By John Holland, Chief Content Officer, CustomerCentric Selling® – The Sales Training Company

sales tips for qualificationMany salespeople believe every opportunity in their pipeline is likely to close. Ultimately that is a worthy, but aggressive goal. Most sellers need help in getting there. In my view a competent sales manager is responsible for disqualifying transactions from each sellers pipeline that aren’t worthy of a seller’s time, effort and resources.

People that attend CustomerCentric Selling® workshops are familiar with the standard debriefing questions of:

  • What organization/title did you call on?

  • What goal(s) did the buyer share with you?

  • For each goal what are the reasons it can’t be achieved today?

  • For each reason what capability from our offering addressed it?

  • What is the value of achieving the goal(s)?

For anyone that has not attended a workshop, I’d like to suggest another way to evaluate opportunities:

Have sellers tell you the highest level they’ve called on. If they aren’t at a decision maker level, have them imagine their primary contact on the opportunity going to the CFO or controller of the company and have them try to answer the questions their contact is likely to be asked: 

  • What is it that you want to buy?

  • What’s the cost?

  • What payback can I expect?

  • Why do we need to buy now?

  • What other vendors have you considered?

The answers you get are likely to make the seller and you realize there is more work to do before realistically thinking a given opportunity has a high probability of closing.

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