know about a product and how it can solve a problem. A sales introduction is usually more personal and relationship-centric.
Here’s a sales introduction prospecting email from content marketing consultant Ryan Robinson.
You’ll notice that information about his product doesn’t appear until the third paragraph. Only then does he open the door and invite the prospect to chat and hear the full pitch.
Sales call script examples
When you think of sales calls, cold calling likely comes to mind, but that’s not always the case. There are different types of sales calls—such as discovery calls and follow-up calls—and each has its place in the sales cycle. No script is going to cover every aspect of a sales call conversation, but let’s take a look at some important points for inbound and outbound sales calls.
Inbound sales call script example
Inbound calls are often the most underutilized aspect of sales. When a prospective buyer or customer calls, the standard response is, “How can I help you?” That’s fine, but what happens after that question is crucial to sales success.
The consumer did you the incredible service of reaching out to you. Find out why. If they don’t offer a reason right away, feel free to ask them: “What prompted you to call us today?” or “Can I answer any questions about our products?” These are great leading questions that can yield specific answers.
If the person isn’t in your database yet, grab their information. You don’t have to be a gatekeeper, but simply say, “I’d be happy to answer that question for you, but can I get your name first?” Another good way to obtain contact information is to ask the potential customer how to reach them. For example, “If we get disconnected, what’s the best way to reach you?”
The key with inbound sales calls is to not let them go to waste. Get all the information you can from the caller so you can build a list of qualified leads.
Outbound sales call script example
Outbound sales calls happen throughout the pipeline, so follow our tips for writing sales scripts to develop different scripts for different outbound scenarios. Here are the outbound sales scripts you’ll want to have:
- Cold call
- Final offer
The scripts need to acknowledge where the prospective buyer is in the pipeline and why you’re contacting them. For example, a referral script might read as follows:
Hi Michael, this is Stephen with Worldwide Marketing. We haven’t had a chance to meet, but Tony at [Company name] suggested I reach out. We’ve worked with Tony and his company before, and he mentioned you might be interested in working with a new marketing team to increase your sales.
I’d love to schedule a quick meeting with you. I’m free from 3 pm to 5 pm every day next week. Let me know what time works best for you.
This script lets Michael know how Stephen got his contact information, introduces the service, and includes a CTA. It’s short, effective, and to the point.
Develop strong sales scripts with a powerful CRM
You can’t create effective sales scripts without tracking your leads and your pipeline first. Investing in a modern sales CRM like Zendesk Sell enables you to keep tabs on your conversations, improve your pipeline visibility, and view customer interaction history. With our solution, you can also compile call lists, log and record every call, store call scripts and notes, and monitor emails.
Request a demo of Zendesk Sell today so you can move forward with qualified leads and informed sales reps.