Are You Qualified?

Whatever your business, sales success depends on converting sales leads into paying customers. We all know that not all leads will turn into business. So, we invest in generating more leads than we need. And when your sales team have plenty of leads, you need to help them prioritise. To do this we try to identify those that will most likely become good customers. This is LEAD QUALIFICATION.

You need to ask the right questions to determine whether you should progress the opportunity to the next stage in your sales process.

Good Lead Qualification Starts with a Conversation & Good Questions

Try to have a common set of questions that you can ‘score’ if necessary, based on their responses. This should help you determine if is this the right type of customer for your business, can you help them, can you add value with your products/services. Are they going to be one-offs or long-term customers? Will they be profitable?

Don’t procrastinate, decide if the fit is there or not and get to a YES or NO as quickly as possible by having a robust and appropriate qualification process.

Good sales qualification of your leads will improve your sales conversion and business profitability. Poor qualification will increase your cost of delivery, and potentially bring in some other risk factors for your business.

Also, remember that a qualified lead requires more of your attention than an unqualified lead. It’s all about prioritisation. 


BANT, SCOTSMAN or Something Else?

To help you with qualification, there are number of well-known methods of doing this, usually in the form of checklists and known by their acronyms. Two of the best are BANT and SCOTSMAN; which you use depends on your preferences and circumstances. And there are plenty of others to choose from. Here’s a quick summary of them:

BANT is widely used and gives 4 categories into which your lead qualification questions are grouped:
  • Budget – is there a budget available?
  • Authority – Are you talking to the right person? Decision maker or influencer? Who else is involved?
  • Need – what problem are they trying to solve? Do you know their needs and pain-points?
  • Timeline – is there urgency? When do they want to buy?

SCOTSMAN is a little more complicated and usually kept for more complex sales processes and customer organisations. It works on the same principles as BANT though:
  • Solution – do they like it? Is it right for them?
  • Competition – who else is involved?
  • Originality – Are your USPs important to the client?
  • Timescales – are they realistic, understood, agreed?
  • Size – Is it optimal size for you? Are you the right size of vendor for the customer?
  • Money – Is it on-budget? Affordable? Competitive?
  • Authority – Are you talking to the right person? Decision maker or influencer? Who else is involved?
  • Need– what problem are they trying to solve? Do you know their needs and pain-points?

Your Next Steps

Whether you use one of these methods, another one or your own, we can help you to embed them into your Zoho CRM. You should have a scoring system for leads to help your sales team prioritise.

Once your scoring system is in place, use it to qualify and progress sales prospects. But also, use it to disqualify (or ‘qualify out’) others. There’s no point in wasting time and resource on prospects that’ll be unlikely to deliver profitable sales.

As ever, please ask for help from Inner Core Solutions. We are Zoho experts, and we can help you to bring your lead qualification needs into reality. Chances are whatever you want, we’ve done something similar for other clients.



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