What Is Assignment Selling, And How Does a Quiz Fit In?

A potential customer sends an enquiry, and you or your sales team book a call with them. But then…

You quickly realise they haven’t even looked at your website. And they’re asking the same questions you hear every day. And as soon as you mention your prices – POOF! They ghost you.

Does this happen a lot? Assignment selling might be the right next step for you: it’ll save you plenty of time, energy, and money.

Let’s look at what it is and how you can implement it – and how a quiz makes it easy peasy.

What is assignment selling?

Assignment selling is a sales technique: you give your prospects a ‘task’ or some content to engage with before getting on a sales call or meeting.

It was invented by Marcus Sheridan – keynote speaker and marketing expert – in 2008. He realised he was spending WAY too much time on sales calls that just didn’t convert.

So, he introduced these ‘assignments’ to make sure he was ONLY talking to prospects who were actually committed… and we think you should do the same. 

But don’t worry: by ‘tasks’ and ‘assignments,’ I don’t mean complicated and time-consuming stuff that would scare all your prospects away. 

It’s mainly about asking them to look at specific pieces of sales enablement content to check that you’re on the same page. 

This can be blog posts, whitepapers, case studies, videos, webinars, demos and interactive content like quizzes. 

So, how exactly is this helpful?

7 benefits of an assignment selling strategy

If you’re used to jumping on calls with everyone, you’re probably still telling yourself: “I CAN’T ask my prospects to do this! I should just speak to all of them and take it from there.”

But here’s how assignment selling will benefit you and your business.

1. More educated prospects

With most sales calls, you’re starting from scratch. After all, many customers book them with a bunch of businesses without even looking at their website (or not properly).

Instead, imagine if you could talk to someone who ALREADY knows:

  • What you specialise in and what type of services or products you offer
  • Your rates or pricing starting points
  • That you’ve helped other people in their same situation
  • That there’s a simple answer to their questions and concerns

Much easier, right?

2. Increase your sales efficiency

These prospects have already looked at your content. So, you won’t have to waste most of the call going through the same questions!

Plus, the right content can also prime them for that sale.

For example, your assignment selling strategy could involve blog posts that tackle the most common objections among your audience (e.g. “Myth: SEO and blogging are a long-term strategy”).

3. Position yourself as an expert

I bet most of your competitors send a call confirmation and… leave it at that.

Instead, you’ll stand out right from the beginning and show your prospects that you have a strong system.

You’re not desperate or willing to work with anyone: you’re a PREMIUM choice, thank you very much.

4. Pre-qualify your leads

News flash: if someone isn’t willing to look at a couple of pieces of content, they’re unlikely to buy from you. In fact, they’re probably scouting for the cheapest quote.

So, by putting those people off, assignment selling will save you a tonne of time. 

Time that you can use to focus on better prospects (= those who completed that simple task and are now clear on what you do and how you can help them).

5. Efficient

Because of ALL these reasons, you will:

  • Save time – No more calls with bad-fit prospects, and you’ll also have a faster sales process (high five!)
  • Save money – If it’s you running these calls, how much time are you wasting instead of using it to work on your business? And if your sales team spends 10 hours a week talking to prospects who DON’T become clients, how much is it costing you?
  • Increase your closing rate – You might run fewer calls but they’ll be much more effective. So, you’ll close more sales
  • Make more money – It’s oh-so-much easier to sell to someone who’s looked at your content, is more committed and understands what you do

6. Less drama later down the line

With assignment selling, your prospects are crystal clear on what they’re buying. 

After all, they’ve looked at your content and website before even getting on that call!

So, they’re unlikely to be disappointed or ask for refunds later on.

7. Benefits for the buyer, too

Still worried you’ll be putting off all your leads?

  1. That’s not the case
  2. You do want to put off the WRONG-fit prospects

So, with assignment selling, you’re helping leads pre-qualify or disqualify themselves. 

If they look at your packages and realise it’s not what they’re after? Or if they see your prices but haven’t got the budget? 

