One of the biggest challenges the B2B company's sales crew faces is filtering the qualified leads from the massive pool of random contact lists.
Were you aware that 61% of B2B marketing professionals forward all of their sales leads to their sales representatives, and the number that qualifies is only 27%? This means that six of the ten leads the marketing team forwards to the sales crew possess no potential for conversion into a successful deal.
Every single one of the non-qualified prospects takes up weeks and months of attention and interactions from the sales teams until they bid their last goodbye by posing a 'NO.' Tons of emails, follow-ups, and calls go down the bin at the beginning of the sales funnel, bringing home nothing but frustration.
To filter leads and determine whether they are a good fit for your business, you must follow a simple rule – ask them questions! You must add the best qualifying and sales engagement questions to your scripts or email templates to secure yourself from wasting resources on anything that does not bring results.
Besides, your sales crew can divert their engagement to tasks that would matter more. For instance, they could contact the qualified leads faster or follow up with the ones stuck in the final stages of the sales pipeline. To help you with qualifying a customer in sales, I have curated these sales qualifying questions for you. Let us dive in!
Sales qualification is the process of evaluating and determining whether a lead or prospect is a good fit for your product or service and has the potential to become a paying customer.
It's a crucial step in the sales process that helps you focus your efforts on leads that are more likely to result in successful deals, hence, optimizing resource allocation and improving conversion rates.
The goal of sales qualification is to separate leads that are ready to move forward from those that require further nurturing or might not be a suitable fit.
Sales qualification is a critical step in the sales process that involves evaluating leads to determine their potential as viable customers. Here's why sales qualification is important:
Qualifying leads prevents sales teams from wasting time and resources on prospects who are unlikely to make a purchase. It allows teams to allocate their efforts toward leads that have genuine interest and a higher chance of conversion.
By focusing on qualified leads, sales professionals can tailor their approach to address specific pain points and needs. This increases the likelihood of delivering a compelling solution, thereby increasing the chances of closing the deal.
Qualifying leads early in the process enables sales teams to quickly identify prospects who are ready to move forward. This accelerates the sales cycle by reducing time spent on leads that are not a good fit.
Effective qualification ensures that you're targeting prospects who align with your product or service. This allows you to use the customer experience to increase sales or start more meaningful conversations.
By directing efforts towards qualified leads, you're more likely to achieve a higher return on investment (ROI) for your sales and marketing activities.
So, after learning more about what sales qualification is and how it is crucial for your business, let’s take a look at some of the sales qualifying questions that can help you determine the stability of a lead.
How a prospect learns about you is one of the very simple and straightforward qualifying questions for sales. It sounds less like one of the questions to filter leads and more like a formality question. But one can tell a lot about the buying potential of a prospect based on how they came across your business.
As a starter, their answer lets you know their source, like a referral, Facebook, or a webinar. You can estimate the quality of the lead based on their answer. You can also match your experience with the past sales leads you acquired from the same source and modify your sales engagement approach.
For instance, a sales lead who reaches out to you via a referral is highly likely to convert compared to anyone who found you by clicking on a search ad.
Not just that. The leads might indicate how familiar they are with your brand. Someone who reached you by clicking on an ad might not know anything about what your business does.
On the other hand, a lead who attended a webinar might know a thing or two about your business. You can use the source of the lead to design a way of approach to take the conversation ahead.
This is one of those qualifying questions in sales that help you know who you are dealing with. Point blank, if your point of contact cannot make the buying decision, what is the point of spending resources on selling to them?
In several cases, the business heads appoint an assistant to explore options and collect information. But one can never be sure of the details being passed on to the decision-maker.
In addition, if you are lucky enough to pass on to the decision maker via the assistant, you might as well have to repeat the sales process from scratch.
On the other hand, if you directly speak with the company's decision-maker, you save time and have to convince only one person to make a purchase.
This question helps you have the count of people you must convince to convert the lead. You would have an idea of the people involved and their roles in advance.
With such details, you can estimate the timeframe you would require to close the deal and devise an effective way to move ahead with the sales process.
