10 Sales Qualification Questions that You Must Ask Your Prospects
November 16th 2021
Sales Best Practices
Did you know that according to a report about 67% of lost sales are due to sales reps not qualifying their leads? With Artificial intelligence making headways in every sphere and even guiding sales efforts, how can companies still miss out on 67% of their leads generated? Well, the answer is simple. Sales reps tend to miss out on more qualified prospects because of the lack of a sales qualification process. So, what is a sales qualification?

Sales Qualification and Its Importance

Sales qualification is the process of deciding which prospects should be prioritized and which ones should be filtered out or contacted later. It usually comes at the third stage of the sales process after the leads have been generated through Prospecting and a rapport with your prospect based on initial interactions.

Sales Qualification Process

How do you go about qualifying a lead? What should you look for? The most reliable way to qualify a lead is by asking the right questions. But which are the right questions to ask? Read on to find out the 10 sales qualification questions that you must ask your prospects.

How to Qualify a Sales Lead?

How do you go about qualifying a lead? What should you look for? The most reliable way to qualify a lead is by asking the right questions. But which are the right questions to ask? Read on to find out the 10 sales qualification questions that you must ask your prospects.

1. What Have Been The Prospect’s Biggest Challenges When Keeping Up With Their Competition?

Sales qualification is focused on identifying mutual value. Asking this question gives sales reps an understanding of their business and what are their pain points? If your solution addresses your prospects' pain points, then the chances are that the lead is qualified. If not, then there is no mutual value, and the prospect does not need your product. Besides being an essential qualifying question, this question can help in the rapport-building stage of the sales process.

2. What Problem Is The Prospect Trying To Solve?

For sales reps to be able to understand whether they are the right fit for the prospect, it is essential to understand their problem(s). It is the most common question to build rapport and qualify in the sales process. Asking the prospect about the challenges they are solving encourages them to delve deeper into the issues between their goals. The realization of the problem might prompt action. It might help sales reps qualify the prospect knowing that they can help them tackle the identified issues.

3. Is The Prospect A Decision-Maker? If Not, Who Could Be Involved?

The prospect that the sales rep reaches out to might not be the one making the decisions in the company. The sales rep might make the perfect pitch and be able to convince the prospect about your product. However, if they aren't the decision-maker, the chances are that the sales rep might have to go through the entire process again. It is twice the time and efforts spent which could have been avoided. Thus, it is always better to confirm whether the prospect is the decision-maker or not in the rapport-building stage or as early as the prospecting stage itself. If they are not the decision-maker, sales reps could request to be introduced to the concerned person.

4. What Are The Prospect’s Goals For The Upcoming Months?

When approaching a prospect, it is essential to understand their immediate short-term and long-term goals. Why should the prospect company's goals concern the sales rep? It's simply because the sales rep might be offering the right solution for the prospect, but it might not be their immediate requirement. The prospect's goals for the next 3, 6, or 12 months might not be to solve the problem that your product is trying to solve.

5. Why Wasn’t The Prospect Happy With Their Last Vendor?

Learning from the mistakes of others is always a good idea. Learning about what the prospect didn't like about their last vendor can help you convince them better in the following pitching or demo stages. It allows sales reps to avoid the mistakes which the previous vendor made. It might help in disqualifying the lead as if a similar product is unable to create value.

6. Would The Prospect Be Open To New Solutions Or Products To Address Pain Points?

It is essential to understand if the prospect is looking for a new solution to address the particular pain point. Depending upon the business, the pain points your solution addresses may not significantly inconvenience the prospect. You can spend your time and efforts prospecting leads which might be more interested in a new solution.

7. How Does The Prospect Company Evaluate New Products Or Services Before Buying?

Understanding how the prospect's company evaluates any new product or service before buying is essential for various reasons. If the evaluation criteria are such that your solution might not be suitable, the prospect might abandon the sales cycle when you display the value. Knowing the evaluation criteria in advance can help display value and tackle objections later in the sales process.

8. What Are The Prospect’s Top Priorities In A Solution?

Priorities can differ across prospects. While some might prioritize pain points addressed by your solution, others might have different challenges to tackle. Spending too much time with prospects without understanding what solution they are looking for can create more significant challenges for sales reps. You can shift the focus if the priorities don't match. Knowing the prospect's priorities also define pitch, demo, and closing stages in the sales process.

9. What Is The Prospect’s Budget?

Budget is a significant factor while deciding whether to buy or not. Your product might be an exact match, but it might not be within the budget. In that case, you will spend your time and resources behind a prospect who could not buy. Knowing the budget can help you modify the pitch according to their budget. The budget also tends to become a point of contention in the tackling objections stage of the sales process. Getting a head-up during qualifying can increase the chances of conversion. You can offer your product or service that solves their challenges at their desired price.

10. How Quickly Is The Prospect Hoping To See Results? Or What’s The Expected Timeline To Implement A New Solution?

Every solution requires time to be implemented. There is a process from trial to set up to corrective control. Your prospect might be looking for a solution and results within, say, two months, but your solution takes longer to be implemented. What would be the worst? Spending hours and days building a rapport with the lead and finding out that they are looking for results in an unachievable timeline.

What’s Next?

While these are some of the most common unmissable questions, there might be many other qualifying questions that you may ask, depending on your business. It is thus essential to have a qualifying process in place to save resources, time, and efforts of the sales reps.

Besides asking qualifying questions, building the buyer persona can simplify your qualifying process by manifold. A buyer persona is the profile of an ideal prospective buyer for your business. It can be created by looking at data and interacting with all the sales reps who directly deal with prospects. Having a buyer persona makes it easier for sales reps to determine if the lead is qualified or not. If the prospect's answers during the qualifying stage of the sales process are similar to that of the buyer persona, then the lead is more likely to be qualified and should be prioritized.

Make sure you design your own sales qualifying questions and build your buyer persona before making your next sales call!

Shreya Palsani
Contributing Writer
Shreya Palsani
Contributing Writer
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