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, calls, etc., 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 questions for sales to your cold calling scripts and 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 at the final stages of the sales funnel.
To help you with qualifying a customer in sales, we have created a compilation of sales qualifying questions for you. Let us dive in.
Sales qualifying questions you must ask for lead qualification
How did you hear about us?
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 ways of dealing with them. 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.
Why does it work? 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 that 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.
Are you the decision maker?
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 merely one person to make a purchase.
Why does it work? 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.
What are the problems you want to solve?
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.
Why does it work? 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 more needy the prospect is, the sooner you close the deal.
Why do you need a solution now?
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.
Why does it work? Companies that emphasize solutions to their problems asap are more qualified for 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, they might be out in the market gathering more details and getting into the buying mindset.
Have you tried solving your problems in the past? If yes, how?
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.
Why does it work? It is better if the prospective lead concludes 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 the weak ends of the resolutions left behind.
What made you interested in our brand?
This is one of the qualifying sales leads 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 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. Therefore, 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.
Why does it work? 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, the situation turns in your favour.
Why did you stop doing business with your previous vendor?
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, moving ahead.
Why does it work? 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.
What are the main attributes you are looking for in a solution?
Businesses look for solutions for varied reasons. Some look to save money; hence they look for a competitive brand that costs them less. Others might want results; hence 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-calibre work, or being more productive. It is better to focus on one problem at a time instead of tackling multiple issues in one instance.
Why does it work? 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 a lead but can open ample conversational points that would uncover their requirements and goals.
What is your budget?
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.
Why does it work? 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.
What is the ideal way of communication moving ahead?
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.
Why does it work? 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.
What is it that can prevent a business connection between us?
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.
Why does it work? A lead-to-deal conversion percentage is deficient. Implicitly say the conversion rate is a mere 0.08% or nearly 1 out of every 128 leads. Therefore, asking some direct questions can help you invest your time in other sales leads with higher conversion rates.
In what timeframe are you expecting results?
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.
Why does it work? 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.
Are you evaluating any other solutions?
This sales-qualifying question enables you to know the outer forces you are up against. There can be a chance of your prospects considering your competitor companies. You can crack conversations and offer them proposals to deviate them more to your side.
Why does it work? There can be a scenario where a prospective 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.
When do you plan to make a decision?
The prospective leads that are serious about doing business with you will be serious about taking 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.
Why does it work? 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.
How to make use of the qualifying questions in sales?
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 the sales qualification questions is also a psychological way to evaluate things for your business. One can use various methodologies in using the sales leads qualification questions based on the values and requirements of your company.
Make the most of this set of qualifying questions examples.
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 to get each month. It would help if you used the sales leads qualifying questions examples and put them to proper use immediately.
In addition, if you wish to smoothen the sales strategy and simplify the selling approach for your sales crew, you can schedule a consultation with the experts at Sales Simplify. Here we offer you the best CRM solutions to manage sales and related activities. You can learn and implement sales automation and get at pace with the latest sales trends that help generate revenue.