Lead Generation: How to Qualify Your Prospect
Part of your lead generation follow-up is how you go about qualifying your prospect and early qualification is the best. This is key to developing your pipeline and not wasting time.
If you fail to qualify your prospect correctly you might be acting like a “free” employee and doing problem analysis, preparing a solution or just being there to talk to with the prospect. It’s a good relationship and it’s natural to assume you will eventually make a sale.
Part of the solution selling process is to qualify your prospect early and to make sure you have a good system for the qualification process.
What Does Early Qualification Mean?
As you develop your career as a sales guru and to be successful, you must ask the basic qualifying questions early in every sales cycle. And you must get answers to your questions. In addition, you should verify those answers.
Do this before you commit to a walk through or presentation. This will help you manage your time efficiently.
What Questions Should You Ask?
To start your qualifying process and to confirm whether or not the prospect is qualified, ask the “W” questions (what, why, when, and who).
The What Question
- What need(s) does the prospect have that can be met by your product or solution?
Can you clearly articulate those needs?
The Why Question
- Why would the prospect be willing to spend “x” dollars for your product?
The When Question(s)
- When does the prospect plan to change their current situation?
Implementation⎯not the close date⎯is the key because it is the purpose behind the buying decision. It also will tell you if customer has a sense of urgency.
The Who Questions
- Who will make the decision to buy? Have they made buying decisions in the past?
- Who are the decision influencers who can bring pressure to bear (positive or
negative) on the person who will make the final decision?
- Who in the above list have you called on? It should be everyone.
- Do not perform a product walk-through or presentation until all parties are present.
A Qualified Prospect Meets the Four Qualifying Criteria:
1. Has a need we can meet.
2. Has a compelling reason to buy.
3. Has a sense of urgency.
4. Has sufficient budget to purchase in a timely fashion.
Consider this for just a minute. If your prospect has no pain (or need or problem), then they will not make a change. If they can’t articulate this pain, they are not a qualified prospect.
Lead generation is not just about collecting names, but there is a lot of work after you have generated that lead to make sure you have the right prospect in your pipeline.