By Frank Visgatis, President & Chief Operating Officer, CustomerCentric Selling® – The Sales Training Company
Qualification is not “binary”.
Many organizations, when attempting to define sales stages or grading milestone, will often have a step in the process labeled “qualified”. They treat it as a binary event – it’s either a 0 or a 1, on or off. I see qualification quite differently.
Unless you are in a highly transactional, commoditized sale, qualification is a continuum, not a binary event. In other words, with a clearly defined sales process, as an opportunity progresses, it should become better and better qualified.
Some qualifying questions you can use to assess the progression of an opportunity include:
- Will the person I initially make contact with, whether it be proactive or reactive, share with me the business issues or goals driving their interest?
- If so, will that individual then invest the time to help me understand their current business environment and what they feel needs to change moving forward?
- Will he or she then help me get access to other Key Players in the organization (i.e. do I have a Champion)?
- Once I get access to other Key Players, will they go through the same exercise with me?
- Finally, and this is the watershed qualification event, will the buying committee allow me to participate in the shaping and documentation of the steps necessary to complete a true evaluation of my products and services.
If the answer is “no” at any of these steps, you have a quality of life decision to make. Remember that bad news early is good news and don’t “compete” just to stay busy!
Our Live Workshops are filling up!
If you want to take the guesswork out of how to improve your sales game, we can help. Come to our next Live Workshop in Boston or Denver. You’ll get three days of in-person sales training, great food, expert hands-on coaching, and — most importantly! — a clear process for any sales situation so you can earn more money for your company and for yourself.