19 Questions You Can Ask at Different Stages of the Sales Cycle


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19 Questions to Ask at Different Stages of the Sales Cycle

What are the stages of the sales cycle?

The stage cycle is the repeatable, tactical process of making a sale. It includes everything from initial contact all the way through to closing deals and converting leads into customers. At Sandler UK, we follow a seven-stage sales cycle that starts with establishing bonding and rapport and ends with the confirmation and post-sell stage.

Questions for different stages of the sales cycle

Progressing through the sales cycle can be a time-consuming process that is hard to get right. To help make this as efficient and effective as possible, we have created this guide with useful questions for each stage. For the full details of questions to ask at every stage, download the complete guide for free. 

Establishing bonding and rapport 

Instead of repeating the same tired sales pitch and listing the benefits your business can bring prospects, it’s advantageous to start by building a rapport. One effective way to create this rapport is by asking a few relevant and thoughtful questions early on that are not directly related to selling. Here are some examples:

‘I understand that when you took over this division your first initiative was to… How quickly were you able to accomplish that?’ 

‘How has the migration of similar companies into the region changed how you do business?’

‘There have been a lot of changes to the industry in the last ten years, what’s been the biggest shift from your perspective?’

Setting an up-front contract

At Sandler UK we believe in establishing roles and ground rules early on so that we can eliminate nasty surprises at later stages in the process. Here are some examples of questions to help you achieve this: 

‘’Thanks for agreeing to talk today. Since we last spoke has anything changed on your end?’ 

‘So do we still have forty-five minutes together today to try and understand whether or not we might be a good fit?’ 

‘Will you be comfortable with me asking you lots of questions about [enter two or three major topics]? You can ask me anything, too, of course; is that fair?’

Identifying the prospect’s pain

These are the all-important questions that get the conversation started and allow you to see how you can help. Here are two examples: 

‘Would it make sense to start by telling me the single thing that gives you the most concern about… right now?’

‘How were you hoping I might be able to help?’

‘When we spoke, you mentioned that… is an issue for you. How long have you been thinking about/dealing with that?’

Sandler UK sales training

Looking for more advice and resources to help improve your sales? The Sandler UK team has got you covered. We run in-person training sessions for all types of sales professionals and have a huge range of guides and resources to help boost sales. To learn more we suggest you join us at a training centre near you. If you have more questions please drop us a line and we will be happy to speak with you. 

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