What makes a prospect a good lead or not? How do you qualify them? How do you determine if they are a good fit for your products or services?
One of the biggest challenges most salespeople struggle with is learning to differentiate leads between viable prospects or those kinds of leads that have the real potential to become clients. Not all prospects you speak with will be the right person or company for your product or service. An effective lead generation agent should be able to recognize that early on.
However, a few salespeople might still get confused about the whole process. Sales qualification is the answer.
What is Sales Qualification?
When you generate leads and add them to your sales pipeline, the conversion rate is not 100% guaranteed. As a salesperson, your challenge is to identify intent-rich leads and focus on them to get to know them better.
Sales qualification is a crucial part of the sales process that helps your sales team determine which prospects need to be prioritized. While it can be a challenging process, it is still achievable. Sales qualification ensures a smooth and straightforward process when qualifying leads.
Importance of sales qualification includes:
- Helps identify areas of opportunity
- Provides a clear vision of future steps
- Optimizes both the sales team’s and client’s precious time
Sales qualifying questions will help you collect pertinent information from your leads, which will eventually help you filter out those high-intent leads who are more likely to convert.
The Power of Questions
We all know questions are compelling – they let you obtain pertinent information for you and your business. When it comes to the lead generation processes, asking relevant qualifying questions can help you put in the right state of mind to find quality leads. The thing is, questions can reframe your mind, so you have to focus on finding solutions for your business.
Imagine asking yourself a simple question, like “where to have dinner tonight?” The brain will then start looking for answers. It’s like once you ask a question, your brain automatically demands to find answers. It’s called “instinctive elaboration” or the brain’s mental reflex.
So, how do we connect what happens in the brain in our quest for finding high-end leads, profiling, and qualifying those leads?
5 Qualifying Questions to Identify Prospects Worth Pursuing
When making discovery calls, you will need to choose each prospect — either to move forward or keep them on the shelf and save for later or just let them go. If lead qualification is not done properly before moving forward with a prospect, you could be wasting your time and effort on someone who will never convert, no matter how outstanding your sales promotion is.
Sales qualifying questions help identify whether a prospect fits your company’s description of an ideal customer profile (ICP) and whether they should be prioritized or not. Qualifying questions help both the client and the sales rep reflect on critical issues they want to address. These questions can also help determine gaps in customer thinking and lead them to get the right solution to their problems.
There are many sales qualification questions your sales team needs to ask through the whole buying/selling process to help uncover needs, create a sense of urgency, and gain loyalty and commitment.
What problems are you facing at the moment?
Change is difficult but inevitable. Only tough business problems will create that dire desire to change. If your prospect is interested in buying a product or a service, it is most likely that they have a problem they would like to solve. Asking your prospects about the problems they are facing and trying to solve at the moment can help them dig deeper into current strategies that are not working. Assuming that these issues were based on the advantages your product or service serves seems like the answer; however, it is important to clearly assess how you could influence and drive change to your prospect’s business. This knowledge can help you better understand your prospect’s intent and sense of urgency to buy the product/service.
Why are you solving this problem now?
Your prospects are looking for solutions to their problems. Either their old supplier ran out of business because of the pandemic, or they stumbled upon your content by accident and uncovered challenges they never thought they had. Whatever their reasons are, it is essential to know why they are looking for solutions at this point versus any other time. The answers they will provide to you will tell you exactly what drives them to act. Perhaps an existing vendor is no longer meeting their needs and adhering to their demands, and they want to get better service to meet their needs. Significant changes in the company or setbacks may also trigger an incentive to act.
What are your top business priorities for the upcoming months or years?
Before meeting any clients, you must find time to do your research and use this information to get to know them better. If not, it is crucial to grasp the company’s priorities to ensure that the solution you can provide aligns with their needs. Remember those individual priorities are different from the overall business priorities, which usually drive all decisions made throughout the year. Knowing these priorities will help you gauge what the company would like to invest in and what decision-makers would likely sign off.
How much budget can you allocate to achieve the solution you want?
Majority of the reasons for getting objections from your clients all boils down to money. Despite having one of the best products or services in the market, your prospects may not be able to afford it. It is a given fact that the primary talking point in any initial sales call is the price, with approximately 60% of prospects wanting to know first how much that particular solution would cost them. This will be an advantage for any sales reps since you will qualify your prospects who are on a budget at the onset of the sales process. Talking about pricing early on in the call can make your prospect think that you only care about money and closing that deal. However, if you ask them about their budget, you will better understand their needs, which can help you tailor your solutions to meet them.
What are your daily routines, and what would be the ideal solution that works for you?
For prospective clients to trust you, they need to know your products and what makes them unique. More so, on how the solution you provide can affect their business and their day-to-day operations. Asking them this kind of question will provide you with an opportunity to perfectly align your solution with your prospect’s frustrations and pain points daily while opening more business opportunities. Whenever they give you an answer, you have to dig deeper. What does it tell you about their authority? Their daily routine tells you about the results they want to achieve from the solution you will provide. No answer is more relevant than the other – even a tiny hint can provide hugely valuable information.
Final Thoughts: The Value of Qualifying Questions
Never underestimate the power of qualifying questions, they don’t just help you identify promising leads, but they can be a powerful tool in the whole sales process.
Most of your leads won’t really know what you’re selling during that initial call. YOu may be able to provide them with the solution they need, but only by asking them the right questions can you determine if they are indeed a good fit or not. Additionally, the right questions will help your customers realize what they really need and how you can help them.