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Whether the prospect has come to you, or you have reached out to them, the first discovery call will be pivotal for your sales team.
During this call, you will be understanding your prospect’s intentions, their business, and any pain points that they are trying to overcome, etc.
At this point, you would want to assess your prospect against the solution you are offering and their ability and desire to purchase. And to do that proactively, you will need a well-thought-out sales qualification process while building a sales strategy.
In this ultimate guide to sales qualification, we’ll cover:
We are taking you through each step of the process to help you successfully implement sales qualification best practices within your sales cycle.
When it comes to sales, nothing is more important than qualifying leads. You must evaluate your leads and see whether or not they are a good fit for your product or not before integrating them into your sales process.
To do so, you must first adhere to a sales qualification framework or ask them qualifying sales questions.
There are a variety of sales qualification frameworks available, but the most important thing is that you find one that works for you and your team.
It’s time to move from a one-size-fits-all approach to sales qualification and the best way to Qualify Your Leads is to customize your process according to your unique products, services, and target markets.
Here are six of the most popular sales qualification frameworks to qualify your leads with:
BANT is the most popular and go-to sales qualification framework to determine whether or not a potential customer is a qualified lead.
The acronym BANT stands for Budget, Authority, Need and Timeline.
The first step in using the BANT framework is to determine the budget of the potential customer. This can be done by asking questions about their current spending on similar products or services, their anticipated future budget, and whether or not they have the financial resources to make a purchase.
Once you have an understanding of the potential customer’s budget, you need to determine their authority to make a purchase. This can be done by asking questions about their role within the organization, their decision-making process, and who else needs to be involved in the decision.
After you have determined the budget and authority of the potential customer, you need to understand their need for the product or service. You will need to ask questions about the problem they are trying to solve, their current workarounds, and what would happen if they did not purchase your product or service.
Finally, you need to understand the timeline of the potential customer. Ask them questions about when they need the product or service, their current timeline for making a decision, and any upcoming milestones that might impact their timeline.
Below you can find examples of all the questions you can ask according to the BANT framework.
The ANUM framework is a popular tool used by sales professionals to determine whether or not a potential customer is a qualified lead. The acronym ANUM stands for Authority, Need, Urgency and Money.
This framework is slightly different from the BANT qualification framework in that it takes into account the customer’s urgency and money factors later into the stage and determines the lead’s level of authority, and their needs at the start of their conversation.
Below you can find examples of all the questions you can ask during each stage of the ANUM framework:
CHAMP, on the other hand, is comparable to ANUM in that it prioritizes Challenges ahead of Authority. CHAMP also refers to authority as a “call for action,” rather than a blockade.
Asking questions that assess the challenges of the lead helps identify any obstacles in your way of winning them over. And by figuring out what matters most to this person with authority over budget - not just money but also priorities - we’ll know if they’re someone we should be working hard on converting or giving up on altogether.
Below you can find examples of all the questions you can ask during each stage of the CHAMP framework.
B2B-oriented, detailed, and intended to tie your company to the prospect’s goals and resources, this framework was developed at HubSpot for B2B marketers.
GPCTBA/C&I stands for Goals, Plans, Challenges, Timeline, Budget, Authority/Negative Consequences, and Positive Implications.
Buyers are more informed about products and services than ever before.
That’s why your sales team needs to provide extra value to buyers in order to stand out from the competition. Offering helpful advice and providing education are two great ways to do this.
Your team must know everything there is to know about the prospect’s business plan, goals, and how you may assist them in achieving a broad picture.
If your sales team has enough time and resources, implementing this framework should be a no-brainer. This will help improve customer satisfaction since you’re focusing on the wants and goals of your prospects.
Below you can find examples of all the questions you can ask during each stage of the GPCTBA/C&I framework.
The MEDDICC lead generating framework is focused on lengthy sales cycles and the value your product may provide to your prospect.
It stands for Metrics, Economic Buyer, Decision Criteria, Decision Process, Identify Pain, Champion, and Competition.
The MEDDICC framework is designed to help salespeople qualify their leads, by providing a detailed and systematic approach to understanding the customers' needs.
The first step is to understand the customer’s metrics. What are their key performance indicators? What are their targets? How will your product help them achieve their goals?
Next, you need to identify the economic buyer. Who has the authority to make decisions around purchasing your product? Is there more than one decision maker involved?
Then, you need to understand the decision criteria. What factors are considered when making a purchase decision? Is price a major concern? Are there any other objections that need to be overcome?
After that, you need to understand the decision process. How does the customer typically make purchasing decisions? Is there a formal RFP process? Are there multiple rounds of decision-making?
The next step is to identify the pain. What problem is the customer trying to solve? What are the consequences of not solving that problem?
Then, you need to find the champion. Who is the internal advocate for your product? Who is championing its adoption within the organization?
Finally, you need to understand the competition. Who else is selling into this account? What are their strengths and weaknesses? How does your product compare?
If your product needs a change in behavior or has a high average sales price, you should consider using MEDDIC for qualifying your leads.
Below you can find examples of all the questions you can ask during each stage of the MEDDIC framework.
FAINT (Funds, Authority, Interest, Need, Timing) is more or less closely related to BANT. The difference lies in the fact that BANT focuses on the budget but FAINT focuses on the company’s funds.
This framework acknowledges the fact that many purchases are unplanned and may not be made within their predetermined budget.
Marketers who use the FAINT method should look for companies with sufficient funds to buy, even if no specific budget has been set - what matters is that the company should be able to afford the solution.
FAINT also includes a second element, interest, in addition to the BANT components. It reflects a focus on generating interest from buyers about what is possible or How one might achieve new realities beyond today’s status quo.
This is an important stage since it can assist in determining whether or not there is a ‘fit' between the buyer and seller.
Below you can find examples of all the questions you can ask during each stage of the FAINT framework.
To improve your sales qualification process, there are a few key things you can do.
Make sure you have a clear understanding of your ideal customer. This will help you narrow down your leads and focus on those that are more likely to convert.
Access our customer persona template to create your ideal customer profile.
Create a scoring system that rates leads based on their potential value. This will help you prioritize your time and resources.
Have a look at our sales maximizer playbook that we put together with the help of some of the industries most seasoned experts.
Establish clear criteria for what makes a qualified lead. This will help you weed out those that aren’t a good fit for your products or services. That’s when you’ll need to adapt one of the qualification frameworks that we discussed earlier.
Document the entire process so you can track and improve your results over time. And to help you with that, try investing in a Sales Enablement Tool.
The qualification frameworks we’ve outlined are a great place to start when it comes to improving your qualification process.
However, remember that these are just guidelines; you need to find what works best for you and your business. What has worked well for you in the past?
Try testing out some new questions or approaches based on what we’ve talked about today. And don’t forget – always be prepared to ask the tough questions too!
By using these frameworks as a foundation and tweaking them to fit your specific needs, you can dramatically improve your sales results. What really matters is how you will put this information into action and start qualifying leads like a pro!
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