Changing is hard in every aspect of life. Only challenging problems create a need and desire to change. Asking the prospect about their situation is one of the essential questions for lead qualification. It helps you dive deeper into the issues of the prospective client.
Ask them about their pain points and what they want as a solution. Doing so allows you to take a customer-centric sales approach, focusing first on their problems and not on making a sale.
Pain points work as catalysts for action. The prospective client would either be experiencing pain in business or will discover a problem once you uncover it. It will help if you put their pain points in front of them early in the process. The bigger the issue the prospect is facing, the sooner you can close the deal.
There would be something that would have prompted your prospective lead to look for a solution. There might have been your webinar they attended by accident which uncovered a hidden problem with their business.
Whatever the case, you must know why they are looking for solutions at that very point. The answer to this question would help you understand the driving factor that pushed them to act.
After knowing their answer to this question, you can offer solutions to their problems promptly, resulting in quick conversions. Companies without urgency in solving their business problems in a specific timeframe are less likely to convert.
If there is no reason to force a business to take action, the prospects might be out in the market gathering more details and getting into the buying mindset at a later date.
It is essential to ask prospects about the solutions they have implemented before. You do not want to suggest something they had tried before, especially if it was a failure.
It is better if the lead tells you about the solutions that did not work for them. This way, they would be more open to hearing and adopting newer solutions. You can dig into their previous attempts to fix their problems and offer more solid, relevant solutions through your products or services.
This is one of the qualifying sales lead questions similar to "How did you get to know about our business?" But it will help you with information that can lead to conversions.
For some businesses, a brand name is essential. A company’s brand speaks a lot about its service quality, mission, values, and what one must expect when doing business.
Studies reveal that 80% of customers agree to pay more for a quality customer experience. That’s why, prospects fond of brands would not negotiate much with the price when doing business with you.
If your prospective lead is unaware of your company or brand, make it a priority to change that. When they buy from you, they invest in the company. It would help if you made efforts so they know what they are investing in when they choose you.
If the lead is merely looking for a solution, they might look into your competitors and invest with the one offering them a better deal. However, if they state they have heard good reviews about your services or have come to you by referral, you have a better chance to convert them using the right sales engagement strategies.
When asking qualifying questions to your prospective leads, do not forget to ask them about their last vendor and what went wrong. If your prospect is already doing business with a competitor, do not hesitate to ask why they are switching.
Something is responsible for driving the change, when you know what, you can sell your product or service accordingly both now and down the road.
The answer to this question is to help you with a list of things you must avoid. For instance, if the previous vendor provided delayed follow-ups, you would know where to put in the extra effort.
An added benefit is that you get a window into your competitor's weak points. You can highlight their weak points and make them your strength.
People look for new solutions for varied reasons. Some are searching for a similar service but at a lower cost. Others might want results. For that reason, they look for a business that would help them scale, despite the price they pay.
Being a salesperson, never assume what companies might be looking for. Each company comes with a different priority. Ask them about their priority points – saving money, producing high-caliber work, or being more productive. It is better to focus on one problem at a time instead of tackling multiple issues in one instance.
With the answer to this qualifying question, you can present a proposal that aligns with their primary motive. It will also tell you a lot about their sense of urgency and timeline. This question alone cannot help you qualify different types of leads but can open ample conversational points that would uncover their requirements and goals.
The budget question is one of the most critical questions for lead qualification. In the end, every sales deal boils down to money. Even if what you offer is excellent to resolve your prospect's problem, they might not be able to afford it.
Budget is the topmost discussion point that every sales deal requires. It helps you qualify prospective leads based on their budget in the early stages.
Asking prospective clients about their budgets can help you tailor custom solutions for them that would benefit both parties involved. However, do not bring money into the conversation too early. Wait for the right opportunity to discuss the budget when sitting one-on-one with the prospective client.
Or you can offer a free trial of your product to your prospects to get them familiar with your offerings firsthand. For example, Zixflow lets you use its platform for as long as you want with its lifelong-free plan.
While preparing the sales lead qualification questions, ask the leads their preferred mode of communication. Every prospective client has a preferred communication channel, and you must know what that is.
