Too many sales reps waste their time following up on dead-end proposals. And we all know that not all leads are a good fit for a product or service, regardless how aggressive a salesperson is. Money isn’t everything, but it can be a way to determine whether or not a company is worth pursuing. Companies don’t just buy because they have money left in their budget.
There are different factors why companies consider purchasing a product. You can’t just focus on establishing if they’re a good fit for your business based on one criteria. The ability to spot this in advance is a key to long-term success. When qualifying a call, sales reps are required to gather as many information as they can to determine if that business is worth pushing through.
But how do you really know if a prospect is worth your time and effort?
You can. Investigate further and do research when you make calls.
Here are the 3 stages in sales qualification to better understand if the prospect is worth your time. And by asking these questions during these stages, you will be able to identify if there’s a real opportunity and if they are a good fit for your business.
A. Pre- qualify and evaluate if there is a real opportunity.
Most of the time, prospects are only trying to find out what’s available in the market but don’t have intentions of buying. Some of them are only looking for information to get a better rate from their current provider. Pre-qualifying and evaluating a prospect by asking these questions will help you uncover if they have plans and there’s a real opportunity for your business.
1.) Would you consider looking or changing for a new product or service?
Determine their plans whether they are just looking around for what’s new, is changing what they have right now or is in the market to purchase a new product.
2.) When do you plan to look for a new product or service?
Identify their timeframe to find a solution for this project.
3.) Do you have a provider for this kind of solution? Or do you have someone who provides you with this kind of service?
If they have a provider who takes care of this for them, don’t stop there. Instead, ask the following:
– Do you have a contract with them?
– If yes, when will you contract ends?
– Would you consider other providers by then?
Trying to figure out about their setup with their current provider will provide you information if it’s okay to push through with this or is it time to let go because of very low or no opportunity at all.
4.) What are the challenges that they’ve encountered that drives them to consider looking for a new product or service?
Companies usually evaluate their current setup every year to find out if there’s a need to improve something. Prospects who have encountered problems during their evaluation would really consider looking for something new that can help them fix their current situation.
5.) What would be your role in the decision making process for this project?
You need to identify if the person you are talking to are evaluators, recommender or the final decision maker. For some companies, they assign people to do certain responsibilities which make them the best person to talk to during planning process. However, they are not the final decision maker who will decide which product or service to consider.
6.) When would be a good time for me to touch base with you again and discuss this in further detail?
This is actually not part of the qualification process. However, every sales need isn’t so much a qualification question as a sales best practice. Every sale need second meeting to secure their interest.
B.) Determine if they are a good fit for your business by getting to know about their current setup.
1.) What product or service they are using right now?
Determine if they are using the same product as what you’re offering. If they do, then there’s not much of an opportunity at this time. Even if they have problems with what they are using, they would still not consider because you’re pushing the same product.
2.) How long have you been using the product or service? How is it working for you so far?
Figure out if what they’re using an obsolete product and they need an immediate change. It’s one way to identify if there’s an opportunity as every business are growing and expanding through the years.
3.) What other products or services have you looked into so far?
If you’re doing your research to know more about the company before calling them, prospects are doing their homework too. To put price pressure on providers, they are looking for the best, cost effective product or service that could help their organization.
4.) Aside from you, who else would be involved in this project?
Is the person you’re talking to the decision maker? Or are there any other decision makers for the project? Make sure you understand the dynamics of the buying committee and who has the authority over what.
C. Identify if they have an allocated budget for this project.
1.) Do you have a budget for this kind of project? If not, when will your budget be available?
Money will help you determine whether or not a prospect is worth pursuing. The fact that the prospect allotted a budget for this project means higher chance that this project will push through because they have the ability to pay.
By establishing certain information will give you a better idea which opportunities are a good use of your time to pursue a prospect. At the same time, they you have to establish if they’re a good fit for your business. This specific sales qualifications will help you gauge if they have a serious need and recognize who can be a potential customer and if you are just barking up on the wrong tree.
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