3 Qualifying Questions to Help Accelerate the Sales Cycle
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Too many qualifying questions are too specific. They’re simple yes/no/dollar/cent questions designed to get basic facts about needs, budget and timing into the CRM. The best salespeople though, draw this information out through open-ended questions—non-specific questions designed to create more of a conversation around the decision process.

By drawing out qualifying data through discussions, you can get more information earlier in the sales process. And you can use that information to move a deal more quickly through the pipeline.

Here are three questions that top performers use to get qualifying data, even as they drive deals forward.

1) What problem are you hoping to solve?

This question, like buckshot, is sure to hit the prospect somewhere. Among the many things you can learn:

  • What led them to contact you now
  • What triggered the decision to explore a solution in general, yours in particular
    The business case for the change they hope to implement
  • A current provider they may be unhappy with
  • Why they may be unhappy
  • How they expect your offering will help

Your prospect’s answer to this question can help you align their goals with the benefits of your solution. Or to better tailor your solution to their needs.

2) Other customers of your size spend about $XX,000-$YY,000 on our solution. Does that range align with your budget?

This is simply a polite, non-threatening way of asking, “Do you have a budget and what is it?”

It can tell you if the company has the financial resources to buy your products or services and how committed they are to a solution.

If they have a budget, even if it’s not firm, you know that they have done their homework and are actively considering solutions.

If the company doesn’t have a budget, they may be in the very early stages of the cycle. You can then probe for the kind of content they will need to help them choose your solution.

The ‘range’ phrasing also primes the prospect for additional probing.

You can then draw out more information about the company, the purchase process, key influencers and decision makers.

3) Why is your timing important to you?                      

Too many salespeople ask about the timing for a decision stop there. That’s all the information they need to prioritize deal flow and work towards a close date.

More effective sales pros ask why the timing is important.

Is there end-of-year budget to use up? Is there a directive from senior management? Might the purchase be delayed because another project needs to be finished first?

Knowing this information helps you work with the prospect to solve problems and work around the concerns that drive the timing.

Asking this question, as in the last, opens the door to a discussion about the company’s decision-making process and your prospect’s personal role in it.

A prospect doesn’t have a date or why it’s important, may not be the decision maker you need to speak with.

Getting the most from this information.

These questions help you obtain a lot of information from an early qualifying contact.

Getting this information into your CRM, however, can be a problem. Salespeople already spend too much time on administrative tasks.

A mobile, artificial intelligence solution, like Rollio, solves this problem.

Rollio lets salespeople update Salesforce by speaking into or texting their mobile phone.

Your sales team can complete in seconds those tasks that could take a half hour or more. And they can do it on the go, so you always have accurate, up-to-the-minute data in the system.

Your salespeople are happier and more willing to go the extra mile to get the info and put it into the system. And you can use it to close more sales faster.

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