Every business wants to grow its customer base. But with limited resources available, how do you ensure that your sales team focuses its time and energy on the right prospects? The answer is by using the sales qualification process.
In this article, we’ll explain:
- What sales qualification is — and why it matters
- Which sales qualifying questions to ask
- The best way to gather the answers you need
What is sales qualification?
Sales qualification is the process of identifying which prospects or leads would be a great fit for your product or service. This involves asking a series of qualifying questions to find out whether the lead is likely to:
- Decide to pay for your product or service
- Use your product or service effectively
- Become a loyal customer over the long term
In other words, sales qualification is about ensuring that potential customers are a great fit for your business, product, or service. It filters out viable leads from nonstarters, allowing your sales team to focus on those who are most likely to commit.
This process is in the prospect’s interest too. By answering qualifying questions, they can formulate what they need from a product or service, why they need it, and how much they are able to spend.
What are the benefits of sales qualification?
No two leads are the same. Each prospective customer has its own unique challenges, budget, needs, and goals. Without a process for understanding how well prospects align with your product offering, you risk wasting valuable time chasing the wrong leads.
With an effective sales qualification process, you can:
- Maximise sales efficiency: Your sales team is a finite resource. Sales qualification ensures that you use it wisely, nurturing prospects who are likely to turn into paying customers
- Increase conversion rates: Focusing on the right prospects naturally increases your conversion rates — which in turn leads to higher revenue
- Speed up the sales cycle: By identifying prospects that are ready to buy, you can reduce the time it takes to convert them to paying customers
- Improve revenue predictability: Improved conversion rates allow you to predict revenue and plan for the future with greater accuracy and certainty
- Reduce customer churn: By pursuing leads whose needs are fully met by your product or service, you increase the likelihood of them sticking around for the long term
What sales-qualifying questions should I be asking?
Now that we’ve discussed what sales qualification is and why it’s so important, it’s time to look at the practical side. In this section, we’ll run through some of the sales qualifying questions you should be asking to verify whether a lead is worth qualifying or not.
Please note: This isn’t an exhaustive list. You may find that there are particular questions you need to ask that relate to your product or service.
That said, by asking the questions we’ve outlined below, you’ll gain a solid understanding of your prospect’s needs, challenges, and goals. This will help you understand whether or not your product is the right fit for them.
- How did you hear about us?
- What challenges or pain points are you currently facing that you hope our product/service could help you overcome?
- What other products/services (if any) have you used in the past to solve these challenges, and where have they proven successful or unsuccessful?
- Are you currently looking at any other solutions to help you realise your goals?
- Are there any particular features or deal breakers you are looking for in a new product/service?
- Who in your team would use the product/service, and how often?
- What criteria do you use when evaluating new solutions for your business?
- What are your biggest concerns or hesitations about jumping into a new product/service?
- How do you measure ROI when investing in a new product/service?
- What tangible results do you expect to see by using a new product/service?
- What is your budget for this new purchase?
- Do you have a timeline for your decision-making process? How fast do you want to move?
- Who is involved in the decision-making process?
What’s the best way to gather the answers you need?
Traditionally, sales reps gather the answers they need to qualify leads during a sales call. This can be a great way for your sales rep to build a rapport with the potential customer. By discussing their needs, you can start to gain their trust.
That said, relying on sales calls to gather information can be an ineffective and time-consuming process. Here are some reasons why:
- The prospect might not come prepared, meaning you’ll need to arrange follow-up calls to get the answers you need
- There’s no simple way to document what the prospect says during the call
- Sales calls aren’t scalable — the more leads you have to qualify, the longer it will take
So what’s the alternative? In today’s digital world, businesses are always looking to streamline and automate the sales process — and sales qualification is no different. With the right software tool, you can gather the information you need to move prospects through the sales funnel without lifting a finger.
Introducing Content Snare — the best way to streamline your sales process
Content Snare helps businesses gather the information they need quickly, easily, and at scale. By creating and sharing custom forms and questionnaires, your clients can submit the information you need in their own time, without the need for a formalised meeting. The information is then readily available in one easy-to-access, digital place.
With Content Snare, you can:
- Build powerful web forms complete with custom branding
- Request a wide range of information and content
- Add context to each request through text, video, or attachments
- Approve or reject submissions with a single click
- Send automated reminders for outstanding info
- See progress across all sales leads via our dashboard
From the prospect’s side, Content Snare’s slick UX and thoughtful features make the process of answering questions a breeze. And thanks to our auto-save functionality, they can return at a later stage to complete the form without losing their progress.
Content Snare doesn’t replace the need for real face-to-face communication between sales reps and prospects. Instead, it augments the traditional lead qualification process. By streamlining the way you ask qualifying questions, you save countless hours.
Once prospects have submitted their answers, you can start moving forward by pushing qualified leads through the sales funnel. This is where your sales reps can step up to build and nurture strong relationships.
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