Some prospective sales leads might be on the run at all times, while others might be chained to their office desks. In both cases, the modes of communication can be different. Save yourself resources and time by knowing where and how to further communicate with them.
This might also hint to you about their interest level. Someone who provides you with their phone number might be highly interested in your proposals. If they give you their email address, your emails might get to their junk box.
With this question, the goal is to set clear expectations for modes of communication in the future. It would also let your prospect understand that you value both their and your own time.
To make the most of the preferred mode of communication for your prospect, you need a powerful sales engagement tool with multi-channel functionality. Zixflow is a modern salesOS that offers many ways to reach out to your prospects, such as SMS, email, and WhatsApp.
This is one of those sales qualifying questions that help you know the deal breakers, enabling you to avoid offering what the prospect cannot accommodate. Several factors can lead to the collapse of a deal, and some of them might not be in your control. And, if you know that early on, you can save time and effort.
A lead-to-deal conversion percentage is low for B2B sales. According to Implicitly, the conversion rate is a mere 0.08% or nearly 1 out of every 128 leads. So, asking some direct questions can help you invest your time in other sales leads with higher conversion rates.
Selling your service or product is just the start. Once the deal is sealed, onboarding, implementation, and ramp-up time can affect how swiftly your customer issues are resolved.
If they desire to see results immediately, they might be willing to make a purchase right away. On the other hand, they might not be ready to make a purchase instantly if they do not have a fixed timeframe.
This question enables you to evaluate how quickly you must respond. You can use the timeline to determine how quickly they will make a buying decision. Once you know the timeline, you should set realistic goals to implement a solution.
This sales-qualifying question enables you to know the other forces you are up against.
There can be a chance that your prospects are considering your competitors. You can use this question to crack conversations using a suitable sales engagement approach and offer them proposals to encourage them to choose you over others.
For example, there can be a scenario where a prospect has finalized a vendor and is only out to check if they can get a better offer. They might not have any intentions of buying from you. Instead, they intend to use your quotation to negotiate with their finalized vendor.
The prospective leads who are serious about doing business with you will be serious about making a decision. They would also be able to give you a rough time frame. They seek solutions and mostly have a timeline in place.
Having an answer to this question also showcases their commitment to finding and implementing a solution. Also, the more instant the requirement, the quicker you need to be with them.
A prospective client who requires a solution quickly would need you to be more active than someone who requires a solution in the coming two months.
With prospects needing a solution in a short time, you will need to focus more on adding value to each touchpoint. Once you get a timeframe, you can plan your steps accordingly to seal the deal.
Qualification of leads is an inevitable part of the nurturing process of sales leads. It allows you to determine if a prospective sales lead is worthy of your efforts, time, and attention.
These questions help you evaluate how much the two involved entities can benefit from one another. Some sales lead qualifying questions would help you determine which prospective client is in the mindset to sign a deal and begin doing business with you.
A part of asking these questions is also related to sales psychology to evaluate things for your business. You can use various methodologies in using the sales leads qualification questions based on the values and requirements of your company.
Although decision-makers like you and your product, having a yes from this is just the starting stage of the agreement. Typically, another individual or department is responsible for collaborating with you.
However, it is not fun for the person (or division) to collaborate and implement your product as it might result in more work for them on top of their daily duties.
For that reason, identify who will oversee the implementation and management of your product or service. After that, try to convince them about the advantages it will bring to their organization and how it will make their life easier.
Failing to do so can lead to suboptimal execution of your offerings, increasing the likelihood of customer attrition.
Lead qualification does not need much of your time but saves hundreds of hours of the work time of your sales crew. It would work as a filter to extract the potential leads from the bulk of client leads you get each month. It would help if you used the sales leads qualifying questions and put them to proper use immediately.
On top of that, if you wish to streamline the sales strategy and optimize your sales process for your sales crew, you can schedule a personalized meeting with us. Here, you can access top-of-the-line sales software to manage sales and automate your workflows. This way, you will be at pace with the latest sales trends that help generate revenue.