Before the Internet changed the business world, sales representatives used to devote significant amount of time and energy into each and every sales meeting. They felt strongly the urgency of turning sparse sales prospects into customers and offered them high levels of attention and effort.
These days the reality is different. With relentless access to a worldwide audience, it has become crucial to determine which leads are prominent to make an effort and which should be left unbothered as they are most likely to end up in a dead end.
The skill of conducting properly the lead generation qualification process in sales allows to focus on making lucrative deals and saving up lots of energy, time and money. All you need to do is to control sales conversations and ask the right questions to find yourself on the right path.
Not every sales opportunity is worth effort
One of the most common mistakes, especially among not experienced salespeople, is trying to seize every single sales opportunity. They get so excited at the thought of making a sale itself that they cease to take into consideration the bigger picture.
They may get so enthusiastic about the prospect of making a sale, touching a sales commision or simply finalizing a sales transaction that they don’t see long-term aspects such as profitability or compatibility.
Therefore, try to hold back and weigh potential of each sales opportunity. Focus primarily on the ones most promising that have high chances of bringing value to your business.
BANT and CHAMP methodology
The vast majority of sales professionals outnumber BANT methodology as the most accurate ones to qualify the sales leads.
The BANT stands for Budget, Authority, Need and Timing. It means that if you are sure that a sales prospect:
- can afford your offer (Budget),
- has a decision making power (Authority),
- has a painstaking need for your offering (Need),
- need your offer in a defined timeline that suits you (Timing),
it is the right sales prospect and you can push them for making a final decision.
Other sales professionals also mention CHAMP methodology as being more state-of-the-art one compared to the BANT.
CHAMP stands for Challenges, Authority, Money and Prioritization and replace the need with the challenges which your sales prospects are facing.
Asking the right questions
During the sales meeting instead of quoting your scrupulously-prepared pitch praising your business, you should start with asking the right questions to make sure your offer fits sales prospect’s needs. If you backfire with a pitch, you risk ending up answering prospect’s questions and not being able to ask yours.
Moreover, if you jump right into the benefits of your offer, you won’t be able to create an emotional connection with your sales prospect which, according to Gallup study, is even more important for the sales process than customer satisfaction.
By asking the right questions, you are able to tap into prospect’s emotions and concerns. You can start with asking how their decision-making process looks like in order to find out who has the authority to make the final purchasing decision and what are the overall objectives of their company.
Being aware of this, you can ask a sales prospect about the criteria they are looking for. It allows you to identify whether your offer is a good fit and whether the sales prospect it is a qualified lead or not. Nevertheless, remember to center around meaningful questions trying not to overwhelm interlocutor as it will look like an interrogational.
Also, have in mind that you don’t need to wait up until sales meetings in order to qualify leads. You should take advantage of the information that comes from marketing or streets department and take them into account in the lead qualification process as it will allow you to initially sift the leads into more and less promising ones.
All in all, the lead generation qualification process in sales allows you to center your efforts on the right sales prospects. It can assist you in saving a lot of money, effort and focusing on the leads that have the potential to provide your business with value.