Good sales professionals qualify leads early in the sales process so that they don’t waste time. Great sales professionals make sure prospects gain value from the qualification process. Use questions to help prospects better understand their challenges, needs, obstacles and how to approach the decision process.
If you’ve worked in sales for a while, you’ve probably heard of BANT method developed by IBM. Asking questions related toBudget, Authority, Need and Timing helps you qualify leads. You might have also heard that BANT isn’t enough anymore, and that’s right.
Here’s a fresh take on categorizing qualification questions:
Start by recognizing the challenges and needs of the prospect, and then walk through the factors that will affect their purchase decisions.
Tip: The best sales professionals spend more time listening than talking.
CHALLENGES & OBJECTIVES
- What challenges are you currently facing?
- What problems are you trying to solve?
- How long have these challenges affected you?
- What drove you to consider our solution?
- What are your objectives for this project? What benefits do you expect, and what would be nice to have?
- If you could change one aspect of your business right now, what would it be?
- Which individuals will be involved in the decision-making process? What roles will they play?
- How can I support you as you involve others in this decision?
- How have you approached similar decisions in the past? What factors help you make the best decisions as an organization?
- Are you considering other firms? What do you need to know to make an informed choice between these firms?
- Which individuals will have the final say on the purchasing decision? What issues are important to them?
- What obstacles do you foresee in selecting and implementing this product / service?
- How is your company feeling about the future? Are there concerns that will affect your decision?
- Are there any individuals that may be opposed to this decision? Why?
- Has your organization invested in a similar solution in the past? What pitfalls or obstacles did you experience?
- What is driving you to look for a solution now?
- What is your timeframe for making a decision?
- What factors will speed-up or slow-down your decision?
- If there is an existing solution in place, when will that solution / contract expire?
- When will you have the time and availability to begin an implementation?
- How will you develop a budget for this project?
- What factors will affect your budget process?
- Who is typically involved in the budget process for products like ours?
- If you don’t invest in a solution at this time, what impact do you expect to the business?
- What risks have you identified in selecting a solution? How can I better help you understand or mitigate those risks?
Technically this list includes 36 questions, including follow-ups to help your prospect elaborate and expand.
Tip: Whittle this list down as you progress through the sales call…the prospect will naturally cover some of these topics without prompting.
This article originally appeared on Claritysoft and has been republished with permission.