Not every prospect is going to be an ideal fit for your solution. Time is a salesperson’s most valuable asset, and you want to be using that time on high-value prospects. We’ve all felt the frustration of wasting time on a lead that was never going to buy from you in the first place.
Sales qualification is the point in your sales process where you evaluate whether or not your prospect is a good fit for your solution. As a salesperson, you are looking for prospects that fit into your ideal customer profile. If a prospect is not a good fit, it may be time to walk away.
During sales qualification, a sales rep focuses on asking questions that address the buyers need, budget and timeframes is the first step in establishing if they are a good fit for your solution.
Sales qualifying questions
1. What is the problem you are trying to fix?
If there is no problem, then there is no reason to buy your solution. Establish a real and pressing business pain, whether it’s a known issue or a problem that the prospect is just uncovering.
2. Why do you want to do something about it now?
Change isn’t easy for businesses; there needs to be a catalyst to the change. It could be a change of leadership, market shift, new regulations, a company development or something as simple as a new budget cycle. Finding out the trigger event that has prompted the company to do something about the problem can be invaluable information when it comes to closing the sale later.
3. What happens if you do nothing about the problem?
If there is no pressing need, then either the salesperson needs to emphasis what will happen if the problem is not solved or walk away.
4. Who is involved in the decision-making process? What is your role in it?
Identifying early in the sales process that you are speaking to the decision-maker is essential. Understanding the dynamics of the decision-making process will help you put a strategy together. Identify whom you need to speak to, who your key influencers are and who has ultimate sign off? Asking these questions may also give you an idea of timescales, how long it will take to get sign off on the decision.
5. How does the budget signoff process work?
Knowing who is involved in the decision-making process is crucial to getting your deal over the line. That includes the financial decision-makers and assess whether they need to be brought on the sales journey early in your sales process.
6. Has your company ever used a product/service like this before?
I like to know about the history of the company. If they used a similar product or service before, explore how it worked out for them, get an idea of their perception of the offering. It may be a situation where you may decide to walk away, especially if there seems to be a mismatch.
7. What other solutions are you evaluating?
This is a great question to ask for three reasons. Firstly, they may have an incumbent provider, and they are using your proposal to put price pressure on them. Secondly, it is a great indicator that they are serious about solving this problem. Listen carefully, gather all the information, and assess whether you need to walk away. Thirdly, I like to know who else has their hat in the ring, if you know whom you are competing against, you can tailor your pitch to emphasise how your unique selling points are a better fit for the prospect.
8. What does success look like to you?
This is an opportunity to assess their expectations. If their expectations don’t match what you are offering, then you need to manage their expectations or disqualify them as a prospect.
9. Does everyone feel this pain?
Find out how big the pain is. Is it just one person with the problem, is it the whole team or the whole company? Does everyone want to solve the problem now, or is this person the only champion? This will help identify your potential roadblocks, how big the support is, and how seriously they are taking it.
We understand the demand for quality leads and the need for your team to meet those demands. We are here to help and add value by finding tangible, highly qualified leads where we have secured a date and a time for an appointment. These individuals are in your target audience, at the right decision-making level and have an interest in your solution. Taking away this pressure from your Sales team allows them to focus their time on closing deals and generating revenue.