Your sales pipeline is a box. Your leads are the chocolates in it. 

Would you rather have a box full of your favorite chocolates or ones that make you queasy?

Similarly, the absence of a thorough sales qualification process is a bad idea. It’s like intentionally choosing to eat from a box of chocolates that you know you will dislike.

In this article, we will learn more about the sales qualification process alongside some questions and framework.

Without further ado, let’s jump right into the what, why, and how of sales qualification!

 

What is Sales Qualification?

What is sales qualification l NeoDove

Sales qualification or lead qualification is the process of identifying leads or prospects that best fit your business. Moreover, it gives you a clear idea of which leads to target and which ones to ignore. 

You can greatly increase your chances of success by implementing an effective sales qualification plan. In its absence, you’ll wind up speaking with hundreds of prospects per day for little to no results.

The Importance of Sales Qualification

The primary reason why sales qualification is important is that it helps improve your close rates. 

Lack of sales qualification can result in you going after leads who don’t fit your product. This in turn can cause you to waste your time and resources.

Unqualified leads will need to go through further steps before they can be converted into customers. Qualifying sales leads helps you target leads more likely to buy your product or service. 

Thus, the smaller and more targeted a segment is, the easier it is to understand their challenges. You can then accordingly provide them with personalized solutions.

Benefits of Having An Effective Sales Qualification Process

There are several benefits to having an effective sales qualification process in place for your company. Some include:

 

Benefits of having sales qualification process l NeoDove

1) Identification of quality leads 

By employing tried-and-true methods for lead filtering, your sales staff can focus on prospects that are likely to convert. 

The procedure of lead segmentation is an effective tool. Your leads can be categorized according to how likely they are to make a purchase.

  • Hot leads: those who have very high chances of converting
  • Warm leads: those who require some level of nurturing.
  • Low-quality leads: those who have no or very low chance of a conversion.

2) Accurate sales forecast

Every lead’s value to your company is determined by the sales qualification process. Businesses use sales forecasts to allocate budgets. So, having a reliable method to predict them is critical.

3) A better understanding of leads 

It helps develop a specific strategy or better deals for the lead as you move through the sales pipeline. 

Furthermore, leads are also more likely to convert in special circumstances. For example,  if they realize that the brand is sensitive to their wants and needs.

Also read: Importance of sales process

The Sales Qualification Process

The sales qualification process begins with a group of leads that are generated by various departments of your organisation. First, let’s briefly discuss the types of leads generated:

Sales Qualification Process l NeoDove

 

1) Marketing Qualified Leads:

Marketing Qualified Leads are leads who have responded to a business’s marketing efforts.

2) Sales Qualified Leads:

Sales Qualified Leads are leads that have been in touch with the sales team directly. 

3) Product Qualified Leads:

Product Qualified Leads are leads that have either registered for a free trial or have subscribed to a free version of your offering.

Each of these leads is subsequently put together in the sales qualification framework; a work plan that sales professionals can use to determine whether a prospect will become a customer or not. The leads are asked certain qualifying questions at this stage, and the lead pool is further narrowed down.

Sales qualification questions are of vital importance as they help the sales team determine which leads to qualify and which ones to disqualify. The next section will discuss a few sales qualification questions you can include in your lead qualification strategy.

Sales Qualification Questions

Qualifying questions are vital in helping salespeople determine if a lead is a good fit for their business. By asking appropriate sales qualifying questions, you can determine everything from the buyer’s need to their budget.

Examples of good qualifying questions:

  • What are the challenges that your business is facing currently? Do you have anything in place to solve it?
  • Is the product/service that you are using currently solving the problem?
  • Can you give us an idea of your budget?
  • When it comes to solving this problem, what is your top priority?
  • What functionality are you looking forward to the most?
  • Is it okay if I follow up on mm/dd/yyyy?
  • Will you be using the product on a daily basis? 
  • Who would make a decision regarding the purchase of this product?

The best qualifying questions are usually open-ended. Close-ended questions, like “Do you consider this important at the moment?” appear like you’re constricting the buyer’s options. 

It would be better to ask, “Where do you place this in your order of priorities?” Because you aren’t leading them to an answer, they are more likely to provide candid responses.

Also read: Best sales techniques

Sales Qualification Frameworks

Listed below are some effective sales qualification frameworks:

1) BANT (Budget, Authority, Need, and Time)

It is a framework designed to help you relate the lead’s needs with the business goals. 

Begin with the leads’ budget and affordability. Then, move on to determine if they have the authority to make the purchase. Figure out what their needs are, and how their timelines are affected.

2) CHAMP(Challenges, Authority, Money, and Priority)

This lead qualifying framework encourages you to identify their issues or problems. This approach is best suited if you provide customer service.

3) FAINT (Funds, Authority, Interest, Need, and Timing)

Lead’s interest in the product is also a deciding factor apart from demands and budgets when making purchases. This framework can be used to interact with your prospects. You can use it to pique their curiosity about the brand or product in question

4) ANUM (Authority, Need, Urgency, and Money)

This framework focuses on leads who become paying clients without ever going through the full sales cycle. So it’s ideal for businesses with shorter sales cycles.

5) NEAT (Needs, Economic Impact, Authority, and Timeline)

This framework focuses on the economic impact of the product/service. Thus, helping you to sell more products and increase brand recognition. 

6) GPCTBA/C&I (Goals, Plans, Challenges, Timeline, Budget, Authority, Negative Consequences, and Positive Implications)

This framework assists you in determining how the product benefits your potential customers. Moreover, the financial implications if it fails to meet their expectations. 

Conclusion

So, which box of chocolates will you choose? Sales Qualification is a highly important step in the sales process. 

By qualifying your leads, you are gaining good fit prospects and paving the way for higher revenue and growth. A good prospect becomes a loyal client who uses your products and services to address their challenges. Furthermore, they may even go on to recommend your business to others.

Poor prospects, however, mean zero sales. In every case, they will become unhappy customers always complaining about your business online or in person. Now it’s up to you to decide what you want.