In sales and marketing, it is important to clearly define a good qualified lead. And most Sales Reps used to follow BANT; Budget, Authority, Need and Timing to qualify their sales leads. However, in modern B2B, where sales and marketing teams found out that there are other factors to consider first to help determine the sales-readiness of a prospect.
In sales, you must care about your prospects in order to build a long lasting relationship with them. Empathy should come first rather than sales reps focusing on reaching their quota by misleading prospects to buy their products without thinking about the prospect’s concerns to resolve the issues within their organization.
Need, pain, problems and challenges are the first things to discuss with the prospect when qualifying a sales lead before talking about the budget. By empathizing and listening to their concerns, they are more likely to open up to you. This is your way of finding out whether there’s an opportunity for you to offer your product and show them how it can help them resolve their issues.
There’s a modern lead qualification term, CHAMP: CHallenges, Authority, Money and Priority to ask to identify the buying process. These are the questions that a salesperson must ask to better qualify leads and close sales.
Prospect tends to buy things because they are experiencing challenges within their organization. If you can offer a solution for the challenges that your prospects are currently facing, then you can say that this is the beginning of an opportunity and you can offer help and start talking about how they will benefit for your product.
When you say ‘challenges’, it means a need or a pain that the prospect is experiencing within their organization. And by calling them, you are offering them a solution to their challenges – and eventually get a sale.
By asking for their challenges, you are gaining information and understanding your prospect’s current set up better and find out if they are worth pursuing or not. The following questions will help you determine if your products or services best fit their needs.
- Do you have any challenges with your current solution that would consider you to change?
- What areas in your business do you need help for?
- What areas within your business are facing any challenges that needs help for?
Giving empathy in understanding these challenges is important.
In sales, time is precious. Asking for the authority of the person simply means you wouldn’t want to waste time talking to the wrong person. If the person cannot decide, or worse, is not involved, there’s no point of talking to him. However, He might help when it comes to their company’s organizational structure and point you to the right person. Check out some tips and techniques on how to reach the right decision makers.
Here are some examples of what to ask to identify the authority of the person you are talking to.
- Would you be the best person to speak with regarding?
- What would be your role in the decision making process?
- I understand you’re the person who can decide for this one?
- Besides you, who else is involved in the decision making process?
Don’t start your qualifying questions with this as this topic is very crucial. Find out if they have challenges first. Once you do, find out their expectations on the investment that they need to make. Also, this is a good time to discuss about the benefits that they can get if they invest on your product or services and what they can expect for them to know why it’s worth it. You can use the following questions to ask to when discussing about money with your prospects.
- Do you have an allocated budget for this project?
- When will your budget be available?
- Do you already have a budget?
- Have you set aside a budget for this project?
This is about their timeline when do they need to solve their issues and challenges for you to know if the project is at the top of their priority list. However, you have to be very specific when discussing about their timeline.
You called first quarter 2016. Prospect mentioned that their timeline for this project will be next year, 2017. You have to be specific as to which quarter for next year and ask ‘Would that fall on the 1st or 2nd quarter of next year?’
The closer the timeline for the project means it’s a better opportunity for you.
If they don’t need the solution for their challenges within a year, then this project is not a priority for now. Constant touch base with the prospect must be done if this is the case. Try asking these questions to know more about the timeline for their upcoming projects.
- When do you plan to consider this kind of project?
- Do you have a time frame for this project?
- Do you have a contract? When will it contract end?
- When do you plan to go live or implement this one?
- What other solutions have you looked into so far?
Here’s how we keep in touch with our prospects, check out lead nurturing process!
We’re not saying that BANT is an outdated way of qualifying leads. However, using CHAMP is more relevant in qualifying your opportunities correctly. To truly close a sale, it is better to understand the buying process of your prospects. The answers to these questions will determine whether your prospect is a good match to your business.