Michael Halper is the creator of Sales Scripter and author of The SMART Sales System – SELL SMARTER, NOT HARDER. There are a few different experiences that led to him creating SalesScripter, and here is the story behind it written in his own words.

Discovering a Love for Sales
During my freshman year in college, I subscribed to a club that would send you music CDs every month. The club had a referral program and would give you three free CDs for every person you got to join the club. Being a broke college kid who loved music, I found this to be an interesting opportunity and ended up getting about half of the dorm I lived in to join the club, netting me about 150 free CDs.

I found the entire experience of getting people to sign up for the music club to be extremely fun. Not only did I love getting free CDs in the mail after signing someone up, but I also enjoyed the process of finding a new prospect, explaining the program, building interest, getting around objections, and closing the deal. This was when I started to become interested in the profession of selling.

A Passion for Training
During the last few years of college, I worked at a restaurant as a server and bartender. After working at the restaurant for about a year, I started to think about how there was not a training process for new servers. I decided to take the initiative to create a four-day training program that broke out all of the different things new servers would need to learn and do. I shared the training program with management, and they ended up implementing the program exactly as I had built it and put me in charge of training all new servers. I thoroughly enjoyed working with the new servers to teach them all the things they needed to know, and it was then that I realized I had a passion for training.

Sales Systems Can Always Be Optimized
My first job out of college was working as an inside sales rep at Compaq Computer Corporation. About a year in, I realized that while I was in a sales role, I was spending about 75 percent of my time working on customer service issues. It occurred to me that if the company wanted me to sell more, they could split my job across two different roles—one that focused on sales and another that focused on resolving customer service issues.

With that thought, I took a similar initiative to what I did at the restaurant and wrote up a reorganization plan outlining how and why to break the department into two groups. Although this time, my manager only gave me a nice pat on the back for sharing my ideas. Not only that, but I actually heard management laughed about me submitting this feedback in a meeting with comments like “Who does this kid think he is?” However, about six months after I shared my feedback, the department I was working in was reorganized into two departments—one for sales and one for customer service. While I did not know if it was my feedback that led to such a big reorganization, one thing I was sure about was that the area of sales consulting and optimizing sales organizations was extremely interesting to me.

It Is All About Asking Good Questions
While I started my career selling computers, I did not truly learn about selling until I worked in the software industry and worked as a sales rep for BMC Software. Software sales can be challenging because you sell something people cannot see and feel, and sometimes they do not even know they need what you sell. It is all about communicating the value in terms of what the software can improve and the problems it can help to resolve.

One thing I really came to terms with when selling software was that it was critical to ask the right questions. I remember telling my manager about calls I had with prospects, and he would always ask me questions I would not know the answer to. For example, he would ask if the prospect was the decision-maker, if the budget had been approved, or what was not great about the prospect’s current system. I would think to myself how those were great questions, and I wished I had known or remembered to ask them.

I started making notes of good questions to ask and put them in a spreadsheet, creating a sales tool that outlined different things to say and ask when talking with prospects. It turned out to be very helpful sales tool that helped me to improve my sales performance, and I ended up sharing it with a number of different colleagues. They loved it and would routinely come back asking for the latest version or if there were any updates. Now that I look back, I really enjoyed creating that sales tool and helping other salespeople to sell more. You could probably say this spreadsheet was the very first version of the Sales Scripter software application, and my teammates were my first customers.

One Thing Usually Leads to Another
After being a salesperson for about fourteen years, I started a sales consulting business called Launch Pad Solutions. I focused primarily on sales consulting for small businesses, and I found that most of my clients wanted help with cold calling and outbound prospecting. After about six months, I realized that, if I had a team of cold callers, I could sell cold call outsourcing services to all of my clients. With that, I purchased a cloud VoIP phone system, subscribed to a web-based CRM application, and hired a team of work-at-home agents to create a virtual call center. After that point, we sold much more cold calling outsourcing than sales consulting, and that turned out to be the primary service that we provided at Launch Pad Solutions.

Developing the SMART Sales Methodology
As I hired work-at-home agents, I needed to train them on my approach to cold calling. As a result, I created recorded training modules on all of the key concepts I wanted them to know—cold calling, cold emailing, asking questions, finding pain, building interest, dealing with objections, getting around gatekeepers, managing the sales process, closing, etc. After I created all of those training modules, I thought these tips would make a good sales training book, so I wrote and published the book The Cold Calling Equation—PROBLEM SOLVED in 2012. That book and all of those training modules were the first version of the SMART Sales System.

Pursuing a Unique Idea
When clients hired us to do their cold calling, I had to create scripts, emails, voicemails, and objection responses for their cold callers. To create all of those documents, I would interview my clients to ask a series of questions. After going through that process again and again, I had the idea to create a piece of software that would have all of my interview questions and sales scripts. And if someone answered all of the questions in the software, it would plug their answers into the library of the scripts and function as a sales script-writing application.

In January 2013, we launched the first version of Sales Scripter. While it started as a sales script generator, we have focused on continuing to develop and improve the application and have added functionality in the areas of CRM, email automation, sales training, sales recruiting, and more. Today, we have grown to have customers around the globe who are using our software to either improve their own sales efforts or to train and improve their sales team.

Making Salespeople SMARTer
We combined SalesScripter with our sales training methodology to create the SMART Sales System, and that is what we focus on today. We provide sales professionals with sales training, sales consulting, sales coaching, and the Sales Scripter software application. All of these are focused on helping to make salespeople SMARTer so they can improve their sales results, increase their income, and improve their lives.