Every sales professional spends time and energy chasing deals they will never win – either because the customer has no intention of buying or because for a number of reasons the customer isn’t going to buy from you. Some examples may be:
- Your services/offering is too expensive, and it is only price that matters
- You don’t have a product or solution that the customer wants
- The customer has a preferred supplier and is just comparing prices
- The customer intends doing it themselves, so is seeking free consultancy
- They won’t sign up to your organisation’s terms and conditions
Your time is valuable – don’t waste your time chasing deals you will never win. Instead spend your time and energy on the opportunities that you could win and make sure you do win them by focusing on the areas that matter – systematic networking of the key influencers and decision-maker, better, more focused conversations to understand their needs; thereby building strong relationships.
What is your win rate? If it is 1:5, you are winning 20% of the opportunities you spend time meeting people and writing proposals for. If you could only identify the 80% that won’t buy wouldn’t you have more time? Sales qualification is the answer. Ask yourself some questions as soon as you get the lead.
- Can I win it?
- Why would they buy from me? What have I got in my portfolio of products/services that can beat the competition?
- Do I have time to meet the key players and build relationships? Can I get to the people with the authority to spend?
- Is it worth my while? Is it a big enough deal for me to spend time on?
- Does the client have a budget?
There are a number of easy to use sales qualification questionnaires to help. Our favourite is SCOTSMAN. You can have a read our SCOTSMAN blog here to learn more about the technique.
How Qualification Questionnaires can help
To help busy sales professionals, qualification questionnaires have been developed to guide you through the process of asking the questions. But then what?
Depending on how good the questionnaire is you may be given a qualification score or graph that displays your results to show you instantly which areas you are weak in. You can then decide whether you qualify out or pursue the opportunity. If you qualify out more often and stop chasing the deals you won’t win, you’ll have the time to nurture the important opportunities and win more.
It makes sense to qualify
You want qualified leads, or good opportunities in your pipeline, not clutter. A qualified pipeline is one that gives you higher win rates and forecast accuracy – keeps your manager happy, ensures you smash your sales targets, and most importantly makes you a winner.