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Three reasons to ditch your sales script

Opt for natural, rapport-building conversations

Cathy Schmid
Cathy Schmid
EVP Sales and Client Services / Partner

Relationships. They’re at the heart of nearly all successful B2B and medtech sales. Whether you’re selling cloud software, medical devices, financial services or custom manufacturing equipment, the sales process typically requires several weeks of discussions.

These touchpoints help generate awareness, build credibility, establish trust and share information. Each connection enhances the relationship.

When you involve a call center in this process, it adds efficiency and scale. But, it also requires attention to make sure these outsourced inside sales professionals represent your company appropriately. After all, call center agents will be in direct contact with your current and potential customers on a daily basis.

The time and place for call center scripts

Many organizations rely on call center scripts to keep business development, customer service and lead generation calls on track. The rationale is that having a prepared sales pitch will deliver a consistent message and help callers feel more confident.

Scripts get a bad rap, but they can have a legitimate place in the call center. One instance is when callers need to convey certain information that is legally required, such as in highly regulated industries like financial services or insurance.

However, the majority of B2B and medtech conversations need a less restrictive approach.

Common challenges with scripts include:

1. A rigid approach.

Scripts lock callers into a prescribed talk track where every call must flow in identical fashion from beginning to end. But, these generic scripts cannot possibly address the unique needs of every prospect. Rigidly adhering to the script makes it impossible to adapt the conversation based on cues from the prospect.

2. Robotic delivery.

This is one of the biggest reasons businesses and consumers dislike “telemarketing.” A scripted dialogue can come across as pushy, one-sided and unnatural. While it may keep callers on track, customers and prospects rarely appreciate it. After all, most of us want a real conversation with a human being! Nobody wants to talk to a robot.

3. Audience frustration.

It’s already difficult to connect with busy healthcare and B2B decision-makers. Adding a script into the mix is unlikely to show respect to these important professionals. Once it becomes obvious that a caller is reading a script, it quickly fuels frustration with both the caller and the company. These negative brand experiences can translate into lost business opportunities.

Try these alternatives to call scripts

If you’re looking for better results and more organic conversations in your call center, it’s smart to keep scripts to a minimum. But, that doesn’t mean your callers should have leeway to conduct any conversation they choose.

At Volkart May, we prefer call guides, which provide the step-by-step approach for our outbound callers, while still keeping human personality in the conversation. Sales call guidelines allow each caller to use their own words to convey the point, while at the same time ensuring that the conversation stays on track and uses everyone’s time efficiently.

Training is another critical aspect. Tabletop strategy sessions, role-play training and ongoing monitoring of actual calls all help callers develop and improve their skills. No script or call guide will ever be as effective on its own as it is when paired with real-world practice.

Objection handling scenarios are a final alternative to scripts. These helpful tips let callers customize the conversation and overcome common questions and challenges, while still maintaining a natural and rapport-building dialogue.

Strengthen relationships in the sales process

Relationships develop when people make a genuine connection. A script reader often misses the mark when it comes to creating this vital rapport with a customer or prospect. With a trained and professional caller, however, that warmth and connection come through immediately. It immediately establishes a positive brand experience and a willingness to open up and share information.

Listening is a significant skill for callers to learn. Unlike script reading, which often takes a hard sell approach with a canned sales pitch, an effective B2B or medtech dialogue asks smart questions, then allows the prospect or customer space to share their perspective. This yields key insights that drive the sales process forward.

In the end, your medtech or B2B call center should function as an extension of your in-house team—not a fleet of automated and distant robots. These valuable representatives should embody your brand and have a clear set of tools to guide their engagement. When you ditch the script and allow this to happen, conversations develop that grow valuable business relationships.

At Volkart May, we believe there’s nothing more powerful than one to one human conversation. See why Tennant Company trusts us as “sales people” not script readers.

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