Do you know what can make you an awesome sales rep? According to a post by xPotential Selling, the answer is simple: Qualifying! If you don’t qualify each lead, you aren’t going to reach your full potential as a salesperson. If you need convincing, Barrett Riddleberger gives some great reasons why, including:

Unknown decision-makers won’t derail your progress.
Qualifying each lead will reveal who all is involved in the decision to buy. Take the time to learn who plays what role in the buying process. This way, you won’t get thrown for a loop when you try to close a sale and hear, “I’ll have to ask my boss.”

Your pipeline isn’t full of junk.
Dealing over and over again with prospects who just won’t buy clogs your pipeline and can wear down your psyche. Plus, you’ll find that you constantly have to give your boss excuses as to why so many prospects aren’t buying. A pipeline won’t flow efficiently if it’s full of duds.

You won’t waste time.
As Riddleberger explains, “just because someone agrees to an appointment does not mean they’re a good prospect. It also does not mean you should attempt to sell to them. It simply means they satisfied one criteria from a list of qualifiers.” If someone doesn’t represent a legitimate opportunity, any meetings, calls and appointments will be a waste ofy our time.

Higher closing ratios.
If you submit proposals or contracts to every lead, your closing ratios will be pretty poor. Instead of quoting everyone, reserve proposals for only highly qualified leads that are likely to buy. This is a much more effective strategy, and you’ll enjoy much higher closing rates.

These are just a few of the reasons Riddleberger gives for qualifying. Taking the extra time to qualify every lead allows you to focus attention only on those that fit your ideal customer profile. By doing this, not only will you notice a more efficient pipeline and improved productivity, you’ll earn more respect. As Riddleberger points out, “your sales conversations change to that of value, instead of begging, product features or simply price. Buyers respect you because you take the time to understand them, their business, and their objectives.” This builds value and in turn, earns respect– and eventually sales.