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March 11, 2022

Sales qualifying questions are an important part of the sales process. They allow you to determine if a potential customer is interested in your product or services. We will be discussing the importance of sales qualifying questions, and how to use them to improve your sales processes.

 

21 Sales Qualifying Question to Identify Prospects Worth Following

How do you know if a prospect is a good match for your product/services?

Success is measured by the ability to answer sales qualifying questions.

No matter how well-respected sales reps may be, not all leads are a good match for the product/service. Buyers don’t buy if they have a pressing need or a deadline approaching. They may buy due to a combination of all or some of these factors.

These criteria are not enough to determine whether a salesperson is a good fit for a sale. They must consider all factors.

While the exact questions a sales rep will ask about a product/service will vary, these conversation starters can help identify good customers and those who might be better suited for another solution.

Sales Qualification

Sales qualification questions are an important part in the sales process. It allows sales reps determine if a prospect is a good fit for the product or service they are selling. Sales reps create an ideal customer profile and then compare the prospect’s characteristics to the profile.

Prospects who aren’t a good fit will not be sold to.

1. What business problem could you solve by this offering?

It’s difficult to change, and businesses don’t like to overhaul systems and processes. If the prospect doesn’t have a problem, there is no reason to purchase. Before you get into any other questions, it is important to identify the business pain.

This could be a well-known problem or a new problem that the prospect hasn’t heard about. This will help you to understand the problem and what you can help.

2. What are you compelled to do right now?

Sales prospects who have been affected by a major trigger event, such as a change in leadership, market shift, or major company development, will be more motivated and motivated to immediately address the problem.

3. What is stopping you from trying to solve the problem?

Do other priorities always take precedence? Is there a roadblock preventing you from finding the solution you need? The salesperson can find out what is stopping the solution being implemented.

This will enable them to understand the prospect’s priorities, and help them identify potential pitfalls.

4. Have you ever tried to solve this problem before. What was the problem?

Another possibility is that the prospect has tried other solutions before and it didn’t work. It is possible that the prospect isn’t as interested in your product or has tried other solutions.

5. What happens if you do nothing to address the problem?

If the answer is “well, not much”, then the prospect doesn’t have a pressing need. The salesperson should either disqualify a prospect or explain to them what might happen if the problem isn’t solved.

6. Is there a budget? If not, when will you get one?

While money is not everything, it is important to evaluate whether a prospect is worth your efforts. It doesn’t matter how high your offer is, so long as the prospect’s willingness to pay and the price are within the same range. It’s better to not sell a product whose price is $1 million if the prospect can only afford $100.

7. How does the purchase approval process work?

This question can reveal additional financial decision makers who should be contacted sooner rather than later. How quickly can you reach them to discuss this matter? This information can make the deal much easier later.

8. What are you willing to spend now to fix this problem

If the prospect has a solution that is competitive, the salesperson can provide a benchmark of how much they are willing to spend. The salesperson can ask the prospect if they feel comfortable spending more with a fixed price.

Here’s how Pete Caputa (ex-HubSpot Sales Vice President) phrased this question during sales qualification calls.

“We have established that your goal to achieve X is achieved, and that you are spending money now to get there. It isn’t working. To hire us, you will need to invest Z. If Z is similar or greater than Y and you feel more certain that our solution will achieve your goal than Y then it makes sense for you to invest Z to hire us.

9. How would a proposal such as this impact the decision-making process What role would YOU play in the decision-making?

Is the person you are speaking to the decision-maker? Is the decision-maker a different person? It is important to understand the buying process and who holds the authority. One stakeholder could be the “ultimate signer” while another could be the financial approval.

10. Have you ever used a product like this in your business? What has your company done using a product like this one?

To avoid repeating the past, it is important to learn from it. Compare the buyer’s expectations about your offer and their perceptions of “good” or “bad”. If there is a significant mismatch, it’s better not to spend any time on the deal.

11. What obstacles could this project face?

It is possible that the deal could be canceled due to too many potential pitfalls. It is possible that the prospect’s staff could change or that the decision-maker might move during the sale. It is possible to wait until the prospect’s team has decided to move on to pursue the lead.

12. What are your thoughts about the challenges you will face if you follow the plan I have created? Are you concerned about Z or Y

Is a prospect who is qualified, has the authority, the money, and can solve the problem in a reasonable time frame a good prospect? If they don’t follow your plan, it is a sign that they aren’t capable of following it. While some offerings are easier than others.

