If you are in sales there is likely someone on your heels wondering when you will close some business. If you are new, they are looking at you to get your first appointments, have meaningful conversations, qualify potential buyers, and then CLOSE these deals.
When you are talking to potential qualified buyers – those who are in comparable industries as your similar buyers and have similar needs, it is simple to qualify and then close business. The business use case is similar to what your other buyers in their industry and with similar needs also need.
What is difficult is when you DON’T have qualified buyers. Perhaps you can’t get anyone to engage in conversation or maybe you have people who want to talk to you but are not qualified. After you spend ample time learning about these folks and working to educate them, you concede that they don’t fit as an ideal buyer for your company’s products and services. The company information goes into your pipeline, but you never close the opportunity because it isn’t qualified.
These are deals dead in their tracks for now. They are not real.
What do you do?
Bring them out of your pipeline and transfer them back to “UNQUALIFIED.”
Think of the steps in your sales process and once you get to the “QUALIFIED” stage, you have real opportunities. These opportunities have to get past the “Qualified Wall” – a real place in your mind where deals intersect once they are truly qualified.
What does it take to be qualified?
You need to know all of the answers to some simple questions about your prospective buyer and this opportunity – things like:
- What does your buyer need?
- How does your solution fit for them?
- What other choices do they have?
- Do you know all of the players involved in this decision?
- Have you communicated with each one of them? If not, who has spoken on your behalf?
- If they decide to do nothing, how does that effect your buyer?
- How soon will they move forward and why?
- Have they found, or will they be able to find, budget to pay for your solution?
If you can’t answer everything then the opportunity is NOT qualified and you need to move it back behind the “Qualified Wall” in your pipeline. Now work to get those answers you need so that you can move past the great wall of Qualification.
Scrutinize your pipeline – what is truly qualified and what is not?
It’s time to clean it up – focus on those qualified deals that can and should close. Move the rest back.
About the Author:
As founder and CEO of Score More Sales, Lori Richardson lead efforts for B2B frontline sales growth and work with (or in conjunction with) technology brands worldwide. Lori’s a people person, a “superconnector” and she gets great joy in helping newer SDRs and other sales reps learn ways to grow netnew revenues.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are strictly those of the author. CPSA does not endorse any of the companies, products and services mentioned within this article.