They will cancel the sales call. So, you’re effectively helping them save their own time, too.

And it might sound scary, but think about it: these people were NOT going to buy from you. So, would you rather find out straightaway or after wasting hours talking to them?

If you’re thinking “Ok, now I get it,” keep reading. It’s time to create your assignment selling strategy.

How assignment selling works: 3 steps

Now you know what assignment selling is and how it’ll benefit you. But how does it work in practice

1. Preparation 

You must first understand exactly what content you should send or create. 

You need content that gives a good overview of what you can (and can’t) do for your customers but also that answers their most pressing questions and concerns. 

That’s why, if you’re not the one doing these calls, you’ll want to liaise with the sales team: you must find out what these questions are!

Overall, your sales enablement content can be about:

  • Your audience’s pain points – Agitate them, create a sense of urgency and remind them of why they need to solve them ASAP
  • Goals – Make them crave that final outcome
  • Decision-making – Your content can help your audience understand what would be the right product or service for them
  • Common objections – These are the questions and concerns that come up during most sales calls (and the reasons why some prospects didn’t buy from you in the past). So, answer and debunk them
  • Your company’s process, prices and reviews – That way, you can make sure you’re on the same page (especially when it comes to budget). You’ll also impress them by showcasing the results you’ve already achieved for other customers

2. Assignment

Done your research? Now, it’s time to:

  • Put together and publish your sales enablement content 
  • Create a spreadsheet or resource for the sales team (so they can always access it and refer to it, too)

And a bonus tip? Make your sales enablement content public.

Sure, the main aim is to send it to your prospects before a call. But if you share it and optimise it for SEO, more people will find it in the first place (hello, new leads!).

Anyway, once your content is ready, come up with a system to send it to your prospects before a sales call (psst: a quiz makes this a breeze! More on that soon).

Here’s an assignment selling template you can try:

“Hi [name]

Your call on [date] is confirmed. 

I want to make sure we’re on the same page and that you’re clear on what to expect. So, I’ve attached [type of content] so that you can read it before our call.

That way, we can get the very most out of our time together.

Can you please confirm if you can look at this before [date]?”

3. Follow-up

With that initial ‘assignment,’ you’ll start on the right foot. Your prospect will already be aware of your process and prices (and anything you want them to know) before that call.

But in some cases, you might also want to reference that material when you speak to them.

For example, if you’ve asked them to take a quiz, you could kickstart the sales call by talking about their results.

So, you’ll have a more direct and in-depth conversation based on their situation and where they’re at right now. A game-changer!

How quiz software makes assignment selling easier and even more effective

Assignment selling might sound like a lot of work, but it’s actually the opposite. 

Once you have that content in place, you can always refer back to it and automate the process. How?

With a quiz!

We created ScoreApp to make quiz funnel marketing easy for everyone. You’ll get to rely on your quiz to generate new leads to begin with, ask your prospects to complete it before a sales call… or both!

So, why are quizzes so powerful?

  • Personalised insights – Your leads will get valuable results (NOT a vague ‘thanks for getting in touch’ message)
  • Qualifying leads – Include pre-qualifying questions to understand if someone would be a good fit for your business
  • Segmentation – Divide your leads based on their results
  • Follow-ups and nurturing sequences – Set up automated emails to nurture your prospects after they’ve received their results
  • Data – You’ll find out so much about each prospect before even speaking to them
  • Sales enablement content – Send additional and more relevant content for each segment based on their results
  • Make the process FUN – Save time and engage your prospects right from the start

Choose ScoreApp for your assignment sales strategy

Quizzes are perfect for assignment selling, but… why leave it at a standalone percentage when you can impress your prospects with a Scorecard?

It’ll divide their results into categories, showing them what they’re already doing well and what they still need your help with.

Perfect to prime them for that sale and give you plenty of data!

Stop wasting hours talking to bad-fit prospects. Build your ScoreApp quiz today and for FREE, and take full control of your process with assignment selling.

About the author
Daniel Priestley
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