Everything you need to know about Sales Qualification

sales_process

A discovery call is the deal maker or breaker as it is at this point when you realize whether the prospect is a good fit for the product/service or not.

If the prospect fits the bill, you continue with the next process. If not, you simply move on to find the next good prospect.

The question is –

Is a discovery call as easy as it seems to be?

Well, certainly not. What can make it easier is a fool-proof sales qualification process.

So,

What is Sales Qualification?

sales qualification

Sales Qualification is the process by which companies and businesses determine whether a prospect or a lead is a good fit for their product and service. In other words, it is a process by which it’s determined whether the prospect or lead is worth the time and effort.

A fool-proof sales qualification plan keeps you prepared for closing the deal and boosts your success rate by multiple times. If it’s not in play, you will end up talking to hundreds of prospects each day only to have 1-2 closed deals in your pocket.

Here are the reasons which make Sales Qualification a very important part of the sales process.

Why is Sales Qualification an important part of the sales process?

important

The lack of sales qualification puts you at risk of pursuing leads who aren’t going to provide you any benefits. They don’t have any interest in your product/services and aren’t going to make a purchase.

Sales Qualification saves your time and efforts. Not only that, but it also gives you the best leads which can be converted into long-time customers.

The process gives you a chance to work with a specific segment of buyers who are more willing to buy. When the segment is small and specified, it becomes easier for you to know about their challenges in detail and provide them more personalized solutions.

To give you a better understanding, let me take you to the step-by-step process of sales qualification.

The first step: The Lead Qualification Process

lead qualification

The process starts with the acquisition of leads via different platforms. Depending on the capacity of your team, they gather different types of leads for you. These include conversion qualified leads, marketing qualified leads, product qualified leads, sales qualified leads, and unqualified leads.

All these leads are assimilated into the lead qualification framework. Here, you ask them a series of strategic questions that decide whether they are qualified or disqualified.

The qualified leads continue to be a part of the sales process. Though the disqualified leads are not selected to be a part of the sales process anymore, they are not discarded either. Instead, they are positioned in a nurturing sequence where they are prepped to be a hot lead or even a customer for the future. 

Now, let’s discuss questions that qualify prospects.

What are some good qualifying questions to qualify a prospect?

qualify prospect

The qualifying questions should not be close-ended that boxes the prospect into a simple “yes or no” answer. Instead, it should be an open-ended question that doesn’t lead the prospects into such an answer.

For instance, questions like these are great for your sales qualification process –

  • What are the challenges that you are currently facing?
  • What kind of change/results are you expecting in your business operations? 
  • Are you currently using any services to solve the challenge? If yes, then why are you willing to change it?
  • What is your estimated budget for this project?
  • Who else is involved in the decision-making process? Will they be directly involved in meetings?
  • Who would use this product most frequently in your team? Can I have a one-to-one conversation with them?
  • Can I follow up on XXX with the contract and payment details?

Once these questions are asked, we come to qualifying and disqualifying the prospects.

How to qualify a prospect?

prospecting

The prospect list needs evaluation at each and every step of the sales process. Most of the evaluation is done during the discovery call, but qualifying and disqualifying prospects is a continuous process that goes on throughout the sales process.

Sales qualifying process should be done on these three different levels –

  1. Organization level prospect qualification
  2. Opportunity level prospect qualification
  3. Stakeholder level prospect qualification

Organization level prospect qualification

Organization level

This level informs you whether you should do more research on this prospect or not. The qualification can also be done by referencing the buyer personas and analyzing if they match them.

At this stage, you should ask these relevant questions –

●       Does the prospect match the demographics of your buyer’s persona?

●       What is the company’s size? And do you sell in this industry?

Opportunity Level Prospect Qualification  

Opportunity Level

This level informs you whether the prospect is going to be benefitted from using your services/products. This level is about analyzing the challenges or pain points of the prospect and realizing how your product or service is going to help or fulfill their needs.

The Opportunity Level Prospect Qualification also tells you whether the prospect in need of your product/service is able to afford your product/services or not.

At this stage, you should ask these relevant questions –

●       Are they facing any challenges that can be solved by your product/service?

●       Are they familiar with the kind of products/services you offer?

Stakeholder Level Prospect Qualification

Stakeholder Level

Suppose the prospect resonates with your buying persona and is a good fit for your products/services. Now is the time to put forward such a question that triggers their buying decision.

At this stage, you should ask these relevant questions to your prospects –

  • Who defined the criteria for this purchase decision?
  • Is this purchase out of your budget?
  • Who else in your company is involved in the purchase decision of this product?

How to disqualify a prospect?

disqualify prospect

Firstly, check if the prospect matches your buyer persona. If not, it’s a good decision to disqualify them then and there. Your company may serve them in the future, but now is not the right time to waste your efforts on them.

Secondly, there’s no need for your product/service if the prospect is facing no challenges. This can be determined by talking to the CEO or complete budget authority.

Thirdly, if you ask your prospect about their company’s strategic goals and they fail to provide an answer, it’s advised to disqualify them as they lack clarity and motivation to make a purchase decision.

Qualifying leads with Lead Qualifying Frameworks

Lead Qualifying Framework

Lead Qualifying Frameworks are a systematic approach by which sales reps qualify and disqualify leads. Here are the different lead qualifying frameworks you can use according to your business:

1. MEDDIC

MEDDIC (Metrics, Economic Buyer, Decision Criteria, Decision Process, Identify Pain, Champion) is considered as the transformation of the business as it focuses on all the aspects of the purchase decision of the prospect and analyses if an internal champion can sell your product internally.  

2. BANT Qualification Framework

Developed by INT, the BANT (Benefit, Authority, Need, Timeline) is a framework that covers opportunity and stakeholder level qualifications.

The BANT framework answers the following questions –   

  • Budget – Analyses if the prospect has the budget to make a purchase.
  • Authority – Analyses if your company has the authority to handle the project in the best way possible.
  • Need – Analyses the needs and challenges of the prospect.
  • Timeline – Analyses the time when the prospect is willing to buy.

The other relevant frameworks are FAINT, CHAMP SALES, ANUM, and GPCTBA/C&I.

Over to you…

Sales Qualification is the way to gain good prospects, ignore the bad ones, and pave way for increased revenue in your company. A good prospect turns into a long-term customer who uses your products/services not only to deal with their challenges but also to offer word-of-mouth referrals.

A bad prospect on the other hand means zero sales and even if they poorly qualify for your sales, they go on to become unhappy customers who hate your products and go on social media to give negative reviews.

If you still feel confused and are unable to filter the good prospects among the bad ones, it’s time to seek expert advice from B2B sales and marketing consulting firms. They will not only give you the necessary guidance but will also execute the process for you if needed.

Do you also want to do sales qualification efficiently? Contact us today and leave the rest to us!