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The first dynamic we must understand when it comes to effectively qualifying deals is that the act of qualification and maintaining a full pipeline are inseparable entities. They are joined at the hip and both must be healthy.
It is virtually impossible for a Salesperson to effectively qualify deals when they are suffering from a dry pipeline.
When your pipeline is dry you will get desperate.
When you’re desperate, and there are varying degrees of desperation, you will become overly hopeful, overly optimistic and you will falsely believe that some deals, that you don’t stand a chance of closing, will close.
You slip into denial and ignore the signs that are red flags while you simultaneously elevate the importance of rudimentary activities such as; “they agreed to meet with me”.
Now here’s the positive!
When you have 3X the number of deals in your pipeline that you need to hit your number in any given month you think clearly, you happily deselect the deals that are unqualified, you invest your time in the activities that will move the needle on sales and you feel unstoppable and now selling becomes a blast.
In my next blog I will share with you the activities that I am observing Top Producing Sales Professionals doing to keep their pipeline full in today’s market.
Back to qualification. Here are 9 telltale signs that a prospect is with you, that they are in fact “qualified” and therefore worthy of your time and company resources:
- There is some trigger event that is forcing the prospect to buy. Things such as: they are relocating, productivity is suffering, morale is terrible, a competitor is gaining ground, they are rebranding, they are taking a new product to market, they are going into a new market space. (These are also referred to as “Business Drivers” and “Compelling Reasons to Buy”.)
- The money to purchase your product is in the budget
- Your contact is either the final decision maker or they are an influencer who is “respected” within the company and their opinion is held in high regard
- They answer your questions openly and honestly
- They give you the documents and data you need to put a solution together
- They introduce you to other stakeholders within the organization
- They promptly return your phone calls and emails
- They tell you who your competition is and where you both stand in the process
- They tell you what their decision making process is, time frame and what their decision criteria is
It’s tough to remove deals from your pipeline. It takes grit.
It’s natural for you to want your pipeline to look full to impress your Sales Manager and to reduce your worry and anxiety.
But you need to trust me on this, your worry, your anxiety and the respect you get from your superiors will all take a turn for the worse if you are stuffing poorly qualified deals into your pipeline and the time finally arrives when you all figure that out.
Putting unqualified deals in your pipeline is like paying your mortgage or rent on a credit card. At some point it catches up with you.
Come back and read next week’s blog.
I’ll help you understand how to prospect in today’s market and how to get your prospecting activity, deal qualification and your pipeline all flying in formation so you’re successful and feel great about yourself!
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