Each new product or service requires effort on the prospect’s part to get it up and running. Sales prospects who refuse to put in the effort will not achieve the results they want. This is so that you don’t have to deal with unhappy customers later.

13. What are other options?

Sometimes, vendors may be brought in by prospects to help them make a decision or pressure the incumbent provider. Listen carefully to determine if the prospect is lying about your relationship.

14. What does success look like in terms of both quantitative and qualitative results?

It all depends on what the prospect expects. You might consider disqualifying prospects whose definitions of success are not in line with your offer.

15. What would it mean for you to solve this problem What would you gain from solving the problem? What are you likely lose if the problem is not solved?

In influencing the buying committee to purchase a product or service, a champion within the company is often more effective than the salesperson. Prospects who are involved in the process will be more likely to be helpful advocates.

16. Based on what you’ve seen, do your thoughts make it possible for us to solve your problem?

Mini commitments or agreements can be included in the purchasing process, even during the qualification calls. This can be used to help you prepare for the final agreement.

17. What are the best times for a solution?

If the problem cannot be resolved by a specific date, the salesperson can work backward to solve it.

18. Are you adamant that the next step should take place X by Y When is the best time to schedule a meeting?

This is not a question about qualification, but a best practice in sales. Every sales interaction should end with a next step tied back toward a date. If the buyer is determined to move forward, they will agree to a second meeting.

Interest: secured. Prospect: Qualified.

19. Do you have a solution? Do you have a solution?

It is always helpful to find out if they have a solution or what they don’t like about it. This is not only useful for your sales strategy, but also a great way of gathering intelligence about your competitors.

20. Is it a problem that affects all members of your team or just one person? Is there anyone who could hinder the solution?

Find out about any potential roadblocks as soon as possible. Are all members of your team on board? Is your prospect the only champion? These questions will help to create a plan of success and determine how much support your champion needs internally.

21. Let me know what your day looks like and how this solution might affect your workday.

This is a great way for friends to meet. This is a great way for you to determine if your prospect is a decision-maker, how much responsibility they have and if they have ever purchased a solution like yours.

Prospect and Lead Qualification Checklist

  1. Awareness
  2. Budget
  3. Authority
  4. Not required
  5. Roadblocks
  6. Timeline

Every sales manager can improve the qualification of leads. While frameworks like BANT, FAINT, and ANUM are praised as well as criticized, they all share some common underlying principles.

1. Awareness

Before you can qualify a lead it is crucial to assess their knowledge about your industry and product. This is especially important if your company creates new product categories or sells niche products.

Another reason to ask prospects about their knowledge of what you sell is that they will need this expense to be included in a budget category. This could lead to them being unsure of what you offer.

2. Budget

All sales involve money exchanges, no matter what. Companies that are strict about budgets will be able to use your leads. This is a good thing because it allows them run a successful business.

Determine how much budget is allotted to the prospect’s staff and what percentage goes to the category of products or service you offer.

3. Authority

How can they be influenced within their company? Who is the final decision-maker in this sale? The contact information on the lead forms might not be the final decision maker. This means that you may need to go over the checklist again if you meet someone with decision-making authority.

4. Not required

It’s one thing for employees to see the need for your product or service. It may not be worth the effort if the whole team, sometimes including the CEO doesn’t see the need. Qualifying leads on the basis of need is just as important as authority. These criteria should be kept in mind as you move through the sales process.

This is important to verify.

  • Everyone agrees on the priorities of the company/team.
  • Prospects are directly responsible for solving the problems your product or service solves.

5. Roadblocks

A good sales rep will tell you that closing a deal is always triggered from a pain point. You can identify the obstacles that your prospect faces early and present a solution. Perhaps the prospect’s team has issues with productivity, bottlenecks or adding value to the company’s revenue generation goals.

This issue can be identified early, which will allow you to add value from the first conversation. You can find a realistic, honest, ethical, and practical angle to show your product’s value and then communicate that throughout sales.

6. Timeline

Forecasting accurately is an essential part of the role of a sales rep. When qualifying sales leads, it is crucial to establish a timeline. A timeline is not an invitation to negotiate quicker than the lead is comfortable with.

This criterion will give you an idea of when the deal could close. This is the part you can lead if you are closing a quarter, and need to close the deal within the timeframe you have set. Based on the information you have, you will give a timeline.

If both sides agree, it’s a win-win scenario.

Conclusion

 

Sales qualifying questions are an important part in the sales process. They allow you to determine if a potential customer is interested in your product or services. We have discussed the importance and use of qualifying questions in this article.

 

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