Sales qualification is the ultimate goal of your discovery calls. It’s when you determine if the lead can actually use your product or service or if continuing to reach out to them would be a waste of time. But qualifying a lead can be easier said than done. Here are some tips on the process offered by Leslie Ye, writing for HubSpot.
The Sales Qualification Process
Ask Qualifying Questions
The simplest way to get the sales qualification answers you need is to ask the right questions. Researching the lead beforehand is well and good, but you can only glean so much from social media and blog posts. In order to get the most out of your qualifying questions, you need to make the questions open-ended. The more details that the lead provides for you about their business situation, the better. Here are a few questions that Ye recommends asking:
- “What has prevented you from trying to solve this problem until now?”
- “What does your budget look like for this project?”
- “Are you using any solutions to solve this problem? If so, why are you switching?”
- “What is your principal priority in terms of solving this problem? Which functionality would be most important?”
- “Which decision-makers would be involved in the purchase of this product?”
- “What does success look like for your company after using this product?”
Based on the lead’s answers to your questions, you’ll be able to designate them as a qualified lead or disqualified lead.
Qualified Sales Lead
Based on your sales qualification questions, could the lead’s company benefit from your product or service? And are they showing interest in what you have to offer? If so, you’ve just qualified them to continue on in the sales process! You should end the discovery call with one last question: Ask if you can follow up with them on a certain day. And then you can discuss what time would be best for a call. After that step, you follow through on your normal sales process.
Here’s where things might get tricky. The disqualification of a lead can take many roads depending on why they didn’t pass the sales qualification process.
- They don’t fit your buyer persona at all and/or have no need for your product. If you completely misjudged the lead and their company and there’s no possible way to sell to them, you can cut things off right then and there during the discovery call. Politely point out that, to you, it doesn’t seem as if they would benefit from your product, but give them an opening to disagree if they feel otherwise. Then thank them for their time and end the call.
- They fit your buyer persona, but they aren’t fully qualified. It could be an issue of budget, lack of willingness to take action, or something else. This lead has passed your sales qualification process, but has made it clear that they have no interest in continuing the sales process. That’s okay. You can semi-disqualify them by not pursuing a sale at this time. But, keep them on a list to contact at a later date to see if they’ve changed their mind. Additionally, you can add them to your company’s marketing communications list. Who knows, email ads, content offers and other marketing media could convince the lead to change their mind.