The process of qualifying or disqualifying leads is an exercise that can be incredibly beneficial to you, if you do it the right way. It is important to eliminate prospects that are not serious or not able buy from you because it ultimately helps you optimize the amount of time you are spending on those who actually can or want to buy your products. Spending time on the right leads will increase your chances of success because you’re investing time and energy on the right people.
In order to start the process of qualifying or disqualifying a lead, it is important to ask these five fundamental questions:
- How Well Does the Prospect Meet Your Ideal Customer Profile?
This question does not have to be an exhaustive process or a long list of qualities. The purpose of it is to gather enough information about them to know if there is a high probability that your solution will meet their wants and needs. Once you are further along in the sales process and you’ve gathered all of the necessary details, you will be in the right position to determine and articulate how your product will benefit them, help them grow, generate more revenue, or streamline their operations. Gather information that can help you either qualify or disqualify them for your product.
- Do They Have a Budget In Mind?
Every business is different, which means that a budget can vary drastically from merchant to merchant. If your buyer has a particular budget number in mind, this is a great indication of if they are even able to purchase your product or not. As a sales person, whether or not they can actually purchase anything is crucial. When a business creates a budget towards a point of sale device, they are making a plan to either spend or save money. Price qualification is important, so find out how much they are planning to spend. If they have a budget of $200K and you know your solution is no less than $400K, then you know this is more than likely a deal-breaker.
- What Is Driving the Decision?
Understanding why a merchant is in the market for a new or upgraded point of sale device is critical. Asking your prospect why they are looking will help determine what benefits your product can offer them. Once you have asked about the driving points, finding out what is working or not working with their current solution can help you position your product in the best possible way. Aside from the problems they are looking to solve, find out if there is a specific event driving this decision, such as product support about to expire.
- When Are They Planning to Implement?
Knowing if you have the resources to available to meet their planned implementation date is important. If you are not able to provide the device to them by their implementation date or if their timeline is not flexible, it may be a good idea to not waste any more time on a sales cycle that has no realistic delivery point. Beyond that, it is important to know their timeline because as a value added reseller, the merchant is dependent on you for resources to install and support their new solution.
- What Other Products Are They Considering?
It is always good to have an idea of what you are competing against for multiple reasons. For one, it helps you to understand up front how to position you, your company, and your products. It also helps promote value within your own products and to know if the competition is comparable. Consider the price of the competition. If you can see that the price point is vastly lower, than perhaps gaining their business is not realistic.
Since the goal of this entire practice is to get answers, it is best to avoid interrogation or aggressive questioning. Pepper them into casual conversation naturally to help make the prospect feel the most comfortable with you. Assure them that you are trying to find the best fit for them and to see if your solutions are the most beneficial. Remember to always be honest and genuine, business owners appreciate that.
These questions, but more importantly the answers to them, will provide you with the insight you need to figure out if you should invest your time and energy into pursuing the lead. Work to get all of the above questions answered while you are getting to know the prospect. If the prospect cannot answer most of these questions, you may be wasting your time completely. At the most basic level, qualifying leads is essentially time management – putting a focus of your efforts on the person who will yield a return.