Sales qualifying questions can save you the time and effort of going through the entire pipeline with a non-starter.
You can’t convert every single lead that comes your way, no matter how excellent a salesperson you are—mostly because a small percentage of your leads won’t be a good fit for the items or services you provide. This is why sales qualification questions are crucial.
In this RisePath blog, we’ll go through eight sales qualifying questions you can use to weed out bad fit prospects in this post, as well as why it’s critical to ask these questions during the sales process.
Why is lead qualification important?
The process of establishing if a prospect is a good fit for the items or services you sell is known as sales qualification. It’s significant since it indicates how you should spend your time.
Why waste time trying to persuade a prospect who isn’t a suitable fit for your products and/or services to buy? If you emphasise good fit prospects, you’ll close more deals in less time while lowering the likelihood of unhappy customers and refunds.
How do you qualify leads, specifically?
Eight sales qualification questions
Simply talking with leads is one of the most effective ways to qualify them. Here are eight sales qualification questions to ask your prospects to see whether they’re a suitable fit for your business:
1. How did you learn about us?
This is a basic question that can reveal a lot about your prospect and their purchasing power. It can tell you, for example, which of your company’s sales and marketing efforts are working. Did your prospect respond to a Facebook ad? Were you referred to them?
You can examine the lead source after you have this information. Do most Facebook leads turn into paying customers? If your lead comes from Facebook, they might not convert as well.
When should you ask this question? This is a wonderful question to ask at the start of the sales process in general. As previously stated, it can provide you with intriguing details about your prospect without feeling very pushy or “salesy,” which can turn off prospects.
Why this query is effective: This sales qualifying question can help you figure out where your prospects are in the sales funnel. If they approach you after watching a webinar, for example, you can presume they are familiar with your company.
If they came via a Google Ad, though, there’s a good possibility they have no understanding of what distinguishes your company and its products unique from those of your competitors.
2. Who in your firm determines purchasing decisions?
Why waste your time speaking with someone who is unable to acquire your products? When it comes to purchasing new products and services, your prospect should at the very least be a part of the decision-making process.
Many business leaders hire assistants to look for new software tools, partner agencies, and other possibilities. As a result, there’s a probability that the person who contacts you lacks purchasing power.
When should you ask this question: This question should be asked at the start of the sales process once more. Your time is precious. Don’t waste time with salespeople who can’t make purchases. At best, you’ll have to pitch your lead twice: once to the assistant and again to their boss, the company’s ultimate decision-maker.
Why this question is effective: Knowing who makes the decisions is usually beneficial. You’ll understand exactly who you need to persuade to close a transaction by asking this question of a new lead.
3. What is the business challenge you must solve?
The truth is that businesses do not invest in new products and services for the sake of doing so. They do it because they’re having difficulty solving a problem. As a salesperson, it’s your job to figure out what difficulty your prospects are having.
You can assess whether your products are a suitable solution once you understand your prospects’ pain concerns. Proceed with the sales process if they are. Move on if they aren’t.
When should you ask this question: After the initial pleasantries, ask this question near the beginning of the sales process. It is preferable to know the answer as quickly as possible. However, don’t make them feel obligated to answer this question right away. This could make you appear unduly aggressive.
Why this question is effective: The core of sales is pain points. You may promote your product as the best solution—or not—once you understand your prospect’s problems. Learn about your lead’s problem and see if you can help them solve it.
4. Why is this issue so important to you right now?
You need to learn why your prospect wants to solve the problem right now once you know what problem they want to solve. This will provide you with information about their motivations.
Has their organisation recently undergone a leadership change? Have their current provider’s prices gone up? Perhaps they’ve had legal issues in the past and require your products and/or services to help them prevent them in the future.
When should you ask this question: Right after asking your prospect about the problem they’re looking to solve. Let’s say in the middle of your first sales call.
Why this question is effective: Prospects who want to buy now rather than later are more likely to buy than those who don’t have a deadline. Focus on leads who have an immediate demand for your services to close more business.
5. Have you attempted to address this problem before? What went wrong with your previous solution?
You must know what your prospect has attempted to tackle their problem in the past. You also need to know why their past attempts to solve the problem(s) were unsuccessful. That way, you won’t make a similar suggestion and waste everyone’s time.
When should you ask this question: After you’ve asked your prospect why their problem is currently a top priority for them. In reality, questions three, four, and five can be combined into a single three-part question. In the middle of your first conversation with a prospect, ask them this question.
Why this query is effective: You can recommend additional options—if you have them—once you know what your leads have previously tried. Send your prospect on their way if you can’t provide them with a realistic option that they haven’t tried yet.
6. Do you currently have the funds to implement this solution? If that’s the case, when do you plan to buy?
If you want to properly qualify your leads, you must talk about money. So don’t be scared to inquire about your prospect’s budget and when they plan to buy.
You’ll know they’re not a good fit for your firm right now if they can’t afford your goods. You can focus your efforts on other, more buy-ready prospects while staying in touch until they’re ready to pull the trigger if they don’t intend to make a purchase anytime soon.
When should you ask this question: It’s difficult to know when the best time is to bring up a prospect’s budget. If you ask too quickly, you’ll come across as pushy. If you wait too long to ask, you risk losing time on a lead who will never become a customer.
Prospects frequently inquire about the cost of your products and services. When they do, respond truthfully. If you’re forced to initiate budget discussions on your own, we recommend doing so in the middle of the first chat.
Why this question is effective: One of the most important considerations that businesses evaluate when evaluating new products and services is cost. Before a prospect becomes a qualified lead, you need to determine if they can afford your services.
7. What could prevent your organisation from progressing?
Are there any deal-breakers with your prospect? If that’s the case, you should be aware of them.
Imagine going through the entire sales process with a prospect, spending hours on the phone with them, sending endless emails, and altering your calendar to fit them in. Only to discover that they are adamantly opposed to (blank)—a circumstance beyond your control.
You can assess whether your organisation can satisfy your prospect’s non-negotiables or if you should move on once you know what they are.
When should you ask this question: As soon as possible. Consider asking this sales qualification question to your prospects during your first call with them.
Why this question is effective: To close a deal, the average salesperson requires 128 leads. Learn about deal-breakers to weed out unqualified prospects and speed up the sales process.
8. Have you considered any other options?
Who are you up against for the contract? You may influence sales conversations to showcase the distinct benefits of your services if you know who you’re up against.
When should you ask this question: Near the end of the sales qualification process, this question can be asked. It’s not crucial, but it can provide you with useful information.
Why this question is effective: You must determine whether your prospect is actually interested in your company’s products or is simply looking for a better deal. Every now and again, you’ll come across a lead who is merely interested in speaking with you in order to gain an advantage over another seller.
These eight sales qualification questions will assist you in identifying prospects who are a good fit for you. You can then devote your time to these deals, increasing your close rate.
It’s worth noting that you don’t have to ask all eight questions in order to qualify for a lead. Choose the ones that best suit your requirements and disregard the rest. They’re doing their job if they keep you focused on the proper leads, and you’ll be a stronger seller as a result.