Time is one of the most valuable assets in the word of sales and everything else. With daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly targets to accomplish in a limited time window, there no time to spend on qualifying a lead. In the current market when a sales rep is spending time on unqualified leads, it is considered as a waste of time, as there are very simple techniques to qualify a sales lead which we are going to share in this blog.

Sales qualification is the process of examining a potential lead to decide whether they have the attribute which makes them a solid match for your solution. To be more simple, qualifying a prospect implies whether or not they are worth your time and energy.

Despite the fact that it is one of the most important parts of the job for many sales reps, it’s also complex for many sales rep. According to a recent survey, 22% of sales rep’s said that qualifying leads are the most difficult part of their job.

Don’t sweat, as with the correct questions you can easily remove the burden and any confusion from the sales qualification process.

Turn To Your Buyer Personas:

Before we dig deep into the top sales qualification question, let talk about buyer personas and their importance in the sales qualification process.

Simply put, a buyer persona is nothing but your ideal customer, which is created form research and your customer data. A detailed buyers persona will help you a great deal in identifying whether a prospect is qualified for sales or not.

Now ask yourself – how your ideal customer will answer these questions? Although answers will vary, if a prospect drifts very far from your ideal customer persona, it simply means they don’t qualify for sales.

Now let’s dig into the following 12 qualifying questions to ask prospects.

1.What Problem You Are Trying To Solve?

The sales qualification is all about understanding the specific requirement of your prospect. The most important information you can collect from your prospect is the insight into their problem which they are hoping to solve by buying your solution. People are not just trying to buy any solution because they want to get rid of the extra cash they have. They are trying to buy your solution because their business is affected by a specific problem which they need to fix, hopefully with your solution.

2.Why Are You Looking For A Solution Now?

Perhaps the problem of your prospect is not restricting them to finish their important tasks. Maybe it is an annoying issue which they finally decided to fix. A change in senior management or business strategy may be the reason they are trying to resolve the problem now.

The answers you will get from your prospect by asking this question will help you a great deal in deciding how important any solution is to your prospect. Are they trying to resolve the problem to be successful? Or they simply want to resolve the issue if a solution appeals to them?

3.Have You Tried To Solve This Problem Earlier?

Based on this response from a prospect you can easily learn about the prospect’s buyer’s journey. Regardless of their familiarity with your solution, they might have previously tried to resolve this problem which of course was not successful. If so, then you should follow-up and understand what went wrong in their previous attempts.

4.Who Is Involved In The Decision-Making Process?

It is highly possible that the person you are talking to have a small role in the overall decision-making process unless you are trying to sell to an extremely small company. Maybe the prospect you talking to thinks your solution is a perfect match for them, but there are five other decision makers who think otherwise. In such case you will want to have a crystal clear understanding of their buying teams and who has the most important role in their buying process.

5.Do The Other Decision Makers Have Any Concerns?

Usually, you will have only one person talking to you on the phone, but you should try and learn more about other stakeholders who have a say in the buying process. Find out the characteristics of your solution which may attract or maybe seems like a problem to other members of the buying committee.

6.What Does Your Ideal Timeline Look Like?

This is a very good question for two basic reasons: it will help you create a timeline and also gives you an insight into the level of urgency your prospect has. If they respond with a specific date, it is a very good signal as it suggests they have a very strong requirement for your solution. Although, if they respond without any time-frame in mind, they may not be a serious prospect to spend your valuable time.

7.Do You Have A Budget Allocated For This Project?

Your prospect won’t be surprised when you ask this question, as discussing budget is very common and is an unavoidable part of the sales qualification process. And just to be clear, many prospects are not happy with this question. According to a survey, only 24% of surveyed buyers indicated that they want to discuss the budget on their very first sales call.

Having a clear understanding of the budget of your prospect is crucial, however, and hence you should complete this as soon as possible. The key to a successful budget discussion is the right time: you could risk irritating a good prospect if you ask the question too early. If you ask this question too late, you may later realize that you should not have spent so much time on a prospect and should have disqualified in the beginning.

At the beginning of the sales qualification process the exact number is not a deal-breaker, rather, it is very crucial that their allocated budget is in the same price range as the actual cost of your solution. If there’s a huge gap in between the two numbers, it’s quite safe to say they can be disqualified and can be marked as a disqualified lead.

8.How Much Have You Spent On Similar Solutions?

What they have spent in the past on a similar solution could be different compared to the budget they have allocated to resolve their existing problem.  If they gave you a budget which is lower than what they spent on a previous solution, ask questions to get the details as what changed? Are they unable to spend as much as they spent it in the past since they no longer have the ability to afford such spends, or is this a signal that buying this specific solution is not a high priority for them?

9.Who Is Responsible For The Budget?

Although you should already know who the decision makers are, you definitely want to learn who has the final say. It is a must that this individual is on-board with your solution, specifically if their allocated budget is slightly lower compared to the cost of your solution.

10.Are You Considering Any Other Solutions?

We are living in a very competitive market and it highly likely you are not the only solution provider the prospect has been talking to. They may already have planned to go to one of your competitors, and are talking to you so that they can cover all their bases and make an informed decision. Let’s be real, you cannot possibly stop a prospect from exploring all the available options. Although, you can make sure whether they are showing genuine interest in your offering and haven’t already made their mind to go straight to one of your competitors.

11.Are There Any Possible Roadblocks Which Could Freeze The Deal?

Now, this is one of the most important questions which you can’t leave out unless you don’t mind to have potential headaches that could turn into a possible deal breaker in the future. Discuss the potential obstacles or any issues with your prospect which could turn out to be a deal breaker and influence the sales. Decide whether the concerns of your prospects are manageable, the number potential obstacles are enough to disqualify them.

12.Based On Our Conversation, What Do You Think About Our Solution?

Now that you have thoroughly discussed your prospect’s requirements, decision-making process, and budget, at this stage you should clearly know if your prospect is qualified for sales or not. The last question may seem less important compared to the earlier questions, but it serves a very important and specific purpose of confirming your prospect interest and at the same time allowing them to raise any last concern they might have.

After this, you can end the qualification process and schedule a follow-up call or let them know when you are going to contact them again. Before hanging up the phone, just make sure that you and your prospect are on the same page and both know exactly what will be the next steps.

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